“Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful.” – Proverbs 16:20 NLT
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” – Joshua 1:8 NLT
You may have heard by now, but last week a woman went behind an enclosure to take a selfie with a jaguar at an Arizona zoo – despite the warning signs prohibiting moving beyond the barrier. Although caged, the Jaguar was able to reach through the bars, embedded its claws into the woman’s arm, and severely injured her.
When I heard the story, I was immediately struck by our tendencies, as humans, to break the rules or outright ignore warning signs. The need to live outside the boundaries is not anything new. From Adam and Eve’s first bite of the forbidden fruit, we have tempted fate and ignored the boundaries and rules that God placed before us. However, here is the thing, protections and boundaries are not to prohibit us from fully living life or restrict us. Instead, they are in place for our good.
Our rebellious nature will often have us believe otherwise; that life is better outside the boundaries instead of living within the parameters set forth. However, what if true freedom IS within the boundaries set forth? What if God, all-knowing and creator of all, knows the traps that lie outside the boundaries, the hurt that can come from ignoring the rules, or the disappointments that await when things do not turn out as we expected. God knows and desires for us to live a life of abundance and freedom, but those boundaries and instructions are in His word. They aren’t intended to stifle us, but to liberate us.
Use the living Word of God as a guide and instruction for living, not as a rule book given to restrict. As we see in Joshua 1:8 and even in the beginning in Genesis, His Word shows the way to live life freely, and have it abundantly.
Walk with Him,