Does God Have Boundaries?
What kind of boundaries does God have? How can we be more like Him? The concept of boundaries comes from the very nature of God. Starting in the book of Genesis, God set a boundary for Adam and Eve. He told them not to eat of a certain fruit from a tree in the garden…and we all know what the outcome was when Adam and Eve did not respect the boundary God set for them.
God defines himself as a distinct and separate being and he is responsible for himself. He defines and takes responsibility for his personality by telling us what he thinks, feels, plans, allows, will not allow, what he likes and dislikes. He also differentiates himself from others. He tells us who he is…and who he isn’t. For example, in I John 4:16 and 1:6 he tells us he is light and that he is not darkness.
God also limits what he will allow in his yard. He confronts sin and he also allows consequences for behavior. He guards his house and doesn’t allow evil things to go in there. He invites people who love him to come in and he lets his love out to them at the same time.
In the same way, since we are made in his likeness, he wants us to rule and subdue the earth and be responsible over the life he has given us. To do that, we must set boundaries like he does. (taken from Boundaries by Cloud/Townsend)
While I was reading through scripture this week, I thought about some of the things God says “no” to. For example, in Job 38, we hear God talking about the sea…how he fixed limits for it. In verse 11, he says “This far you may come and no farther…here is where your proud waves halt” I started thinking about what would have happened if God created the earth and was sloppy with his boundary setting…somehow, it wouldnt be a pretty picture!
But God was not sloppy. And neither was he inconsistent. He didnt have the sunrise at morning sometimes and change it over to having it rise at night other times. So not only does God set boundaries but he never changes them. He never changes.
A Christian psychologist once told me that if you put mice in a cage and only feed them very very little but consistently, that they do ok even though they are very hungry. But if you put mice in a cage and feed them one day and not the next, and then wait two days and keep changing what you do, that eventually they die because they lose their minds, so to speak.
Safe people, like God, let us know what they think, allow, disallow, feel, plan to do, and refuse to do. They know who they are, and they dont change their core boundaries because of who someone else is. The other scripture I noticed..(bear with me…this isnt as long as a 5 minute video clip:) is in John chapter 21. While Jesus was on the shore he called out and told the disciples where to throw the net to catch the fish. He could have first walked out there on the waves and secondly point at the net and tell it to move in the name of Jesus. But he didn’t do either. And he didnt do for them, what they were skilled at and could do for themselves. After all, it was God who gave them the ability to be fishermen (and fishers of men).
Jesus gave direction but he didn’t take over the task. No! As a matter of fact, he was on the beach with a nice fire started and some fish roasting that he made for himself. Now I know if I was tired of fishing all night and not getting anywhere and Jesus with ressurrection power was sitting on the beach, I would start to get a little annoyed..”Hey…are you gonna help me or what? Wow! Am I supposed to do everything myself when you are alot more powerful than I am? What’s up with this Jesus? I need…I need… I need” Then noticing Jesus again with Peter in verse 21..he said “Peter if I want John to stay alive until I return …what is that to you? You..Peter…you follow me.”
When have you delayed doing what God called you to accomplish, because you were waiting on someone else to help? When did you expect someone else to take on part of your responsibility and then when they didn’t, use it as an excuse for not carrying out your responsibility or your calling?
When have you set inconsistent boundaries with your children, with your spouse or a friend or those under your supervision? How did that go…what resulted? I pray we grow together to set our boundaries in relationships and to in this way, be more like Christ!