Boundaries vs. Barriers
by Keith Hassell | August 30, 2010
There is a difference between boundaries and barriers. According to Webster's Dictionary, a boundary is "something that indicates or fixes a limit or extent" while a barrier is "something material that blocks or is intended to block passage". God establishes boundaries in the form of commandments that define the sphere of His will and blessing. For instance, in the Garden of Eden, God established a boundary around the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In His sovereignty, God establishes both land and time boundaries for the nations (Acts 17:26) and the boundaries of each tribe of Israel (Deuteronomy 32:8). Although God establishes boundaries in order to protect and bless us, this generation has often interpreted God's boundaries as barriers to the "good life". They feel that God is a divine party crasher who enjoys saying "no" to anything we want. Nothing could be further from the truth! God's commands are intended to help us discern the difference between blessing and cursing, good and evil, holy and profane, right and wrong, clean and unclean, or truth and error. God wants to bring us into good pasture. God defines the boundaries of His good pasture through His Word. In His pasture we find His loving protection, care, and provision. As His sheep, we are free to graze within the fences of His pasture. However, if we interpret the fences as barriers between us and something that we want, then we will resent, rebel, and trespass against them. Rather than trespass, we should realize that God's perfect will for our lives is discovered within His boundaries. Rather than despise the fences, we should rejoice in them. King David declared in Psalm 16:6 (NKJV) "The lines (survey lines or boundary lines) have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance." Don't be foolish and trespass outside the will, protection, and presence of God. In the end, what you intended to gain through your trespass will be lost at a great cost to you. Unfortunately, many are already experiencing the fallout of their waywardness. Many are disoriented, confused, and lost in a cruel wilderness because they have strayed far outside God's boundaries. They have set aside the objective truth of God's Word and wandered into subjective, changing, and destructive realms of fads, fashion, music, philosophy, false religions, alcohol, drugs, sexuality, and experimentation with unscriptural spiritual experiences. The good news is that the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, is seeking His sheep. He is calling. We must respond to His call for salvation by crying out to Him. If we desire to repent and return to Him, He will pick us up, bind up our wounds, and bring us back within the protection of His fold. Isn't is time to stop straying and return to the Lord?