Monday, June 1, 2009

Email Inspirations: Finding God In An Invisible Fence

My cyberfriend, Tricia, gets these amazing daily devotions delivered right to her inbox. Then she posts them in my Scrapbooking With Faith online group. I'm snagging a few of them and posting them here as well because they are just wonderful and inspiring. I may also use "Email Inspiration" Days to post some other great devotionals that I receive as well. These aren't my words, I'm just passing on a good bit of food-for-thought. Enjoy! :) Mags

God & The Invisible Fence (by Sharon Jaynes)

I used to walk around the neighborhood and see signs that read, "Dog contained by invisible fence." Actually, I thought it was a joke, but after we got a dog, I learned about this incredible invention, and decided to have one installed.

The fence company dug a narrow four foot deep trench around the perimeter of our yard and buried a small wire. This wire was attached to a control box mounted on our garage wall. Ginger, our golden retriever, was then fitted with a collar sporting a special little box with two small prongs that rested against her skin. The dog trainer then placed white flags all around the yard, marking where the underground fence was buried. As Ginger neared the flags, she heard a quiet warning sound clicking from the box. If she kept going and crossed over the boundary marked by the flag, she got a shock and came back.

Now before you get upset about Ginger getting a little shock, I have to tell you, I let the trainer shock me first. It wasn't painful, but I did not want him to do it again. For twelve years, Ginger crossed over the invisible boundary only twice. Once when the fence wasn't working properly and once during her sixth week of motherhood to escape her seven nursing puppies.

After the first month of training, you didn't see any white flags decorating the perimeter of our yard. So, you might wonder, how does Ginger know where the boundary is? It is simple. For the first week, white flags lined the boundary of our yard. On the second week, I removed every other flag. On the third week, I again removed every other remaining flag. And I continued removing flags, until eventually, they were gone. The flags were gone, but Ginger remembered where the boundaries were. She also learned that the warning clicking sound was her friend and kept her from getting into a "shocking" situation.

Those flags are a great picture of the boundaries we set for our children. When they're young, we mark out clear boundaries, and as the child matures into adolescence, we begin pulling up those flags just a little at a time. As they graduate from high school and move into college, most of the flags are gone, and we pray with all our might that they will remember where those boundaries are.

Just like when Ginger heard the warning sound, I believe the Holy Spirit taps on our children's hearts, and warns them not to cross the boundaries set by their parents. Sometimes they will proceed to cross the boundaries anyway. That's when the shock comes in. It might be in the form of discipline and it might be in the form of living with some very unpleasant consequences.

In the Old Testament, God wrote the Law (the Ten Commandments) on tablets of stone, but in the New Testament, He wrote the Law of Love on our hearts. Isn't that our prayer? Yes, we have to spell out the boundaries for our children and point them in the right direction when they are young. But as they move into adulthood, we pray the boundaries will be written on their hearts.

Consider the boundaries listed below:

Be careful what you see. "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness"(Matthew 6:22, 23 NIV).

Be careful what you love. "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."(Mathew 6:24 NIV). "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." (Proverbs 5:23 NIV).

Be careful who you listen to. "My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body." (Proverbs 5:20-22 NIV).

Be careful what you say. "Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips." (Proverbs 5:24 NIV).

Be careful where you go. "Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil." (Proverbs 5:26, 27 NIV).

Be careful whom you choose for close friends. Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character" (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV).

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