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Eternity 76 - Walls and Boundaries
Today's verse is Micah 7:11 - which is translated in various ways:
(LITV) A day of building your walls, that day the limit shall be far removed.
(BBE) A day for building your walls! in that day will your limits be stretched far and wide.
(Darby) In the day when thy walls shall be built, on that day shall the established limit recede.
(CEV) Towns of Judah, the day is coming when your walls will be rebuilt, and your boundaries enlarged.
(GNB) People of Jerusalem, the time to rebuild the city walls is coming. At that time your territory will be enlarged.
Walls, limits, boundaries..why is God so interested in them? Walls limit other people's influence over us, within "the walls" is our place of safety and control, . Boundaries are the limit of our influence over others - our territory. When God says that Jerusalem's wall shall be rebuilt - its more than a plan for future construction. Its a promise of safety, security and control over one's territory. It means Jerusalem will have control over who comes in, and who goes out, and be free from invasion. The boundaries of the kingdom are the limits of the authority of the King, the territory where his will is done. When Jerusalem is promised that the territory will be enlarged - it means extra influence, extra power, real dominion, instead of being huddled within the walls they shall have "an empire" a Kingdom, an area they completely rule over.
Our lives have walls and boundaries as well - sometimes as literal as the walls of our house, but they also be symbolic. We have a place we feel secure, a place where we can say "this comes into our life" or not. However some never feel secure, some people's lives are always being "Invaded' by misfortune, there is no hedge around them, no wall, no area of blessing and security. Others have very strong walls, their lives are largely untouched, and they dwell secure. This is a blessing from God. But a person may have strong walls but little influence outside them. We also have boundaries - the area over which we exert power and influence. Limits on our ability to prosper and succeed, to affect society, to wield power or to make things happen locally, nationally or even internationally. Boundaries are the invisible line God has drawn over our influence. Boundaries are the mysterious limit on our ability to project ourselves, and God's will, out into the world.
God sets the boundaries for nations and for us. (Act 17:26 And He made every nation of men of one blood, to live on all the face of the earth, ordaining fore-appointed seasons and boundaries of their dwelling,) And the ability to exalt people and determine their power and influence is from God. (1 Chronicles 29:12 LITV (12) and the riches, and the honor come from before You, and You rule over all; and in Your hand is power and might; and it is in Your hand to make great, and to give strength to all.) Nebuchadnezzar was told this by "heavenly watchers" and eventually humbled to learn the truth of it. (Daniel 4:17 LITV This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the command by the word of the holy ones, so that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He will. And He sets up over it the lowest of men.) Now if God sets the boundaries on our life are we stuck with them? Well that is up to God! But Jabez prayed that his boundaries might be enlarged (1 Chronicles 4:9,10) and the Scripture records that God answered Jabez's prayer.
How then can we build our walls and enlarge our boundaries in God's service? Not by might, not by power and not by religious works or keeping of laws. If you look around for a while you will be utterly perplexed by who has the largest and most effective ministries. Seldom do the very "holy" folk, with all their rules and spiritual intensity, have large ministries. Neither do the bulk of brilliant bible scholars. Powerful executives resign from work and decide to take on pastoring a church and leave a year later astonished at how hard it was. Meanwhile a plumber just starts a home group that turns into a large church without ever going anywhere near seminary -or a fisherman becomes an apostle. Nothing seems to "work" - neither energy or talent or education or being good. The truth is the boundaries are under God's control and He can give the Kingdom to "the lowest of men". Its grace and more grace. Its throwing yourself completely on God for the establishment and the extent of your ministry. Get on your knees before God and beg Him to establish your walls and extend your boundaries and tell Him that He will get all the glory. Be like Jabez who actually had the nerve to ask. God seems to like those who impudently call upon Him!
Grace upon grace!