Search me oh Lord and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts; see if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139: 23-24
For many men I work with, giving up a relationship, a habit, or a job that they know is inconsistent with God’s plan is almost as difficult as cutting off a hand. But the high goal of God’s man — knowing and serving Christ — is worth any sacrifice or perceived loss. The message is this: We must be ruthless in removing sin from our lives. To do this we have to choose, ahead of time, the direction we will take. To do so, God’s man has to proactively draw firm boundary lines that will help him maintain victory in key domains of his existence.
What keeps many men dog-paddling in their faith is their inability to establish necessary boundaries. Flailing away in the water of life will never be enough: a specific plan needs to be drawn up and pursued. This means lying out, in advance, those actions that will preserve your commitment, help you practice your faith, and allow you to produce the desired result you are seeking as God’s man. Can you imagine the chaos that would take place if a swimming race had no lane boundaries, no starting gun and no finish?
What could some of those boundaries be? Consider places you will or will not go — things you will or will not place before your eyes — friendships you will or will not keep — situations you will embrace or avoid — disciplines you will not pursue — thoughts you will or will not allow yourself to feed upon — blocking the pay-per-view option at the hotel front desk — never being alone with a woman who is not your wife — turning the channel when there’s gratuitous skin on the tube — refusing to keep self-destructive secrets from your wife. Like a swimmer, when we deal with these issues ahead of time, we create the lanes in which we can freely allow our spiritual energies to work.
Father, thank you for putting boundaries of protection around me.