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Monday, May 6, 2013

Boundaries: Inhibitors or Inheritance?

Boundaries Pictures, Images and Photos

Psalm 16:5-6     O LORD, [You are] the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant [places]; Yes, I have a good inheritance (NKJV).

Because of the upcoming purity conference, I've been doing a lot of thinking about boundaries.  Our world scoffs at the idea of living within God's prescribed limits.  They shout from the billboards, television, movie screens, and radio "You are the master of your own destiny.  Don't let anyone else hold you back.  If it feels good, do it!"  As Christians, this obviously runs contrary to God's will and plan for our lives, but how can we remain content within the confines God has given us, when just on the other side, the world is partying heartily and calling us to join in?

The secret lies within the limitation, itself.  It all comes down to how you perceive that boundary line.  Is it a limitation, or is it a blessing?  Does it point out all the things you can't do, or does it map out what is rightfully yours, your God-given inheritance?  When the children of Israel finally took possession of the Promised Land, God Himself divided it between the tribes, and then within each tribe to the individual families.  Each family's allotment was marked off, usually by a stone.  Considering that Israel had been wandering for forty years in the wilderness, this boundary line represented a tremendous gift, a place that was finally their own!

Ironically, if you look a little more closely at the world, they actually set boundaries, themselves.  Although they accept all forms of sinful lifestyles, they cannot tolerate the lifestyle of a genuine believer.  For some reason, if it feels good to be a Christian, it's not acceptable in their worldview.  Why?  Because our very existence exposes their lifestyle for the fraud that it is.  We are the light of the world, and the light of Christ which shines from us, highlights the ugly truth about a life "without boundaries".

Here's another truth about living life on one's own terms:  At some point along the way, such people become addicted to something and it completely enslaves them.  In their pursuit of pleasure, they make gods out of fame, fortune, drugs, power, sex, or numerous other things.  These gods steal their very lives, and leave behind a shell.  Think about how many celebrities go from supposedly having it all to multiple divorces, drug rehab, eating disorders and even committing suicide?  They achieve what should have fulfilled their wildest dreams and yet, they are left empty, much more so than when they took that first step across the boundary line.

According to Psalm 16, Who is our portion and our cup?  The Lord!  These boundaries are the measure of the tremendous blessings God has in store for us.  Our portion is what God has given us, our cup is what we make our own.  Ironically, as these people proudly step outside of the boundaries, they are forfeiting their portion and drinking the dregs of life from their cup, instead.  God's desire for our lives is that we accept the entire portion of His blessing!  He wants us to live life abundantly, and that involves accepting the boundaries that He has set for our own good. 

Most often, it takes a while to experience the fulfillment of our inheritence in Christ.  The pleasures of the world are immediate.  In fact, we won't experience everything God has in store for us until we're with Him in heaven.  But as we continue to be faithful, as we continue to abide by the boundaries God has set, He will bless our obedience.  We will begin to see pieces of the puzzle come together, and reap the long-lasting and completely satisfying rewards of submission to God.  Each time we say "no" to the world, we take a step closer to the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future! 

So, embrace your boundary lines this week, and stay the course.  The payoff is worth it, and it's coming soon!

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