“The lines mark out a delightful place for me.” These are the words of David’s song in Psalm 16: 6. It’s a beautifully worded timeless truth: boundaries are a normal and beneficial aspect of our human condition. And conversely, where we don’t have boundaries the enemy will flood in and devour that delight, leaving us empty and exhausted.
Did you know that the Greek word paradeisos, that we translate as “paradise,” quite literally means “walled garden?” Why would it be important that the garden be walled? That paradise insinuates boundaries?
Take a moment to think of all the boundaries in your life. Skin, clothes, house, fence. Time, commitments, relationships. To whom and when you’ll say yes or no. Time you won’t call or send a text to someone. What you will and won’t eat. Can you easily recognize where you have weak boundaries? Does it happen to be where your delight is leaking?
Think about the boundaries in the world. Where the land meets the sea. County and state lines, national borders, time zones. Language barriers, cultural divides. State and federal laws determining what is and isn’t allowed. Where there are not clear and agreed upon boundaries just so happen to be the places of dispute, violence, and contention.
For the next 6-8 weeks, we will be exploring the topic of boundaries based on stories we find in the Bible. Adam and Eve, Lot, Jacob, Moses, Solomon, Nehemiah, the Pharisees, and Jesus will be the characters we will study as we reflect on the need God gave us for proper boundaries. We'll end up talking about what happens when they're lacking, what happens when they're to the extreme, and what it looks and feels like when they're in line with His intent and instruction.
God makes us a promise that we don’t have to wait until we die to have peace, rest, joy, love, and live in His presence, and there’s a boundary that separates that kingdom from the kingdom of the world. Please join us as we aim to live in that kingdom, keep it pure, and invite as many other lost souls in to join us.
See you at the watering hole!
Sean King is the Pastor for First Christian Church of Cisco.