We have a dog that struggles with boundaries. She loves to eat food that’s not hers and run away to trespass around the neighborhood.
When it comes to eating, she settles down underneath the table in a perfect location to inhale scraps that are inadvertently dropped from the forks (or fingers) of our boys.
When it comes to geographical boundaries, she waits for the first sign of a door opening to squeeze through and then runs off ignoring our shouts and whistles.
Zoe, our naughty poof-ball, has always made it back home. Sometimes a neighbor will have her in tow, sometimes…before we’ve even noticed she sneaked out- she just shows up scratching at the back door, and sometimes we have to go get her on foot, bike, squealing van- you get the idea.
Our boundaries for our dog are more than fair and easy to oblige.
Zoe has an easy life! She gets treats for being good and typically gets away with being naughty- sometimes even getting a treat to entice her back into our yard that she has disobediently left! (Don’t judge…we spank our kids and spoil our dog:)). She has a nice house with several favorite spots for her to hang out. She has her own bed-2 actually, a basket full of toys, gets plenty of food and water and even gets her belly rubbed on demand!
Unfortunately, there is something inside her that still is not satisfied. At the first crack in the door, she will inevitably try to sneak out. When you have five kids that, this happens quite often.
To be honest, there are many similarities between Zoe and followers of Christ.
God has established His Kingdom (the domain of His reign) and within that Kingdom, we have been promised peace, joy, and happiness. However, it doesn’t take much for us to ignore God’s boundaries and attempt to find something better. At any time that we live or act apart from faith, we have chosen to go beyond the domain of God’s reign.
This Sunday, we are studying from Romans 14:19-23. Paul is in the middle of teaching that the Kingdom of God is more important than our personal preferences. The bottom line is when we pursue anything beyond God’s reign, we are not living by faith. And unlike Zoe, those decisions leave us with some undesirable consequences.