“Of course not!”
That is probably your first response. It would be mine, too. First, why in the world would I want to do that. Second, how in the world would that be possible. Yet, I believe we all too often do this very thing and never realize it.
How does one handcuff a deity? Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? So now we consider that if God is all-powerful how could he ever be handcuffed? Unless, it was in the design of things from the start. God’s design has been that if we trust his process and obey his procedures then His presence would be provided.
Adam and Eve had the perfect setup. They had the perfect environment, perfect marriage, and perfect relationship with God. He established a process and procedural code. If they would trust, when not understanding, obey, even when it seemed odd, then the perfect setup would have continued. They didn’t. Eden didn’t. Welcome to the land of the sinful nature!
As Israel came on to the scene hundreds of years later, God established a process (sacrificial system) and procedures (law). If they would have simply trusted and obeyed things would never have gotten out of control. When you read Judges you understand.
We find ourselves in Isaiah 7 and the prophet is speaking to Ahaz. He is pleading with him to trust and obey what God has already established.
Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria, and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah. Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.
Essentially, Isaiah is telling the king that unless he will trust and obey, God will allow a pagan nation to be his tool of discipline. It will not matter the allies, horses, or army.
Handcuffing God is not about God becoming weak or impotent. Handcuffing God refers to our lack of faith in the process and plan, and ultimately the heart, of God. Without a certain level of trust, we set into motion things that God CHOOSES to not stop, as if he were handcuffed from doing so.
So the next time you consider your difficulty, or find yourself in a jam, or are just anxious about your future, ask yourself, “Am I handcuffing God by my lack of trust and obedience?”