“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Psalm 16:6
“I’m beginning to see these boundary lines were meant for me so that I could find all the treasures hidden inside a holy God.” Sara Evans, My Joy to Love
- Enjoy a moment of quiet contemplation. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and listen to Sara Evans’ song “My Joy to Love.” Allow the Spirit to restore your strength through this time of resting with your good Father. When you’re ready, let’s get into today’s devotion.
- Read Deuteronomy 5:32-33, and John 14:15-31
Some may call me crazy, but even as a mom to toddlers, I want a puppy. I spend all my free time looking at designer dogs online. What has felt like hundreds of hours of research has led me to a few conclusions:
- If you want a designer dog, you might need to start a side business to pay for it, especially if the dog’s name begins with “teacup” or ends in “poo” or “oodle.”
- If you want to have your dog graduate from an obedience program before you bring it home, your kids can forget about your contribution to their college tuition.
- While I may never bring home the obedience-trained designer puppy of my dreams, I have received revelation about the cost and value of obedience training.
I had a powerful will and rebellious tendencies as a young person. I saw rules as a form of control and rejected the very thought of being controlled. As it happens, I have a completely different perspective now that I am a mother myself. I see the rules I put in place for my family as a boundary fence around my most treasured loved ones for their protection and preservation. For example, after seeing police outside our house, my husband asked us to stay in the car while he checked it out. My daughter disregarded his boundary line, bolting out of the car after him. My heart sank. All was well, but while watching a special ops squad fall into position at a hand signal on TV later that evening, I yearned for my children to be obedient. Firstly, so I could keep them safe. And secondly, because that would look so cool. I’ve got to think that’s how God feels about me.
Author Danny Silk writes, “Submission is not synonymous with demanding dominance over another person.” Understanding this requires a perspective shift if we have an opinion of God as a controlling Father. The good news of the gospel is His grace! The juxtaposition of our two readings today shows us that we no longer have to earn our salvation.
The most radical example of obedience in the Bible is Jesus’ willingness to endure death on the cross on our behalf. Leading up to the crucifixion, Christ said “I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me” (John 14:30). Jesus models for us that our obedience to the Father is a choice, but in choosing to obey Him, we are professing our love and God’s Lordship over our lives. We don’t have to worry about doing it wrong or not doing enough because Jesus paid it all for us on the cross. And in return, it is our joy to love and obey.
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
1. Search your heart
- What areas are you trying to take things under your control?
- Are you walking outside the boundary lines God has set to protect you?
- What is the “fruit” of that area of your life?
2. Isaiah 9:7a (NASB) declares: “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace…” Ask God for help answering the following question:
- If the kingdom of heaven is full of peace, how can I govern peace in my home?
- Are there areas of my parenting that are motivated by fear?
3. Read Matthew 20:25-28. Ask God for help in answering the following question:
- How can I adjust my parenting style to reflect the type of authority modeled by Jesus?
Read this quote by C.S. Lewis and write your heart’s response in your journal:
[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus, if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.
Read your response to your kids. They will learn to obey you, as you model to them your obedience to your Father!