Longing for the land the Lord promised to my ancestors, I must consider the real estate which I currently possess. There are hills and valleys, with buzzing bees amid the shrubberies inundated with the richest soil of obedience, trust, and hope. Until, theoretically, I allow well-known robbers of peace to come in and plunder the land. The grounds of this territory exist in our minds, where we permit fear and doubt to march up and down the streets of our towns, crawling in the crevices of every windowed home, overtaking the unpaved streets of our growth. Yet, we persistently want more land.
“For a nation has come up against my land, powerful and beyond number; its teeth are lions’ teeth, and it has the fangs of a lioness.” Joel 1:6
Warnings precede plagues, from my biblical observations, nonetheless, we often continue in sin. Is it really sin? Is wallowing in self-pity, guilt, shame, doubt, and discouragement sin? In John 14:27 the Lord reminds us that he gives us peace and instructs us to not let our hearts be troubled. James 4:17 advises, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” Given the instruction to not be troubled, we know that we should not entertain feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Knowingly allowing feelings to overtake us is sinful; however, I submit it is not the root cause of the sin.
Boundaries. I believe there came a day, a moment in time before all the emotions arose when we were confronted with travelers. These guests came at the expense of compromising our relationship with God. The tourists represent those people we turn to instead of God or that habit we rely on, forgetting God, and the objects we accumulate and idolize as gods, forsaking the faithful Lord of All. We’ve realized that to accommodate the guests God would have to get smaller in the town, but we did nothing about it. What we didn’t know was that our guest intended to raid our village and God would let us have the company we choose. The feelings became a symptom of the original sin. Holy Boundaries must be established.
One may query, how boundaries could be established once a town has already been invaded. Since these boundaries are holy, they come with the power of the True and Living God. This means that nothing that is attacking our dwelling place can remain once we invite God back in. When we put God back in His proper place in the town the towns people rejoice, the village flourishes and peace abounds. Carcasses of the enemy cover the ground; the stench of war remains to serve as a reminder to serve the Lord with reverence. Carefully erecting holy boundaries to protect against enemy advances in the future, the town is safe to resume its daily activities.
“So fear the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD alone.” Joshua 24:14
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