41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
~ Ps 78:41
The Bible is quite clear: God knows “everything” (1Jn 3:20 ESV). He knows what is hidden in the dark, He knows what is kept in our hearts, He knows the far, far past in a timeline that extends backwards in eternity, and He knows the future, moving forward in eternity. Simply put, He is omniscient.
When we put God into a box of our own making, we limit Him. He wants to work with us, making us into much more than we can imagine, but He will not thwart our free will in order to do so. He did not thwart the will of ancient Israel, and He will not thwart our free will either. He will allow and even bring about circumstances to punish us for our evil deeds, but our hearts and minds are the very things that He will not take from us. He will shape them — if we allow it — through His Holy Spirit, but He will ask for them rather than take them.
However, He will work with us — either to make us or break us. In fact, it isn’t until we admit we are broken that He really can make us into something far more than we can become on our own.
Still, how much do you and I limit Him? Do we really have faith? That means we must implicitly and explicitly trust Him. Yet, when we make Him into something smaller in our minds, that becomes much harder to do.
Simply put, we can either believe and trust what He says, or we can ignore the plain text of the Bible.
I like your conclusion of: “Simply put, we can either believe and trust what He says, or we can ignore the plain text of the Bible,” especially when I read some verses like the following:
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath BEGUN a good work in you WILL PERFORM IT until the day of Jesus Christ:” Phil 1:6
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did FOREKNEW, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did PREDESTIINATE, them he also called: and whom he CALLED, them he also JUSTIFIED: and whom he justified, them he also GLORIFIED.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
“To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath MADE us accepted in the beloved.” Ephesians 1:6
“Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” Acts 15:18
“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” I Thess 5:24
Of course, God does not care what color of socks we wear, the brand of vehicle we may drive, or whether we eat a beef hot dog or a beef hamburger, etc. There is lots of room for free choice and personal preference in living life with things like that…