“Command the people of Israel, and say to them, When you enter the land of Canaan (this is the land that shall fall to you for an inheritance, the land of Canaan as defined by its borders), your south side shall be from the wilderness of Zin alongside Edom, and your southern border shall run from the end of the Salt Sea on the east. And your border shall turn south of the ascent of Akrabbim, and cross to Zin, and its limit shall be south of Kadesh-barnea. Then it shall go on to Hazar-addar, and pass along to Azmon. And the border shall turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, and its limit shall be at the sea.
“For the western border, you shall have the Great Sea and its coast… This shall be your northern border: from the Great Sea you shall draw a line to Mount Hor. From Mount Hor you shall draw a line to Lebo-hamath, and the limit of the border shall be at Zedad. Then the border shall extend to Ziphron, and its limit shall be at Hazar-enan… You shall draw a line for your eastern border from Hazar-enan to Shepham. And the border shall go down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain. And the border shall go down and reach to the shoulder of the Sea of Chinnereth on the east. And the border shall go down to the Jordan, and its limit shall be at the Salt Sea. This shall be your land as defined by its borders all around.” Numbers 34:2-12
Our God, in His vast flurry of beauty and creativity, is also orderly, detailed, and exact. He appoints explicit boundaries for His people in the land He’s prepared for them. His lines always fall in pleasant places. (Psalm 16:6)
When we consider our lives before God, we know He crafts our possibilities, and equips us personally to investigate and flourish in them. But He also defines our boundaries, beyond which we must not go if we are to take full advantage of His design and flourish in His will. Each day, we can enter every inch of life our Lord offers with gusto, while submitting to His omniscient instruction. (Genesis 3; Psalm 32:8)
It is said that children placed in an open field without fences tend to huddle in the interior, timid in play. But with a fence surrounding that same space, they freely run about, enjoying every bit of ground afforded because the boundaries secure their domain.
As seasons pass and challenges pester, do we turn inward, limiting our reach of exploration because life’s too uncertain to trust God’s outer limits? What makes us reluctant to venture into unfamiliar spaces to minister to others, unwilling to test His wider borders? Are we consciously, or unconsciously, shrinking our influence and diminishing our effectiveness for His kingdom due to fear of the unknown, unseen, untested, uncomfortable? He has prescribed our boundaries, hemming us in securely in His love and care while opening to us vast stretches of opportunity to trust, obey, and bear fruit. (Joshua 1:9; Psalm 139:5)
Lord, keep me trusting You as I dwell in Your land, befriending faithfulness, fulfilling Your high and honorable purposes, doing good to every edge You ordain. (Psalm 37:3)