As we enter into a new year, it is important to consider what the Holy Spirit may have in store for us. Certainly, he will continue to be our source and constant guide. But what might he call us to do for him and how might we best line up with his purposes for 2013?
Two words occur to me: boundaries and barriers. There is something for us to re-build and establish and something for us to tear down and destroy.
Proverbs 22:28 warns against moving ancient boundary stones set up by our forefathers. Boundaries are significant markers of property. Your garden fence not only separates you from your neighbour’s house, but it also is a demarcation of what belongs to you and what you are responsible for. Territorial boundaries are helpful and it is usually in our interest to guard them. Boundaries are also useful in social, moral and relational matters. We usually avoid behaving in ways that break commonly-accepted standards of decency or courtesy. But what happens when society itself promotes the breaking of God’s standards? Do we as Christians merely go with the flow or do we continue to uphold the boundaries that God has
set for us in his Word?
Recent decades have seen an erosion of traditional values in society. Politicians, pundits and media outlets take delight in publically vilifying or removing altogether Judaeo Christian standards of morality and decency. As this process continues and gathers pace we must be more vigilant than ever in holding onto God’s standards in our own lives and upholding
them in our society.
Tearing Down Barriers
But we must also take care to tear down the barriers that exist between us and the world around us. A siege mentality is just as dangerous as moral laxity. We are certainly meant to maintain holy living and keep the world out of the church. But, at the same time, we are to take the church into the world. Too often our boundaries have become barriers to those outside. We hide behind the protective walls of the church and do nothing to build bridges with those who need our message. God has called us to be shining examples of the positive, joyful and wholesome life of Christ. Let our light shine this year that the world may see Christ in us and also come to know him.