When I furnished my bedroom with only a bed, night stands and chests, I found that I put all of my clothes where they belong and my room stays clean. As soon as I bring in a chair to sit on, clothes start accumulating on it that would normally be put away. I find myself getting lazy, not making the very small effort to keep my house in order. When the clothes pile up to the point that I can’t even sit in the chair, I finally have to make a much larger effort to put away my clothes. Sometimes it’s easier just to do without the chair. Ever notice that the same thing happens with sin in your life?
There are two dogs in my back yard, lazy and sunning trying hard to get their share, and maybe more, of the overflowing from the table. Satisfied with the task they’re at, of eating and sleeping and getting fat. But whenever a rabbit ventures into the yard, they remember they are dogs and run after the rabbit.
Run after it until it darts through the fence and away from them. It is a pitiful sight watching those two dogs with their heads through the fence but not able to get their bodies through. The fence is a boundary that confines the dogs and makes the difference between tame dogs and wild dogs.
One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
God put boundaries on Satan and on Job. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (1 Cor 10:12-13).
God’s boundaries on our lives is not to control us but for our benefit. The treasurer of a rural church resigned and was replaced by a man who managed the local grain elevator. The grain operator agreed to the new position on one condition that the church not require a financial statement or ask him any questions about the finances for one year. The church members were confused by the request but obliged him because he was a successful and trustworthy man. At the end of the year, this secretive treasurer gave a great financial report. The $25,000 debt had been paid off, there were no outstanding bills, and there was a cash balance of $12,000. The congregation was elated and wanted to know how he managed to accomplish such a great feat. He replied, “Most of you bring your grain to my elevator. When I paid you, I simply withheld ten percent on your behalf and gave it to the church in your name. You never missed it and now you have seen what God can do when we each give back to God the tithe He has commanded of us all.” Tithing provides a beautiful transformation in the life of a Christian who is obedient to God’s command, and collectively, tithing transforms the entire scope and magnitude of ministry in ones church.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Decide upon a goal and launch it! Put first things first and we get second things thrown in; put second things first and we lose both first and second things. “I visualized where I wanted to be, what kind of player I wanted to become. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I focused on getting there,” said Michael Jordan.
Prov 23:7 says “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he….” One step at a time while always remaining flexible! You can achieve almost any goal you set for yourself if you simply take it one step at a time. Even the universe took six days – one day at a time. No one accomplishes their dream alone! Nobody makes it on their own. We all need help from others to get over the rough spots on the journey of life. We are a product of someone else’s generosity. Welcome obstacles and difficulties as valuable lessons toward your goal! Whenever you try to do something out of the ordinary, people will line up to tell you that you can’t do it. To achieve anything great or worthwhile, you must train yourself to rise above these people, ignoring them and pressing on toward your goal regardless. A typical piano has over 240 strings that, when tuned and tightened, create a pull of 40,000 pounds on the frame. Without the tension, there would be no beautiful music. Yet, too much exerted pressure can cause the piano to crack and will destroy it’s sound. Balance in work, exercise, diet, recreation, worship, and relationships keeps us in harmony. Keep it Christian! Ps 145:19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.