I am enclosed within the will of God. It is a sweet thought, isn't it? I have chosen to live within the boundaries of God's will as these have already been built for me, to protect me. God has given Scripture and Church teaching to show me the boundaries... to fence me in, so to speak. If I remain within this enclosure, I am safe from spiritual harm.
But oh, the world outside God's will can look so appealing. Those who live out there, "free" of the constraints imposed by the "thou shalts" and the "thou shalt nots"... well, they appear to be pretty happy. They're choosing their own paths without regard to God, and sometimes making sport of those who try to live according to Church teaching. They're telling bawdy stories, drinking to excess, and engaging in behavior that the Bible and the Church clearly assure us is wrong. This is the way the world is today, we're often told... don't be a killjoy! Keep up with the times!
If I'm not tempted to join in these more obvious out-of-enclosure-frolics, I may have other temptations. To gossip, perhaps; to be unkind, speak harshly, be slothful, give in to anger, be self-focused... and on and on. The world outside God's will can at times look awfully appealing. And after all, I'm not sealed up in a cage There's no lock on my enclosure wall....
Day by day, I have a choice to make. A choice not just to enter "the enclosure of God's will" once and for all - but to remain within it. In one circumstance, and another, and in the one that catches me quite off guard. Whether or not I actually venture outside my enclosure, I do find myself sitting (all too often) on the fence. I find that the only hopes for me, in this, are prayer, reliance upon God's grace - and some actual practicing.
Over the next few days, I hope to provide a few illustrations of what I mean by this.
"Do not conform yourselves to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you may judge what is God's will, what is good, pleasing and perfect." (Romans 12:2)
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