Theologians always make up big words to describe God. I don’t know why they do that. You’d think it would be enough to simply say, “God can do anything,” or “God knows everything,” or “God is everywhere at the same time.” Instead they talk about God’s omnipotence, his omniscience, and his omnipresence. I want you to know that these words don’t show up in the Bible. It’s more straight forward that that. For example Psalm 135, verse 6 says, “Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.”

I like that a little better than saying “God can do anything.” Because you always have to deal with the question, “can God make a rock so big he can’t life it?” Then if you say, “yes,” the response is another question, “can he then lift it?” The insidious nature of this line of questioning traps us into saying there is always something God can’t do. I readily admit there are things God can’t do. The Bible is full of those thoughts. He can’t lie. He can’t break a promise. He can’t disown those who are born again through their faith in Jesus. He can’t lose any of those that come to Him.

James Packer, put it this ways, “He can do all things that do not conflict with His holy nature. God has the power to do anything He wants to. Does omnipotence mean that God can do literally anything? No, that is not the meaning. There are many things God cannot do. He cannot do what is self-contradictory or nonsensical, like squaring the circle. Nor (and this is vital) can he act out of character. God has a perfect moral character, and it is not in him to deny it. He cannot be capricious, unloving, random, unjust, or inconsistent. Just as he cannot pardon sin without atonement because that would not be right, so he cannot fail to be faithful and just in forgiving sins that are confessed in faith and in keeping all the other promises he has made. Moral instability, vacillation, and unreliability are marks of weakness, not of strength: but God’s omnipotence is supreme strength, making it impossible that he should lapse into imperfection of this sort.”

So really Psalm 135 is a better rendition of God’s power. He does what pleases Him. There are things in human experience that our God is incapable of. Aren’t you glad!

“We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.” (Psalm 123:2)