Inside the Fence
From Psalm 128
Bella, my nine-year-old shih-poo, ran away again yesterday morning. She has a favorite spot where she can slip out of the fence, and even though it was way early and still dark and close to freezing, she decided it was time for an adventure.
About an hour later, while I was driving the neighborhood in my PJs looking for her, I vented out loud, “Where does she think she’s going? She has everything she needs at home. When will she learn just to stay?” (The question I should be asking is, when will I learn she doesn’t stay … and I should confine her to a leash?)
I realized though, I’m just like her. I have everything I need, and yet …
I slip out of the fence for something more. I chase after something new or exciting or something that seems like a good idea at the time. Before I know it, I’m down the road, away from home, unsure how to get back. Before I know it, I’m cold and wet and scared, though I pretend not to be. This is fun. This is what life’s about. This is adventure. This is freedom!
But freedom is not wandering aimlessly. Freedom is found inside the fence.
Jesus invited us to this life of freedom in John 10: “So Jesus again said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. … If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and find pasture” (vv. 7, 9 ESV). Enter the door and experience it for yourself: “For freedom Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1).
Beth Moore, in the book To Live Is Christ, wrote this about freedom: “The freedom God gives is to … be separate from the practices of the former worldly life.” In other words, the freedom God gives is an invitation to come into a space, not leave one behind. What space is that? One where all our needs are provided, one where we share a life with our Shepherd, one where we are cared for and protected and loved (see John 10:1-18).
Freedom is found inside the fence.
And that means, for those of you already “in”—that is, those of you already saved in Christ—you have (right now!) everything you’re looking for. You have the blessed life. You have abundance and peace and hope and freedom. You are already living the life Psalm 128 talks about:
“Happy are those who respect the Lord and obey him. You will enjoy what you work for, and you will be blessed with good things” (vv. 1-2 NCV).
What good things do you see right now, inside the fence of His love? Take time to write them down today, to say them out loud, to thank God for them one by one.
Friend, if you forget what you have, you will be tempted to wander. You will be tempted to believe the lie that something better awaits you “out there”and freedom is your ability to chase it. But “do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 ESV).
Freedom is found, joy is found, all the good things are found where you already are and in what you’ve already been given. Remain in Christ.
Next Week’s Reading: Psalm 130–136.