3 Ways to Stop Limiting God (and Yourself)
by Abigail Folds
We all want to see God work in our lives and to receive His blessings, but sometimes our thoughts, beliefs, and actions actually prohibit His work in us.
There have been several times in my life when I’d been begging God to work, and all I heard in return was silence. Sometimes, the silence was simply due to the fact that God wasn’t ready to work, and I had to learn to wait. Other times, however, the silence was due to my own wrong thinking, unbelief, and inaction.
I had to learn that God won't bless me if I choose to meditate on lies instead of meditating on truth from His Word. He also isn’t going to bless my unbelief or my inaction.
My wrong thinking, unbelief, and inaction were basically keeping His hands tied and limiting what He could do in my life, while also limiting myself and what I could do through Him.
So if you’re experiencing what I did, then I’d like to share with you three ways to take the limitations off of God and off of yourself, so that He is free to work in you and through you as He sees fit. I’m also providing some reflection questions for you to think about and prayerfully answer; I highly recommend writing down your answers so that you can come back to them and continue to pray and reflect as you remove the limitations from your life!
3 Ways to Stop Limiting God (and Yourself)
1. Change your thoughts:
Stop: Focusing on the Obstacles
Start: Focusing on the Opportunities
“...we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
Taking our thoughts captive to Him sounds like a cliche that we use, but really, it’s absolutely crucial to developing a Christ-like mindset. It’s the starting point for taking God out of the box you’ve placed Him in, and opening up your mind in faith to see just how limitless He really is and how very much He loves you as His child. He’s waiting to work in your life - to guide, to provide, to comfort, to bless - He’s waiting for you to seek Him first, which begins with your thought life.
For a long time, I didn’t realize how much my thoughts affected the rest of my life. We tend to think that our thought lives are our own private worlds where we can think any way we want to (and they are). By not carefully choosing which thoughts we will allow and which thoughts we won’t, we’re opening ourselves up to all kinds of frustrations, disappointments, and anger. We can choose what we will think about God, ourselves, our situations, those around us, etc. We can choose what we will dwell on and what we will let go. We can choose to look for the obstacles or to look for the opportunities. When I began to take control of my thoughts and to take negative thoughts captive to Christ, I noticed a huge shift in my overall perspective as well as my beliefs, feelings, words, and even my actions.
Bonus Tip: What does it mean to take thoughts captive to Him?
Think of negative or wrong thoughts as an “enemy,” that you’ve captured and are giving over to the Authority. Just as a burglar isn’t someone you want hanging around your home, those thoughts are something that you don’t want hanging around in your mind, so you take them to Him and leave them there.
- What are three main thoughts that run through your mind on a daily basis?
- What are three main thoughts that you would like to run through your mind each day?
2. Change your beliefs:
Stop: Believing Lies
Start: Believing Truth
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
James 4:7 (NIV)
One of the most common ways we limit God and ourselves is by believing lies straight from the enemy. The sad thing is that most of the time, we don’t even realize we’re doing it! We spend our minutes, our hours, our days, our weeks, our months, our years believing and operating on lies, while the truth from His Word remains available, yet unaccessed.
My friend, I’m speaking from experience when I ask: please don’t allow this to happen to you. Don’t allow your days and weeks and years to go by while you live in fear, insecurity, apathy, anger, or whatever lie the enemy feeds you. Open your Bible today and begin to meditate on what God says, while simultaneously rejecting what the enemy says.
Bonus Tip: How can we tell if a thought or belief is from God?
Ask Him! Satan is so clever at disguising lies as truth, and he’s very good at slipping those lies into our thoughts which then affect our beliefs. If you can’t tell whether a recurring thought is a truth from God or a lie from Satan, pray about it and ask, “God, is this thought or belief from You? I want to honor You with my thoughts, and I want to believe Your Word and stand in Your truth. I don’t want to leave any room for the enemy to plant deceptive thoughts in my mind. Please show me if this thought I’m having is from You.” Then, sit and listen for His response. It also wouldn’t hurt to spend some time in the Scriptures.
- What’s one lie you’ve been believing?
- What do you know to be true instead?
- How would your life be different if you stopped believing the lie and started believing the truth?
3. Change your actions:
Stop: Making Excuses
Start: Making Plans
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
James 1:22 (NIV)
There are two types of action that limit God’s work in us: inaction and wrong action.
Inaction is fueled by excuses. A common excuse I used for a long time was, “I don’t have time for…” When I was ready to stop using this excuse, it caused me to look at all the things I’d said I didn’t have time for, as well as what I had made time for instead. I realized it was never an issue of not having time. It was an issue of misplaced priorities. I hadn’t been taking action in certain areas God was calling me to because I had placed other things as a priority over them. My excuses only kept the cycle of inaction going until I was finally ready to break it, and when I ditched my excuses and began to take action, I immediately experienced God’s blessing - the blessing I had been waiting for! What’s your excuse, my friend? Identifying it is the first step in breaking the cycle of inaction.
Wrong actions can be things we do that are actually wrong, but wrong actions can also be “good things” we do that aren’t bad, but we’re not called to do them, so they hinder our growth and God’s work. Adrian Rogers once said, “if Satan can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” Sometimes, we jump into action without praying about it first, and this leads to us taking action outside of God’s plan for us at the time, essentially tying God’s hands as we act outside of His will. We ourselves are also obviously limited as to what we can accomplish without Him.
- Write down your go-to excuse that you’re ready to stop using.
- Write down one action step you can take in the area you’ve been avoiding.
- Write down any actions you’ve taken without praying over them first.
- Begin praying over all of the above and ask God what actions He wants you to take.
Bonus Tip: Go do it!
Writing things down and prayerfully creating a plan is a step, but it’s only the first step. If you want to really start seeing changes in your life, you must prayerfully take another step. Then another. And another.
Our thoughts, beliefs, and actions are choices we make, and these choices are made one small step at a time, day-in, day-out, and with each step forward, no matter how small, we’re freeing God up to work in us like He never has before! It’s by taking these steps in our thoughts, beliefs, and actions that we will truly experience what He can do and how He can bless us beyond our limited imaginations.
about the author
Abigail Folds is an internationally trained and qualified Life and Faith Coach. She works one-on-one with women who are ready for growth and change, helping them get "unstuck" as they gain clarity and confidence in their lives and faith. One of her greatest joys is seeing women let go of their limiting beliefs and shine in all of their God-given potential each day. You can check out her blog, free resources, and coaching programs on her website at
Follow her Instagram: @abigailfolds