Spiritual Warfare Prep

Spiritual Warfare Prep
We Are In The Lord's Army

Saturday, July 25, 2015

When Do We Trespass Or Go Past The Boundaries?

  It seems like a lot of people struggle with the idea of a God who created us and makes the rules (sets the boundaries) around us. I have talked with such people who can't understand why a God would punish people who just want to have another religion or faith. Well, maybe, just maybe I have an illustration that might help us understand this better.

    First of all, please understand that all illustrations have some flaws in them when trying to communicate spiritual truths. We can never clearly and perfectly explain God's principles with illustrations, but sometimes the truth that is in them is helpful to understand even one main point e about God.

   Let's say you are at a friend's house. Your friend welcomes you inside. You feel welcome and sit down. But let's say that you feel some kind of entitlement to this house. Normal people do not feel entitlement when going to a friend's house, but, for the sake of the illustration, let's say that you do. You go into your friend's refrigerator and look for some food. You find a couple of things you like and pull them out. You cook them up and eat them. Then you look for something else, but can't find it. You complain to your friend that there is no food in the house. At night, you expect a room with a nice comfy bed, but all that is available is a twin bed with a hard mattress. You complain about that. Really, your friend hasn't even offered an overnight stay in his home, but because you feel entitled to it, you expect it. The next day, you invite your girlfriend over to stay with you (even though you only have a twin bed) and you complain because your girlfriend cannot be nicely accommodated. Your friend, who owns the house, however, has boundaries for those in the house. He does not believe in people sleeping together outside of a marriage relationship, so he says you can't have your girlfriend stay in his home. You bolt at your friend because of his 'rules' and claim they are unfair. You think that because you love your girlfriend that it makes it ok for you to have this illicit relationship with her. Your kind friend is now being called a 'Bully' and a 'tyrant' and is 'prejudiced' against you because he has house rules. His home also has order, which goes against your grain. Those who are staying there, need to be in the home by midnight, not because he is being mean, but because it creates a hardship for those who live in the home when people come in late at night.

   If you are the visitor in this story, what do you think you are doing while staying at this friend's house? The answer is simple. It is called, 'trespassing'. Your friend loves you and wants you to be able to stay in his home, but, he has boundaries (which is something every person and family needs to have). Boundaries are not there to take our fun away. They are there to protect us. There have been studied done, where people were more comfortable where there were boundaries put up. For example, in a school yard, the school did not have a fence around the property. But something happened when a fence was put up around the school yard. The children actually played outside once the fence went up, whereas before, they tended to stay inside or close to the building.

  We intuitively know that we need boundaries. Unfortunately, some children have had their boundaries taken away by their parents. Their parents abused them and forbade them to protect themselves. These children grew up and have no idea how to set boundaries for themselves. But the average person in America today sees boundaries as restrictive and too structured. Many in this country have this idea of entitlement as well. A lot is expected from those who are over them. And if they don't get what they want, right away, they get angry.

   Like the visitor in the story, we expect to have the food we want. We expect to have a nice bed to sleep in and the many comforts that are available to us. We complain when the weather is not enjoyable to us. The problem isn't with food or comfort, the problem is with our expectation of having a right to them.

   Do you realize that most of the world goes to bed hungry and doesn't have a bed to sleep on. Most do not have good clothes to wear. The more we think of our 'rights' to these things, the less we will consider those who do not have them.

   We are like the visitor to his friend's home. Only the home we are visiting is planet earth. God put us on this planet for a reason and it was not to get all the gusto we can get while we are here. We get angry with God because of the boundaries He has placed around us. He has told us where these boundaries are, in His word. We think it is unfair that God has 'rules' and think that He wants to take our fun away. But this is a lie from the devil.

  Whether we like it or not, God is the Creator, and we are the created. We are subject to Him and will give account to Him after we die. He created us  to love Him and to know Him. But instead of our wanting to know Him, we want to do our own thing. That is called, 'autonomy'. We want autonomy away from God. All of us do. We don't like it when He 'interferes' with our lives. But we are the ones who are blind, for when we see God, we will gladly give up our rights to ourselves. We no longer need to live for ourselves, nor do we need to try to find satisfaction in other things. Our satisfaction can really only come from God alone. If we try to live for all those other things, and we break God's rules and trespass His boundaries, we will never be satisfied, and we will end up being judged for our sins (trespasses).

   Instead of being angry with our Creator, we should be grateful. God promises to take care of us when we trust in Him, and turn from our selfishness to Him. We need to repent of our sins. We need to let go of those things that are outside of His boundaries. We need to embrace those things inside His boundaries.

The Psalmist said, 'Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day' (Psalm 119:97 ESV).
How can someone love something that is so restrictive? It is because he was set free from loving himself, and now he was free to love God (which is something we cannot do on our own). The Psalmist saw God with his spiritual eyes and was mightily affected. He was very much changed. Now there was something bigger than himself to live for. It was easy for him to let go of the things that he once treasured.

  In another Psalm, the Psalmist also says 'The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.' (Psalm 16:5, 6 ESV)

   If you think that following God means that you have to live a life full of rules and restrictions, then you misunderstand who God is, and why you need Him. You will try to follow those rules as best as you can. You will pat yourself on the back and think that because you are trying so hard, that God will reward you. But that is not true. God rewards those who seek Him, and those who forsake the things they have for the kingdom of God's sake. When we realize how magnificent, glorious, powerful, and awesome God is, we will not have a hard time parting with our toys.

    For more information on the Gospel and knowing God, please go to http://thegospelconversation.blogspot.com        or

"And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?  For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:34-37 ESV

No comments:

Post a Comment