“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Children thrive when they are raised in a home that implements structure; so do we. Sure, rules give guidance and instill boundaries, but they also bring freedom. It’s all about perspective. God’s Word teaches us this.
Many people tend to view God’s commandments as restrictions as if they are confined by them or will lose out if they obey. That isn’t what they are at all. The definition of “sin” is “to miss the mark.” Simply put, it isn’t His best for us. We miss out when we don’t obey. So where is the freedom?
Freedom can be found in the peace that can only be given by God. When we follow His word and His commandments, we are promised certain things. Exodus 20:12 tells us, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” By honoring our parents, we are promised a long life.
This same principle was used during the time of castles and medieval wars. Thick, stone walls were built around the kingdom creating a fortress. It wasn’t to keep the inhabitants inside. It was to protect them. Once they walked beyond the castle walls, the security that watched and waited inside, within the towers, and along the top of the wall, were unable to offer them the protection. They were on their own and could likely face consequences.
This is what God’s Word does for us. When we recognize it as a boundary, for our protection, then it tends to change things. We’re given the freedom to live within those boundaries knowing we won’t suffer the direct consequences of those sins.
Even still, there are times when we do all the right things and we still find ourselves in a bad place. These times are rare, but an opportunity to show great faith. God tell us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight,” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
We’ve heard of offering up a sacrifice of praise to the Lord in times of struggle (Hebrews 13:15), but also, I think of peace as a “sacriﬁce of trust.” And you and I make the sacriﬁce of trust when we face the painful and distressing realities of our life and then choose to trust God instead of panicking or falling apart. When circumstances in my life might tempt me to panic, feel terriﬁed, become a nervous wreck, or be ﬁlled with dread, I can choose either to give in to those feelings or to trust in God and present myself to Him to be ﬁlled with His peace. And I must make this conscious choice each and every day whenever I see storm clouds looming ahead, whenever life’s confusions, bewilderments, and perplexities threaten to overwhelm.
And each and every day I do my best to walk within the boundaries He has given me.
God, You are my reason for living, my salvation, my comfort, my provider, my love. I choose today to follow You every step of the way. When the way gets hard and I falter, encourage me and give the me faith to trust You.
Guiding a young man toward making right choices will equip him to think carefully about his decisions, assuring a more fulfilling and successful life. A Young Man's Guide to Making Right Choices: Your Life God's Way by Jim George will do just that.
When we walk in God's ways He fulfills promises. What are some of the many blessings God has bestowed upon you?
Choosing to trust God causes us to experience His peace… even in the midst of tremendous uproar.