Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Father We Thank Thee"1 (Lyrics)
There had been so much snow that I was now able to walk over the corral fence, instead of having to open the big gate to go in. Interestingly enough, however, Frank, my gelding, and the three goats had made no move to cross the boundary fence to come out. They all chose to stay within the safety of their corral.
Over the years, many people with whom I have talked have stated that one of the main reasons that they would not follow God was due to what they perceived as the strict boundaries that He sets in regard to people's lives. They see His moral principles — the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group — as being far too restricting and taking all the fun out of life. Yet God's boundaries are always for our good and wellbeing, our peace and joy, our safety and encouragement, and our mental, physical, and spiritual health.
Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)
Such fruit comes from knowing and applying God's principles to our lives through faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His Word. They are not stifling. They are not boring or uninteresting or limiting. In fact, they open our world up to limitless possibilities within ourselves, our relationships, and the work that we are called to do.
Many years ago, a very wise person said to me, "No one can break God's commands. They can only break themselves upon them." The truth of these words still stands today. Even governments choosing to make legal what was once morally wrong does not always make it right in God's eyes or in regard to truth.
Long ago, God spoke these words to us through Moses: "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse — the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known." (Deuteronomy 11:26-28 NIV)
Frank and the goats could have easily stepped over their boundary fence because the snow was so deep, but they chose not to. You and I have the same type of decision before us each and every day: adhering to and reverencing the moral principles and boundaries that God has laid out for His people, knowing and trusting that they are for our own blessing and good, or stepping over them and moving away into our own direction instead of His. The choice is ours.
Today, I don't know what choice you will make. But I know which one I am making. After all, in the past, I have learned the hard way: I can't break God's commands. I can only break myself upon them.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your great and faithful love, a love that always and forever has our best interests at heart. This day, through the power of Your Spirit within us, may we each choose to stay within the boundaries of Your love, through the principles that You have set before us, and therefore reap the blessings that You have promised. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.