Goodness, having lived out of a suitcase for this last chapter of what seemed a never ending elasticated nomadic stage of my life, I so enjoy being able to hang my clothes in a wardrobe. Yes, I had had all my stuff boxed up and stored at my friends houses! (Yes I thank God for their patience!). Now given the sea breeze ushering in the salty moistness that seeps on everything and attracts dust, I try to ensure that only minimal stuff is kept outside, exposed. Boxes are good for storage but how practical are they to keep daily use stuff in them?
Storage versus practicality – the battle begins! Yes the boxes ‘protect’ but what is the purpose of ‘protecting’ if we can’t have access to the things unless of course it is held in storage! The saying pops to mind, “A ship in harbour is safe but that is not what it was built for”.
Likewise we often build rigid boundaries around us forming a pretty confined box. Healthy boundaries are good and important without a doubt. However a lot of boundaries are put in place to protect us from any hurt and also to keep all the negative emotions suppressed within. It enables us to keep everyone at an arm’s length distance and often we then actually fall into the trap of isolation. This won’t be evident to those looking from the outside (other than those who have discernment) as the artificial smile is pasted on the face to distract.
Inside however is a lonely person or a person dominated by fears.. so many demons control those who have these rigid boundaries. What they don’t realise that these invisible boundaries are just that – INVISIBLE. They aren’t really there and they can be and should be overstepped.
We all have boundaries – healthy ones to protect from harm and abuse but yet that allows the risk of hurt from relationships as love comes with hurt. At the end of the day we are all broken human beings not one being exempt. Healthy boundaries protect us from being the doormats and also from feeding into the sins of others.
Unhealthy boundaries drive us to be a one man island which isn’t of God. Fake artificial friendships are also not of God either. The ‘church’ isn’t the time of gathering Sunday to Sunday and saying the sweet hi and byes with kisses blown into the air. In Gods eyes’ it is the BODY of CHRIST where all are JOINED together with Christ as the HEAD where all parts help one another personally and in regards to seeking God’s Kingdom and righteousness… All parts need each other.. No part can say “I don’t need you”. The parts that say the latter can be questioned if they belong to the head – Christ. If the parts are all about selfish gain and manipulation for their welfare and benefits then the same question can be raised. The Scriptures describes to us the MODEL of the early church. Compare today’s churches with that model – how many of our churches or Christian fellowships imitate that? So many churches are driven by clowns to entertain with buzz loads of activity at the cost of sincere fellowship.. Hanging out with one another isn’t fellowship but knowing one another and sharing our gifts talents and resources is what fellowship is about.. not on one day but each and every day – like the early church.
The Christian walk is about stillness, to hear God’s voice and to be led by the Holy Spirit… not to be buzzing about. Insecurity drives people to keep doing and doing.. and that’s what the modern trends are all about.
Our boxes that we erect are often based on the ways of the world.. those of the world trends, our heritages, cultural values, ‘church’ values (not Biblical but rather the ‘culture’ of the particular church we attend), our family values, values that are derived by our education, by our exposure… the list goes on. It has to be done this way – this is the ‘right’ way is their motto and guidelines. Those who don’t fit into their narrow minded values are consider to be living wrong..
These ‘values’ are then IMPOSED onto the Bible as we study it, and we understand God’s Word through the lenses that are made up of these values. Through that we miss out on so much that God can do through us or in us because we place these limitations on God… and expect God perhaps unconsciously to intervene within the boundaries.
We also laugh at those who have dared to throw away this invisible box understanding that God is present everywhere and is the same God who intervened and loved those in the Old and New Testaments who is here today too and will be forevermore. Those of us who limit ourselves with our box will limit others with our boxes and invariably God as well!
We forget that the Bible clearly tells us DO NOT CONFORM to the ways of the world.. and through that our MINDS WILL BE RENEWED.. then we can tell what God’s pleasing and perfect wills for our lives is.
This is the way our family does it, that’s the way our culture operates… that’s the ‘world’. God’s children seek HIM first and allow Him to be the head. Jesus defines family – His mother, brothers and sisters – as those who hear God’s Word and put it into practise, not those who hear God’s Word and put cultural values and world trends into practise.
The Believer desires, longs to and strives to NOT CONFORM allowing God to RENEW their minds.. It’s pretty much UNLEARNING what we have learnt and being Kingdom minded. It’s about not being confined to the old ways, to the comfort zones that our boxes provide but rather GOING to the people and SHARING lives that break us and mould us in the process. What we once thought was the right way turns out to be perhaps “A” right way or even a ‘wrong’ way.
Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and not place boxes of your do’s and dont’s as the Holy Spirit is like the wind in which direction it will blow or come from we do not know.