Close your eyes. Seriously, close them after the next two sentences: Imagine the Garden of Eden. What do you see?
No fences, right? In your imagination as you thought about the Garden, did you see fences? God’s plan from the beginning is that the Garden of Eden would expand throughout the earth. This is still His plan!! He has chosen you (in and through Christ) to make this happen.
I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:5–6 (ESV)
God’s desire is to use you as a light, to grow his Kingdom to the end of the earth.
Why doesn’t this always happen? There are many reasons, but there is one fence in particular we build that prevents God from using us to grow His Kingdom here on earth.
Many Christians feel the need to insulate themselves from the world, so we build fences to keep the world out. It is important to have boundaries in place that prevent us from conforming to the world, but never at the expense of being "in the world”.
If we are not in the world, loving people, walking with them in depression and difficult times, offering them hope, then who will? Jesus went out into the wilderness for a season, but then He came back to engage the broken and lost people of the world, doing His Father’s will and building His Father’s Kingdom.
These fences appear to be spiritually motivated, but they're erected out of fear and worry of what may happen if the secular world runs into our Christian world. But Jesus lived a life that was constantly intersecting with broken and lost people. He says, “I have come to seek and save the lost.” He also says, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” One of my favorite lines in all the New Testament is what Jesus tells His disciples in the Great Commission, just before He leaves them: “I will be with you always.”
With these promises from Jesus, and many more, we should be less afraid and more on the offensive. More concerned for the needs of others than protecting and providing for our own needs. Living lives of faith where “God has to show up or we are in big trouble.”
What “fences” have been placed in your life that stop people from experiencing God’s Kingdom? That stop you from expanding God’s Kingdom? Not only do these fences prevent you from expanding the Kingdom of God in this world, but they also prevent YOU from experiencing the Kingdom of God growing in you!
“You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. — Isaiah 41:9b-10 (ESV)
Fear NOT! Tear down your fences of fear and worry. Ask God to use you to build his Kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven!!