Catapulted into the Heavens

hiker looking at mountain horizon

We, by design of our Creator, are built to function with parameters.

Think about it.  Everything created is given borders, and when those boundaries are breached, there is devastation.  The sea has its limits; outside these limits is a potential tsunami.  Countries about the world are maintained using borders, and breaching them is an invasion that can lead to war.  Our very own skin is a frame of containment.  Like everything else in this world, we function best within our God-directed boundaries.

Count your personal restrictions. Are they the very things you resist and struggle against?  Oddly enough, my most restrictive limits have released the most fragrant life. Included in my list are being an only child and my call to singleness. My level of opposition to these has been huge.  It took years of surrender and yielding to get to the place where I had simple concession. But I have not only embraced them with a wholehearted yes, they now make me rich.

I have a hero of the faith who, with his whole being, seized his God-given boundaries. Other than Christ Himself, John the Baptist exemplifies this the most to me. He was a rarity who knew his limits and somehow made friends with them.

John’s embrace of God’s constrictions didn’t confine him
but instead catapulted him into the heavenlies.

He might have felt like a prisoner in the wilderness, an incomplete man without family or home.  He was abused by the questioning religious authorities, who probably served as priests with his father, Zachariah (Luke 1:5-25).  His very own friends and disciples left him for another; “He must be greater, I must be lesser.” His clothes, his food, his daily activity – all were confined within limits that some of us would feel were abusive.  However his God narrowed his path and John shone as a result.

Jesus said of him, “I assure you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist.” He was the pinnacle of the Old Testament prophet and a pivot into a new era. And without the full embrace of his God-imposed restrictions, he would have been just another voice in the wilderness.  Instead John was The Voice of One Calling in the Wilderness, making straight the way for the Eternal Bridegroom.

If I view my life through my restrictive walls, limiting confinements and controlling borders, I will see it as a punitive demand.  But as I embrace them, they will become the focusing Force to hone, refine, define and liberate me from the superfluous actions that will amount to nothing.

Are my limits simply here to save me from wasting what I was given? Is it a directing nudge to keep me from making mounds of wood, hay and stubble? Is it the very saving of my destiny for the day of God’s accounting? God will have to be the judge. But I will defend against myself that I am not imprisoned by boundaries. I am empowered by them!

It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
you made both summer and winter.
Psalms 74:17

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    • Sam

      How true… the confinement of our daily grudge is His place of Meeting.

      • Sam

        (Even though I don’t like it) 🙂

    • Sandy

      “But I will defend against myself that I am not imprisoned by boundaries. I am empowered by them!”


    • Hannah

      “Is it a directing nudge to keep me from making mounds of wood, hay and stubble?” – So good! He’s jealous for us to receive the greatest reward. Great blog entry.

      It also reminds me of two quotes: some lyrics from one of my favorite worship leaders and something Martha said: “I’m beginning to see these boundary lines were meant for me so I could find all of the treasures hidden inside a Holy God.” and “Your life is the precise boundary of who God is.” Through our restrictions, it’s almost like God, the ultimate economist, has put together the perfect formula for us to be able to gain the maximum experience in the knowledge of Him — on this side of eternity. I just love His ways. So full of wisdom and love.

      Thanks for opening up this perspective to us 😉

    • pearl

      Yah I sure push against the boundaries when I feel its something “I” want to do and I make excuses and use religious arguments saying this is why, but it’s not. I feel still pretty rebellious with them, but realizing more and more these boundaries are for my good and best!!! If I want to save my life I will lose it….Lord help me!! There is a particular area I struggle with this still…I love this verse in Psalm 16:6 ◄ Psalm 16:6

      New International Version (©2011)
      The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

      As I know God is in control, and God is All Powerful and I am asking to be in His will. I have to know these boundary lines are of him, the ones I am dealing with today…so be it Lord, even if I don’t understand!!! 🙁

    • Fabi

      He must be greater! He must be greater!

      I´ve been discovering that deep inside I wanted “a name” a big name as any babylonian and for that reazon never reaching the point-never satisyed, always looking beyond family, beyond marriage life, training, shape and who knows what else. CONFUSION AND BITTERNESS
      But He tenderly brought to cero, to two years of confinemet in separation of husband-friends-family-money and even health, just to show me that I´ve been given every thing in HIM but I felt his victim and the obedient ungrateful son at home, wanting ring and coat but not for the right reason…

      He must be greater!

      I don´t know how I see different, I began to enjoy that I wanted to scape from. I´m beginning to love and thank the narrowness in my life and feel free withing it´s limites, like flying

      He must be greater and yes I must be lesser.

      I began to like it!

    • Leigh

      John, I love how you’re putting language to this place…this, at times, very difficult place. I’m reminded of something Martha said and of which I quote often…”God’s pleasure rests on those who serve, who minister where His walls confine them.” What I thought was constricting, hard and even cruel, has become for me joyful, liberating and safe. Oh how I thank Him for His patient leadership.

      • Pauline

        …”God’s pleasure rests on those who serve, who minister where His walls confine them.” I never heard this, Leigh – I would so much rather get out and go…do…be. Only recently (like in the last few days) has the Lord caused me to delight in who and where I am – physically and in Him…a very small beginning. These one-liners that she (Martha) is given to share are pleasant to read (or hear), but the minute you say “yes” to them, they’re killers! (a good thing) Someone (don’t know who – maybe Martha) said “sometimes a life has to be broken before it can be healed.”
        You made my day – God bless!

    • Sharon

      Amen John!

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