Boundaries

1 Samuel 12:24-25 “Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.”

There is something about looking back and wondering what it would be like if we could have known more or known better; would we have chosen differently? I look back on my teen years and find I have a greater depth of gratitude for my parents who must have pulled their hair out over me and my foolishness.

I can remember wanting so badly to be free from the rules and the curfews and the limits that were cramping my style; not allowing me to be be who I really was… only to find I was an ignorant, foolish boy who hadn’t quite grasped what it was to be an adult and mature.

I found that in my life, those limits; those rules; those boundaries were there because of love, not some sadistic desire on my parents behalf. Because they loved me, they set the rules; laid down the law and put up the boundaries. They wanted me to miss the cruel consequences of being immoral, living in rebellion and having to always suffer the consequences of my sin.

God set limits and boundaries when man was first created. There were do’s and don’ts; and reasons for them. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil – it belonged to God. I find it quite ironic that our enemy gets us to selfishly look at and desire the ten percent we do not have, when in fact, we are able to live among the other ninety percent freely.

We have rules of law to keep us from falling into anarchy and chaos. We have rules to govern our speech, our dress, our behavior, our diet and our relationships.

So, why is it that we kick at the boundaries in our life?

Control.

We want to be the master of our own destiny. We want to be able to control the direction, the duration and the outcome of our decisions. Because we are sinners, God knew the bondage we would experience because of those sinful choices. So, He set up His laws, His rules, His boundaries for our own good – because He loves us!

Every parent is confronted with the choice of who will be in control. If the parent wins, there is an opportunity for a peaceful existence. If the child wins, chaos ensues. The same is true when we are left to our own devices. True and in comparison, there are some who may seemingly succeed more than others; some better than others. But, in the end, without God, it will be a miserable existence.

You see, in this life you may have every creature comfort there is and still be unhappy. Money is not evil in and of itself; but the love of it is.

1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Many a good meaning saved, child of God has been swayed to go after the material instead of that which is spiritual.

In the reading of my devotion today, God set some clear boundaries for the nation of Israel.

Follow Me and I will bless you.

Disobey and I will chasten you.

God has set those in authority over us as agents for good. Some of those agents have not fulfilled their office rightly, but we should not blame their disobedience as God’s failure. As God has given man free will, the same boundaries apply for servant and master; employer and employee; parent and child, citizen and government.

God has said in His Word:

1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

And;

1 Corinthians 14:40 “Let all things be done decently and in order.”

A soul that is right with God will be in subjection, submission and obedient to all that God commands. Any level of departure from that position puts us at odds with the One who drew the line. We have a principle in our ministry; it says;

We lose our freedom to choose when we give in to temptation. Our consequences are inevitable and incalculable and up to God.

While we obey and live within the boundaries, we are in control. Stepping outside of those boundaries opens the door to situations and circumstances that have ruined lives, families, churches, businesses and countries.

Our justice system operates under the principle that when you usurp the rights of another or cross the boundaries set by our laws and our government, you relinquish your rights to the authority that made the rules.

God’s justice system has within it; mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Without these, we would have no hope of peace and joy. The strongest would oppress the weak, the smart would rule over the simple and God would have no place. When we submit to the boundaries that are set for us, we experience freedom, peace of mind and peace in our hearts.

The struggle we see today will not be eradicated because we eliminate guns or jail all the bad people. It is because the heart of man is set either for or against God ruling their life. When a people are submitted, committed and surrendered to God’s will and His way, He will bring peace, harmony and happiness.

Where have we stepped across the boundary? Some have done so unknowingly, others knowing full well the choice they were making. With the allowance for free will comes the consequences for the choices we make. Cause and effect. Choice and consequence.

I thank God for His mercy and forgiveness! But it exists solely by His design, not by my request. I cannot ever control what will happen when you and I make choices outside of the boundaries God has lovingly set for us. But I can embrace the fact that those boundaries that God has set for me are there because of His extreme love for us! Then, I can live freely within the confines of that love when I live within the boundaries my God has placed there for my good.

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