Thankful for Boundaries
Imagine a football game where there are no sidelines, yard markers, end zones or rules for play that discriminate between right and wrong. Imagine a baseball game without a strike zone, without foul lines, base lines, or homerun fences. Imagine a race where there is no set direction for the participants to run and no start or finish line. Imagine a shooting range where there is no 'down range' direction and everybody just showed up and fired their weapons whatever direction they wanted to. You can apply this scenario to most any kind of sport and quickly realize that without boundaries and rules, there would be nothing but complete chaos and the games would be dangerous and ultimately meaningless.
This past Saturday morning I left the house well before daylight in a very dense fog. When I say very dense, I mean I could only see two striped lines in the highway in front of me, even with my fog lights on. I decided today to go out and measure just how far that was and discovered that the lines on my road are 30 feet apart and are six feet long each. That means I could only see 66 feet in front of me. Well, that may sound like limited but reasonable visibility, but at the posted speed limit of 45mph, 66 feet is the exact distance I would travel in just one (1) second! Think how little reaction time would I have had if there were a cow, a deer, another vehicle, a stop sign, or any other obstacle in the road that required immediate response?
Needless to say, even though I was traveling on the road I live on and am very familiar with, at this level of visibility, I could only drive about 20 miles per hour and that was probably too fast. I can honestly say that if it had not been for the freshly repainted dotted lines going down the middle of the road, I could not have made the short trip. All of my attention was on these two dotted lines because they were all I could see and they provided my only sense of direction. I was truly thankful that I could put my complete trust in the fact that they had been well thought out and strategically placed just for my safety in situations such as this. They were all I had to go by, and they were there to guide me safely to my destination when I could not see my way.
As I thought about what my drive would be like without the boundary lines, I could not help but think about how our culture is in a rapidly progressing movement to disregard, change or eliminate the rules and boundaries that God not only set for our protection and guidance, but also that have been the guide and principles upon which our great nation was founded. In fact, they were the rules God put in place to keep all mankind in right relationship with Him and with one another. These boundaries and rules were not put in place to take away our freedom, but to give us freedom. They were not commanded to limit enjoyment and fulfillment in life, but to help us live life to the fullest. They were not given to hurt us, but to protect us.
We can easily look at what is going on in the Middle East and other places around the world and see what life is like when God is removed and His commandments are violated, disregarded or unknown by the people. The results are complete lawlessness, horror, persecution, genocide, and absolute disregard for God and for others.
When we honestly look at ourselves and how far we have strayed as a nation, it does not take long to see that we too are rapidly moving away from God and are rejecting or ignoring the boundaries He set for us. We are trying to erase our history of faith in the one true living God. We are removing all the rules that He set for our own protection and that we have historically accepted and upheld which has led to America being the light on a hill for all the world to respect and to emulate. Even more devastating than trying to remove the boundaries and rules God set for us to live and to prosper, we are trying to remove God himself from our culture and the lives of our people.
Not every individual, but as a nation we have bought into the catastrophic belief that God (the very One who our money says is the One in whom we trust for all things, including our very survival) has no place in our government, in our military, in our schools, in the workplace, or even on the t-shirts we wear—and more and more, not even in our own homes and churches.
We have accepted the lie that God's Word is irrelevant and is even offensive and therefore should be eliminated from all literature, teachings, laws and life application. There are no moral absolutes—everyone just does what is right in their own eyes, though God's Word is full of absolutes. We have twisted God's plan for marriage and sexual relationships into what is clearly an abomination to God. We murder millions of innocent children each year by abortion and call it a woman's right to choose. What was once sin, is now just a mistake or a disease or disorder that we are not responsible for. The list of atrocities just goes on and on and it seems that there is no sign of repentance or turning back!
God, the One who has so richly blessed and protected our nation, loved us enough to send His only son Jesus to die for our sin and the sin of the world. However, having known and shared in His love and then to turn away from Him is worse than having never known Him at all. He said: "I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery." "The Lord said to me, 'faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah.'" (Jer 3:8, 11). It is better to have no faith in God than to have known His love and then choose to be unfaithful!
Jesus could have taken off just one Friday afternoon and came to suffer and die for our sins and pay the price for our salvation. However; He came to us for 33 years to show us the Father, the love of the Father, and how we are to live within the boundaries the Father set for us as we live in right relationship with Him and with one another.
Time is short. God is patient, but His patience will not last forever. Jesus is coming back soon and when He does He will judge the world. Today is the day of salvation. We must turn back to God before He takes His hand of protection and blessing from us. Those of us who know Him cannot keep Him and the gift of His Son to ourselves. We are commanded to go and tell.
I'm thankful for the life of Jesus and the Word of God that show us the boundaries to guide us safely Home! Hope I meet you there.