Comprehending God's Set Boundaries
18.07.2017, Daniel Glimm
It is important for us as God's people to observe God's set and allotted boundaries, which we have in our promised land, and to expand within them.
If, however, we do not accept the set time of God and His boundary, we get into trouble with adversaries, that we could have otherwise avoided (see Numbers 14:35-45).
35 I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die.”
36 So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it – 37 these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the LORD.
38 Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.
39 When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly.
40 Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the LORD promised. Surely we have sinned!
41 But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the LORD’S command (note.: boundaries)? This will not succeed!
42 Do not go up, because the LORD is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, 43 for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the LORD, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.”
44 Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the LORD’S covenant moved from the camp.
45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.
It is of major importance to know our field of responsibility at the right time in order to exercise the authority God has given us.
The Terrestrial Boundaries of the People of Israel
The people of Israel were allocated their promised land by God, which the LORD clearly named, so that a boundary was established (see Genesis 15:18-21; Deuteronomy 11:24-25; Deuteronomy 34:1-5).
18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates – 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”
24 Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea.
25 No one will be able to stand against you. The LORD your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.
1 Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the LORD showed him the whole land – from Gilead to Dan, 2 all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Mediterranean Sea, 3 the Negev and the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far as Zoar.
4 Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”
5 And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the Lord had said.
Observing the Borders
Through Joshua every one of the 12 tribes of Israel (note: apart from the tribe of Levi; see Joshua 13:14) received a piece of land by lot. These territories were also divided by borders, so that every tribe knew which region belonged to whom (see Joshua 13:8 – Joshua 21).
It means that we, the saints, need to know, which area of responsibility has been allocated to us by God in His kingdom, for it is only there we have authority and can wield it effectively.
Choosing to deliberately cross this border set by God, is rebellion against the order of God.
The Importance of Obedience
Living in obedience to God is crucial to walk in His promise for our lives (see Deuteronomy 11:13-17; Jeremiah 18:10).
13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today – to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul – 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.
16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17Then the LORD'S anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you.
… 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.
The scripture from Jeremiah 18:10 clearly reveals that a prophetic word (note: promise), which God released over a person through a prophet or believer, can only be implemented, if there is the measure of obedience in the heart of that person.
Lack of Knowledge
Some believers do not grasp the importance of the boundaries of God among His people or they are not aware of the significance of this border, because they lack knowledge. This lack of knowledge results in wildness, which expresses itself through an independent mindset and a lack of authority (see Proverbs 29:18; Isaiah 5:12-13; Hosea 4:6a).
18 Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.
12 They have harps and lyres at their banquets, pipes and timbrels and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD, no respect for the work of his hands.
13 Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding; those of high rank will die of hunger and the common people will be parched with thirst.
...6a my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
Honour the Boundaries of Your Land and Your Forefathers
Every saint should take care of his promised land allocated to him by God, and should not move the boundaries set by God (see Deuteronomy 19:14; Deuteronomy 27:17; Proverbs 22:28, Proverbs 23:10).
14 Do not move your neighbour’s boundary stone set up by your predecessors in the inheritance you receive in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess.
17 “Cursed is anyone who moves their neighbour’s boundary stone.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors.
10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless, …
The Expansion of Boundaries
To enlarge ones territory correctly in Christ Jesus before the eyes of the LORD, it first has to be decided with God and has to be enlarged by Him (see Exodus 34:24 i.c.w. Deuteronomy 12:20).
24 I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the LORD your God.
20 When the Lord your God has enlarged your territory as he promised you, and you crave meat and say, “I would like some meat,” then you may eat as much of it as you want.
Jesus, the Apostle Paul and His Boundaries Set by God
Even Jesus and the Apostle Paul lived according to this principle and were mindful of their boundaries (see Matthew 15:22-24; 2 Corinthians 10:13).
22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
2 Corinthians 10:13:
13 We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you.
The Boundaries of Authority Through God's Appointed Leadership
To live under divine protection, we, the church of Christ, need to comprehend the order of God in His kingdom regarding leadership and authority. For in healthy submission lies protection, granted to us through the wings of God (see Psalm 91:1-2). Not every Christian is called to be a leader; this is something we need to accept and understand. If we fail to do that, we encroach a field of authority, and this leads to an imbalance in the church of Christ, causing many unnecessary difficulties and dangers.
The Boundary of Authority by Transferred Accountability
To walk in ones assigned area of accountability in the mandate of God, one needs to know what authority is and when it is effective. In God's kingdom, authority is a result of accountability. Generally speaking, we only have as much authority for an area in the church as we carry responsibility for this area; this applies to all areas of the church. If we do not carry responsibility for an area, then we do not have the authority for it.
To gain a greater measure of authority, one has to be under brethren who carry more authority than oneself! This principle is seen, for instance, in Moses' and Aaron's leadership of the people of Israel, in the succession of Elisha to Elijah, and in the discipleship of Jesus' disciples.
Rivalry and its Curse
The reason for rivalry in the kingdom of God is that some believers are not satisfied with their part of the promise given to them by God. Because of a feeling of inferiority, they want more in order to receive recognition from others in an unhealthy way.
Rivalry becomes noticeable when saints, who have been given greater responsibility by God, are attacked by those with a smaller measure of responsibility by undercutting the authority of those servants of God.
We need to remember that from the one who has been entrusted with much by God, much will be demanded (see Luke 12:48).
48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
The Way Out
To free oneself from rivalry, it is vital to ask Christ's forgiveness, where one has rejected God's appointed authority over ones life.
It is also necessary to free oneself from the “mindset” of darkness and to cut the ties that have led to independence in ones heart.
Moreover, it is important to make the decision to humble oneself under the mighty hand of God to be lifted up in due time (see 1 Peter 5:5-6 i.c.w. Ephesians 4:11-14; Proverbs 3:34).
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.
1 Peter 5:5-6:
5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.”
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
34 He mocks proud mockers but shows favour to the humble and oppressed.
Amen and Amen.
In His Wisdom,