“Establishing Boundaries by Tearing Them Down”
· 2 Corinthians 6:14~7:1; Deuteronomy 6:10~19
“Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you …” (Deu 6:12)
One of the hardest things to balance in the life of a believer is not being part of the world while at the same time trying to change it. Some of Paul’s sharpest words come in 2 Corinthians: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.”(6:14) and “Therefore come out of them and be separate,” (6:17). The context of his letter had to be strong and direct because the Corinth church was surrounded by idolatry and immorality – a culture that threatened to consume this young body of new believers.
As Christians, we must be extremely careful to not put ourselves in situations or relationships that may cause us to compromise our loyalty to God. Deuteronomy 6:14 and other Old Testament passages note that God is a jealous God – something that requires us to exhibit personal discipline and good decision making as we interact with non-believers. Yet at the same time, we are called to “go and make disciples of all nations.” It is very hard to do this without establishing a relationship with those in need of Him the most.
I have found that the key to satisfying both these mandates is by seeking His will for your life and acting upon those destinations. Here is a simple formula to follow = your gift(s) + your interest(s) + an area of need (service) = Godly obedience. Understanding these 3 successful faith factors has allowed me to stay in communion with God more than ever I have before. I still have my peaks and valleys like other believers but they are far and few between now, with the valleys becoming shorter and shorter each time. This is not a one-time process; however … it must be constantly cycled in order to live in constant community with our Father.
One of the most rewarding things that I do every week is teach a fatherhood and relationship building class at a local non-for-profit organization. If you ever needed proof that God is indeed the miracle maker He sets out to be, look no further than the fact that a man such as me can be used to talk about relationships. All joking aside, this came about using the very blueprint outlined above. It entailed a gift (public speaking/teaching), an interest (public speaking), and an area of need (men and woman bringing an unplanned child into the world). This provides me with one of the best opportunities I have to reach those in need AND not weakening my Christian commitment, standards, or integrity.
Lord God, you call us to be amongst your people in need yet not influenced by the temptations of this world. Give us the vision and understanding that we need to lead others to a relationship with you while bringing you and I closer together. Amen.
Mathew R Daniel