We’ve all heard the phrase, or even the Jonny Cash song, “I walk the line.” But how close is too close?
My little girl LOVES to go outside! Even though she is currently one and a half years old, I am already teaching her the importance/danger of crossing the street right in front of our house.
Luckily we live near the end of a culdasac so there is hardly any cars that come down our street. Regardless, a street is not to be taken lightly.
So there is this line that runs perfectly across our driveway where the street and our driveway meet. Every day when we take our little girl outside, I aways tell her to freeze or stop at that line, look both ways for cars, and then go (only if mommy or daddy is with her). Again, she’s one and a half, so as you can imagine this is a constant reminder. And I mean constant.
When I got home today I took my little girl outside in our front yard like she always begs me to do. We have our traditional activities: we go for walks and find new “treasures” each week (random objects like rocks, pieces of our neighbors fall wreath that blew off months ago, pine cones, etc.), we climb a nearby dirt pile together and shout “King of the hill” before she jumps off and into my arms, we explore the open areas around our neighborhood, and we color our driveway with sidewalk chalk.
As we were coming to the end of our outdoor adventure, Harmony decided that it would be cute to run toward the street, freeze, and then run back to me and her mommy before she ever got close to the “line.”
After 4-5 rounds of that game, she decided it was time to run all the way to end the of the driveway and freeze in the middle of the street. Luckily there were no cars driving down our street as I quickly ran after her. I swept her up in my arms, took 2 steps back into our driveway and set her down behind the “line.”
“Harmony.” I told her. “Remember? You can not cross this line.”
She nodded as if she understood and proceeded to walk right across the line again. I picked her back up and sat her back down on my side of the line.
“Harmony. Baby, you can’t just cross this line without looking or without me or mommy. When you come to this line you have to freeze, look both ways for cars, and if I’m with you then you can go.”
As she heard me say “go” she stepped out into the street again as if she was in a race. I lovingly picked her back up and set her down once more.
This time, Harmony sat on her bottom and began to inch her way closer to the line.
As she scooted closer and closer, thats when today’s life lesson hit me….
Innocent as my daughter was in her thinking and actions, it still reminded me of how so many times we “test” God the same way Harmony was testing me.
God gives us clear direction in His Word on how to perceive and choose the good and bad set before us. Sometimes its as plain as the nose on our face.
“I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19
Maybe you’re like my daughter in that you have constantly crossed the line/ boundary God has placed in your life for your protection. Maybe you have a story to tell on countless times where God seemed to pick you up and move you back to that place of safety like I did with my little one.
Maybe you’re like my daughter in that even though you know you’re not suppose to cross “that line” you still inch yourself closer and closer and closer.
“How close can I get to sin without sinning?”
- How much soft porn imagery can I look at before its considered hard porn, or even considered to be a sin?
- How many drinks can I take before I get drunk?
- How many puffs can I take before I get high?
- How many times can I roll the die before I loose everything?
- How many more jobs can I do before I become a workaholic?
- How much can I flirt with a co-woker before it’s considered to be cheating on my spouse?
- How many days can I go without talking to God in prayer, or reading the Bible, before I feel convicted?
- How many times can I show up late for work before I get written up?
- How far is too far before its considered premarital sex?
If you’re asking yourself any of these questions, or anything similar to them, maybe it’s time to rethink where your “line” is.
The line I am referring to is a boundary. A boundary is better defined as: “a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line, a limit of a subject or sphere of activity.”
The reason I am showing my daughter the “line” in our driveway is to protect her from getting hurt by a passing car. The reason God is showing you the “line” in your life is to protect you from getting hurt.
You might not think you’re going to get hurt. But lets face it, my daughter doesn’t think that of herself either. But we all know that if I stopped warning her, and if she stopped listening to my voice, she could one day get hurt. The same is true for you and me. If we stop listening to the Holy Spirit’s warnings and the tugging at our hearts, we too could one day get hurt.
Jesus said in John 10:27: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
You may be all too familiar with the Lord’s voice telling you to not go any further. But you tend to ignore Him.
You may be hearing Him call you, warning you of the “lines” in your life, but are you living out the last part of that verse? Are you “following” Jesus? Following Jesus is living your life fully dedicated to Him in every way.
Or maybe you’re one who has never heard God call your name.
It’s never too late to call out to Him.
The Bible says in James 4:8 “ Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” We just have to be willing to take that first step and He promises He will come to us.
The good news is, that God is loving and gracious, quick to forgive and slow to anger. If you need to ask Him for forgiveness, help, strength, and guidance, He will extend it to you. But it’s up to you and I to live it out (that’s why this is a “life lesson”).
So I encourage you today to rethink the “lines” in your life.
Have you gotten too close to the edge?
Have you crossed over?
Where is the “safe zone.”
How is your relationship with God?
God gave us the Bible not as rules that need to be followed so we can have a ticket into heaven, but as a road map on your journey here on earth. That road map can help you live a blessed life if you just let it.