Wednesday, April 25, 2012

God Is Not A Cosmic Killjoy

When my daughter was about two years old, I left her in the care of a friend while I was at work. Let's just say that leaving a two year old, on a tricycle, on a porch, get the picture. But for the grace of God, Kelly's beautiful face wasn't scarred for life. Just imagine hearing these words over the phone at your workplace. "Your daughter looks like a war child." Enough said.

A few years later, my son was about the same age, cruising along in one of those walker things, and someone didn't have the baby gate in front of the basement stairs. You guessed it. Baby and walker went atumblin'.

There is a good reason that THIS is in place whenever a grandchild who hasn't learned to navigate the stairs is visiting our humble abode.

Fences, gates and boundary lines are there for a reason. Anyone reading this is clearly past the age of two, but nevertheless, still needs to be compassed about by some borderlines. Even adults will have the propensity to jump on a set of wheels and mistakenly think they're going to get the ride of their life.

I don't think that I'm oversimplifying when I say that God, being the perfect parent, does His perfect job, perfectly, when He sets up boundaries.

The world in which we live is an anything goes, if it feels good do it world. I sometimes think about people who don't know Christ, and observe that they wake up each day without a thought of God and just do...well, whatever it is they do. Things seem to go well for them. They sometimes even prosper far more than I do. They appear carefree and they look like they're having a whole lot of fun. Right?

Just in case you think I'm a bad Christian for thinking this way, my friend King David had similar feelings. Remember that God called him a "man after His own heart". David observed those that he called, "the wicked". He envied them. He saw their prosperity, their good health, and freedom to do as they pleased. Listen to his own words:

"Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me. (Psalm 73: 13, 16)

God demanded a pure heart, clean hands and a blameless walk from David. He demands the same from you and I. He doesn't want us to have any fun. He doesn't want us to have joy. He wants us to live with a serious scowl on our face, and wait for our enjoyment to come when we get to Heaven. Unbelievers think this is true. Sadly, many believers adhere to this belief as well. Au contraire.

God is not a cosmic killjoy. 

He wants you to enjoy your life. He wants you to have joy. In John 10:10, He said that He came so that you would have life, and have it to the full. He came so that you would have abundant, overflowing life, within the boundaries that He sets forth in His Word. Those borderlines are in place for a reason. God knows that without them we will tumble head first and find ourselves in all manner of destruction and pain. He needs to put up the gates. He needs to erect some fences. He needs to measure out some boundary lines. We need never resent them, or Him. We need to gladly welcome them, and live within them.

God breathed these words on the page in Proverbs 1:33:

"Whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease without fear of harm."

Safety. Ease. No fear of harm. I like that.

In Jesus' own words: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7: 13-14)

Life or destruction. That's a no-brainer.

Change the way you view God's fences, gates and borders. Don't look at them as things that are trying to suffocate you, steal your joy, or make you live like a religious sour-puss.

David came to this conclusion, in Psalm 16: 6. He said, "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places."

You are not hemmed in. You are surrounded. By this:

God crowns your head with love and compassion. (Psalm 103: 4)
Goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life. (Psalm 23: 6)
God surrounds you with songs. (Psalm 32: 7)
You are surrounded by unfailing love. (Psalm 32: 10)
He surrounds you with His favor. (Psalm 5: 12)
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, 
so the Lord surrounds you both now and forevermore. (Psalm 125: 2)

Pleasant places indeed!



  1. i think if you truly look at it...there is far much freedom within the boundaries as there is with out...

  2. You always remind me how much I am loved. Thank you!
    God is good, and He is love. Amen!

  3. Would you believe that when I was twenty months old, I was riding some kind of toddler bike on the porch and, when my dad opened the gate to the stairs, I rode straight down them into the barbecue grill at the bottom? True story.

    Anyway. Stopping over from emily's. Glorify God and enjoy Him forever. That's what we're supposed to do, right?

  4. He gives us boundaries for our own good--just like any good parent. Wonderful illustrations, Donna.

  5. Ooh I needed to hear that. I tend to think he is all powerful and thus should stop all bad from happening, wrongly misunderstanding that I don't know his purposes... like... hardly ever!

  6. I love the visual reminder that we are not hemmed in but surrounded. What a comfort to think about.

  7. Thank you for this beautiful picture (in words and graphics) of God's surrounding us with His boundaries of love.

  8. this is a truth that much of the world doesn't understand at all. They think God gave us rules to make us miserable. It is just the opposite. I like the way you illustrated it at the beginning of the post. God gives us rules for our safety. I hope more people will begin to realize this. Thank you for sharing.