Visualize the following scenario: a parent lays a blanket on the floor and places his child on it. The parent wants the child to stay on the blanket because it’s the only safe place for her in the room. He gives the child some good toys to play with on the blanket. Each time the child strays from the blanket, the parent reprimands her in some way and returns her to the blanket.
There are a few things happening here. There is a loving parent and a typical child that tends to stray. There are boundaries that divide good things from bad. The child probably doesn’t understand why she can play with some things and not with others, and this may cause her to wander across the boundaries from time to time. The parent may or may not explain why something is off-limits–perhaps the explanation is too complicated for the child and she wouldn’t understand.
I am comforted knowing that my God is like the parent in this situation. My God lays out boundaries (do not covet, do not be a glutton, do not steal or murder, love your neighbor as yourself, etc) that give me a (mostly) clear line between what is acceptable and what is not. I do not always understand why something is off-limits, but I love my God and so I trust His judgment. God restricts me by placing some activities out-of-bounds, but blesses me with activities that are good (marriage, fellowship, joy, etc). When I wander beyond His boundaries, God, through the Spirit, rebukes me and sets me right again. I may stray 20 times in a day, but my God does not grow weary–He will always seek me and return me to His fold.
The most difficult part for me is trusting God’s judgment and having faith that God will bring me back to Him. Sometimes I focus too much on what I can do to return to God. Maybe if I read the Bible more or pray more fervently, I will be in fellowship with God. I always fail, though. I am never successful because the truth is, I cannot do anything in my power to be closer to God. I simply have to stop resisting His pull.
I read the Bible because God’s character is revealed in His word. I pray because God speaks through the Spirit if I am still and quiet enough to hear. I want to know God’s character. I want to hear God speak into my life. I desire fellowship with God and He answers this desire through His word and Spirit. What a blessing my God is!