“For the love of Christ controls us…” (II Corinthians 5:14).
For the past week my wife, Sandy and I have been visiting our daughter and son-in-law on their ranch in Southern Utah. Since both Sandy and I were both raised on farms, our visits here fulfill us in two ways, fellowship with family, and a return to life on land. For three days this past week I worked repairing two miles of fence that surrounds 160 acres of land that will soon be filled with cattle needing additional summer pasture.
Though this fence is a very real fence that creates a visible and physical barrier, its purposes are the same as the laws of God which are not erected before us as physical and impassable barriers.
Everything that the cows need is inside of that fence. There is grass to feed on, fresh water to drink, and safety from the dangers that lie outside of the fence. But, as the saying goes, “The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence” cattle are often pushing against the boundaries in attempts to reach the temptations that lie beyond the fence. That’s where they act a lot like you and me.
God, in His love for us has given us His Law, His Commandments. Every one of them is rooted in His love for us and His desire to protect us from dangers both seen and unseen. These are like the fences that I have been repairing, except for one great difference, God’s laws are simply lines drawn in the sand not physical barriers to hold us in submission.
The Apostle Paul tells us that it is the love of Christ that controls us, the love of Christ from which our obedience and actions spring. When we understand that God’s laws are loving and logical limits, given because He truly does love us then we will find, as the Apostle John said, “…His commandments are not a burden” (I John 5:3).
Within the perimeters of God’s Law and Commandments is everything we, His children, need to thrive and move and soar in unrestrained freedom. It is there that we will prosper and grow into all that He has envisioned us to be in Christ.