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OUTSIDE THE BOUNDARY

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  • OUTSIDE THE BOUNDARY

    Job 1:6-10 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.


    Job was living inside the boundary of a hedge made by God. Satan declared that God had put a hedge about Job, I think it's better said Job chose to live inside the boundary of a hedge that was already there. Inside he was protected, safe, helped and blessed by God. We too can choose to live inside the hedge. Ps 1:1-3 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. I don't mean to say we can find a place without troubles, trials, and persecution, but a place where we are protected, safe, helped and blessed by God. One of the reasons God chose to briefly take down the hedge was to show the world Job had chosen to be there, he was not forced, nor was he specially preferred by God over others.

    Our society is coming to the view that any kind of boundary is oppression or bondage. Our definition of freedom is often doing what we want, when we want, how we want, according to our own reasoning. However, a boundary is often put in place for our own good. That's illustrated many times over in God's Word. Prov 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. In Bible times a city without walls was a city unprotected. A destination, a mind or a life without a boundary is unprotected and unsafe. This lesson is about the importance of the boundary God placed for us to travel in, think in and live in. It's about traveling, thinking and living inside the hedge.

    Destination without boundary. In Mark chapter ten there was a man who came to Jesus who sought a specific destination, but wouldn't accept the boundary set forth by Jesus to reach it. Mark 10:17-22 And when he (Jesus) was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he (the man who came to Jesus) was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. This man didn't want a personal Savior, he wanted something he could do to make his destination sure and then return to his life. Jesus wanting him to see the true way to heaven said, “give up all and follow me.” You see, Jesus is the way, some time spent with Jesus would have made that clear to the man. What this man, in Mark chapter ten, would not do, the apostle Paul did do. Phil 3:7-14 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. The rich young ruler wanted a way to heaven on his own terms, Paul wanted to personally know the only Savior, there's a big difference. Jesus said in John 14:6 ...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John wrote in 1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. There is no way to heaven apart from receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Trying to make heaven your destination apart from placing your trust in Jesus means certain failure and ultimate destruction.

    Thinking without boundary. The importance of how we think, what we allow into our minds, cannot be overstated. The reason we have the sixty-six books we call the Bible is so we might have a correct history of our existence and the knowledge of God our Creator. There's no better place to get knowledge than from the Creator Himself. Critics of the Bible might call that brain washing. What they offer is knowledge of an existence without meaning and life without purpose. The results of thinking outside the boundary God has given is all around us. In America the Bible was once the first textbook of our schools, but we took it out several decades ago and now we are destroying ourselves. Pride, ignorance, arrogance and self-importance are common place among leaders of the highest level and even taught and allowed to exist in churches all across our land. The lack of peace, joy and contentment we see everywhere is a direct result of thinking outside the boundary set by God. Let's look a moment at what the Bible says about the way we should think. Peter wrote in 1 Pet 1:13 ...gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ... Jesus said in Matt 6:31-34 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Paul wrote in Phil 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Unconditional trust in God brings peace that passes understanding. Ps 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Thinking inside the boundary of what God declares allows us to have great peace. Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Perfect peace belongs to those whose thinking is fixed upon God. Col 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. When our thinking is inside the boundary our desire is on things above. 2 Cor 4:17-18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. When our thinking is inside the boundary we see the unseen. Thinking without boundaries leads to extreme danger. 2 Tim 3:1-7 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Worst of all thinking without boundaries leads to religion with out God.

    Living without boundaries. The way we live is based on the knowledge and wisdom we possess. Knowledge is what we know. All knowledge is not good knowledge. We can pick and choose what suits us, what we're comfortable with, what is told us by others, what we reason for ourselves, but in my opinion that is to settle for much less than perfection. One alternative is to accept the declaration of God given us through the Bible. The importance of knowledge is it shapes our worldview, how we look at things, how we perceive what's around us. People killing for selfish reasons, stealing, looking down on others, feeling superior to others, being self-centered and arrogant are, in part, results of incorrect knowledge and a flawed worldview. Wisdom is different from knowledge. Wisdom is how we use what we know. Correct knowledge can be misused and that can also result in the things mentioned above. The Bible is full of correct knowledge and wisdom that's above reproach. There's a whole book of the Bible called Proverbs that is nothing but wisdom, showing the correct use of knowledge. Prov 1:20-33 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. Wisdom here is given a voice warning us against being foolishly open minded, against being wise in our own conceit or arrogantly stupid. Wisdom is begging us to be reproved by it, receive it's spirit and words. Wisdom warns us that to refuse is to be left to our own destruction, to suffer the result of our own ways and be mocked in our time of need. Inside the boundary of Godly wisdom we find this in Prov 2:10-22 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths: To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it. We find that Godly wisdom allows us to have correct discernment, good understanding, deliverance from the evil, perverse man, deliverance from unbridled lust. Godly wisdom allows us to walk in the ways of good men, in the path of righteousness, to dwell in the land in safety. Trying to live life without the boundary of God given knowledge and Godly wisdom is to walk a path to destruction.

    A few years back I had the privileged of attending a men's conference in which Dr. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas, TX preached a message detailing, what he believed to be, the condition of America. I believe Dr. Jeffress has unique insight into the condition of our country. He has made more than 2000 guest appearances on various radio and television programs and regularly appears on major mainstream media outlets, such as Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends,” “Hannity,” “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” “Varney & Co.,” and “Judge Jeanine,” also ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” He personally knows the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence and many other high ranking politicians. He was once told by Mike Pence that one of his books was seen in the oval office on the president's desk. My point is, again, that he has a unique perspective we could not possibly have. He described America as a building set for implosion. We have all seen video of buildings being imploded. This is accomplished by setting charges in foundational areas that when exploded cause the building to collapse in on itself. There's usually a slight delay between the explosions and the implosion. Crews then clean up the aftermath and frequently begin new construction. Dr. Jeffress said he believed America was existing presently in the delay between the explosion and the implosion. This was not a very well received message among the men present, but that is not surprising. We have a country that was founded upon God and His Word. God is mentioned frequently in our founding documents, yet now He has and is being removed. Since Dr. Jeffress preached that message our country has descended into, what seems to me to be, chaos. We are looking for answers to solve our problems outside the boundary of help, safety and blessing given us by God our Creator. Neither political party is going to be able to succeed. Outside the miracle of many of the people in our country rushing inside the boundary of God's help, protection and blessing, we will implode. The point Dr. Jeffress was trying to make in the men's conference I attended was that we only have a limited time to try and reach as many as we can before the destruction that is coming. As Jesus said, “the night cometh, when no man can work”.

    The choice I make to live inside or outside the boundary of God's protection, help and blessing will effect many more people than just me. My destination, my thinking and my life will either show the way to God or turn people away from Him. If all that's different about me is what I believe, if I think, act and live like everyone else no one will see God in me. The knowledge, wisdom, life and destination God wants to give us, inside the boundary He has set, are meant to make us peculiar people, people that show the way to Him.
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