Monday, October 19, 2009

God Likes Fences

God Likes Fences
September 27, 2009
Psalm 139:5 "You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me"

I had the privilege of helping build a large, eight-foot privacy fence for a church. The church wanted to create a larger, safer play area for their children. The purpose of the fence was very obvious: to keep the children safe from danger. The fence keeps predators out, while the boundary lines keep the children where the adults can monitor them, ensuring they don't wander too far or maybe fall into the busy street nearby. Only good things can come from this new fence for the children. What a blessing the fence will be to their lives.

God is the same way for us as Christians. Scripture says the Lord hems us in, sort of like a fence. The fence is not meant to trap or imprison, but to keep us safe from danger. The fence keeps predators out (Satan) and keeps us from wandering out of bounds (sin). God's fences can take on many forms, like a directive in the Bible, or a warning or recommendation, or an actual rule to live by. They are meant for our good, not harm.

For instance, God is very clear about sex before and within your marriage. This is a fence that He put in place to keep you safe. God is very clear about tithing; this is a fence that helps keep you safe. God is very clear about bridling your tongue or arguing your rights, or getting drunk; these are fences that help keep you safe. His fences are not meant to keep you from expressing your individuality or keep you from having fun; His fences are for your physical, spiritual, and emotional protection. Just ask someone who committed adultery or is an alcoholic. Just ask someone who tried to take revenge or stole tithes from the Lord. Just ask anyone with regret.

The Psalmist, King David, knew of God's fences. He knew God set up rules and lines that were not meant to be crossed. He wrote a great line in scripture, it says, "the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places." David wasn't talking about his physical property line of land or wealth or status. David was talking about the statutes with which he was to live his life by, the ordinances that could be followed, knowing the Lord intended for them to keep David's life safe, pleasant. The boundary lines David was referring to were in regard to God's instructions for his life, the fences that were meant to keep his life from harm. I dare you to read Psalm 16 with this understanding in mind.

The next time you'd like to step out of the boundary line, or climb that fence, consider David's words. God's boundary lines for your life have fallen in pleasant places; they are meant to keep you safe from predators and the dangers of this world.

1. What fences or boundary lines are you facing?
2. Is your reaction to climb the fence or submit to God's protection for your life?
3. How can you call your fences "pleasant places"?

Add. Scriptures for Study: 1 Kings 3:14, Ps 16:6, Ps 19:7, Ps 93:5,

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