The Importance of Boundaries in Accomplishing God’s Will


Jesus says, “Come, follow me.”  In one phrase, he has set in motion many boundaries for his followers.  If a person follows Jesus, he is not following someone or something else.  If others come along saying, “Follow me,” the answer is, no, because the direction is set, and there is a natural boundary to protect the relationship.  The greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, which again creates boundaries.  If a person loves the world, they are not loving God.  Loving the world indicates a person has crossed over boundaries and broken the relationship with God. 


Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 1 John 2:15-16 (NLT2)


Jesus shows his commitment to his Father and to accomplishing his will by exercising boundaries.  He does this when his brothers try to get him to go to Jerusalem for a festival, and he doesn’t go with them. 


“You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!”  For even his brothers didn’t believe in him. Jesus replied, “Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go anytime. The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil. You go on. I’m not going to this festival, because my time has not yet come.”

After saying these things, Jesus remained in Galilee. But after his brothers left for the festival, Jesus also went, though secretly, staying out of public view. John 7:4-10 (NLT2)


Jesus’ brothers assumed Jesus would want to be a celebrity at the festival, but that was not the point of Jesus’ life, ministry, or the festival.  They had it all perfectly wrong.  Jesus sent them on their way, which would provide a diversion for those searching for him to do him harm.  He was able to come in the back door and appear when the time was right. 


Many times, those who want to do God’s will do some of what God has directed, but not all of it because they include other influences.  They listen to the whims and wishes of others which may conflict with God’s will at that time, plus there are feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, leading a person to want the acceptance of other people.  This is not including the dark influence of the evil one who whispers doubts and other directions. 


Jesus stays the course.  He loves God the Father, listens to him, and he does not allow otherworldly influences to get him off course.  He stays the course not with harshness or meanness toward people but because he loves them and his faithfulness and determination lead to the salvation of the world.  Keeping proper boundaries is important for accomplishing God’s will. 


Do you know God’s will in some area, and you have not maintained proper boundaries in that area?  What was the result?

Have you violated God-given boundaries, which seemed harsh to you, or because you wanted to please someone?

As a follower of Christ, what boundaries are necessary for you to maintain?


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