Sunday, February 14, 2010

Boundaries of Protection

Of all the boundaries that I have discussed, I believe this is the most beneficial to our spiritual growth. Life is all about boundaries and the way we operate in them. When we live within God’s boundaries, we find peace and fulfillment, when we live out of bounds; we find chaos and pain of every kind.

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe. I prepared for the trip by learning a bit of the language and customs, so that I would “fit in” so to speak. Even with all my preparations, once I arrived I quickly realized I was in a foreign land. Trying to navigate life outside of God's Word is like being in a foreign land.

So what is the boundary of protection? Jesus said it best in this statement, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. I have loved you even as the father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my father and remain in his love.” (John 15: 5, 9-10 NLT).

The Boundary of Protection in a word, “Trust”. It is understanding the of sovereignty of Almighty God and believing in his goodness toward us. Jesus knew the Father and knew his mission, and knew the protective boundary. Jesus trusted the Father no matter what came his way. He was not going on his own, but knew the Father was leading him in the right path through the Holy Spirit.

If we have trouble, illness or struggles in our life, it does not mean that we are out side of the protective boundary? No not at all, Paul said, “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or are in danger or threatened with death? Even the scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day: we are being slaughtered like sheep” No despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”” (Romans 8: 35-37, Psalms 44:22 NLT). We must place our hope, trust that God has lead is to it, and he will lead us through it.

“The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Don’t be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” (Psalms 32: 8-9 NLT)

Are you living within the protective boundaries? Do you have peace in your life and peace with others? Or are you pointing the finger of blame because of your bitterness and discontent.

Copyright©2010 tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Boundaries of Self

The most limiting boundary that challenges our spiritual growth is the self-imposed one. I wrote a bit on the Boundary of Fear and its debilitating effects along with the spiritual problems that are involved; now I want to take on the notion of self.

When we use these word in reference to ourselves, “I will never” and “I just can’t” the subconscious mind will avoid seeking those things, because we have said they are harmful to our well-being. Our subconscious is a type of “guidance system”, that directs our lives. If we put up these walls to the things the Lord is calling us to, they will prevent him from using us in ways that build our spirit and bring glory to him.

As we fill our minds with the Word of God, it transforms our sinful thoughts into godly goals. Paul wrote, “Those who are dominated by their sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit” (Romans 8:5 NLT)

When we say “No” to God, we say “Yes” to something else, usually self serving pleasure. If we truly understand the great gift we have been given through Christ, we should always say “Yes Lord, speak your servant is listening”. We will be willing to cross the boundary of self preservation and pleasure, to become true children of God, fearless and effective in this lost world.

Sometimes we get some wrong ideas in our minds about what God is like and what we should be doing.Without careful guidance from God’s Word we sometimes can be fed a bunch of religious doctrines that are focused more on our behavior and actions rather than loving Christ and loving people. If we are wise, we will feed only on the Word of God. “Crave pure spiritual milk so that you can grow into the fullness of your salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, just as a baby cries out for milk” (1 Peter 2:2NLT).

The battle begins in our minds; we must submit or yield our will to the Lord’s will.“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good, and perfect, and pleasing his will really is” (Romans 12:2 NLT).

When we step outside the boundaries of self then we truly begin to live. Jesus said, “If anyone wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambitions, shoulder your cross and follow me. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but lose his own soul” (Matthew 16:24-26). Jesus also said that he came to give us life, life to the full (John 10:10). Paul cautioned us to “Give our bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice, the kind he will accept. When we understand all that he has done for us, is that too much to ask?” (Romans 12:1 NLT)

Are you faithful to respond to the call of the Lord? Have you stepped beyond the limits of yourself and your ways of thinking? Do you let fear and what will others think, stop you from serving the Lord with all your heart? Are you able to say, “Not my will, but yours be done”? These are questions we all have to ask ourselves, from time to time if we are truly seeking to serve and obey the Lord.

Copyright©2010 tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-