As children of God we are given God-ordained boundaries. The Ten Commandments, the behavioral laws, the way to relate to others in the Body of Christ, or the way to relate to those “of the world” with whom we cross paths. If we didn’t get good training at home under clearly defined boundaries set by our parents, we’re likely to have some difficulty in getting established in the Church, and ultimately, in God’s Kingdom. Some of these difficulties show up in many ways. Let me share with you a few that I have observed.
I see young people drifting like a cloud. Frequently changing their “major” in their education; working at one form of employment only a few months, then seeking a change; remaining within the confines of an assignment from an overseer in the Body for only a short time, not allowing himself to be “set in” to a disciplined life. A productive life requires a disciplined life. For most of us in the Christian walk, holding a job, for example, where we are required to meet the conditions set by someone else, could be the best possible routine of training we could have. So, setting boundaries helps us to eliminate DRIFT.
Sometimes I meet a young person maybe once or twice a year. I often find he or she is following after a different “call of God” each time we meet. Living under a set of limitations helps us to SET GOALS for ourselves. We must face up to the fact that God does not take away from us our WILL when He gives us our “do’s and don’ts”. He is a willful God, and we were made in His image. I need to realize that, although He chose me, I can CHOOSE – or will – to follow Him. So, I must develop a strong enough will to live within HIS LIMITS. Therefore, I must see that in my life, one thing must follow another in a divinely ordered sequence. Fulfilling one set of requirements prepares me for the next “call”.
A child who has learned to crawl and “pull up” will be faced with one of two sets of circumstances. Either he will be admonished and trained not to play with the crystal on the coffee table, or his parents will move it out of his reach. God NEVER does the latter. He works us through one arena of discipline so that we will be able to stand in the next, higher place. Jesus sets principles for His disciples to follow. In this area He says, “Be faithful in the little things and I WILL MAKE A MASTER of you in more important things.” His parable of the shrewd manager in Luke 16 is a gem! He says, “If you can be trusted with a little, I can then trust you with greater things.” As usual the Lord is using a parable to teach us, in our natural things, how to be trustworthy in the more important things in the Kingdom realm.
Show me a man whose business area is sloppily kept and I will show you an unprofitable business – I’ve seen it many, many times! Show me a man who has never been held within certain boundaries as a child, and I will show you a poor leader – UNLESS, by an act of his will, he has determined to live in a another lifestyle.
From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 20, March 1982.