As I mentioned in our recent podcast, my word for 2018 is boundaries. God gave me this focus word purposefully. You see, I think fences should bulge and expand as needed. I have always functioned under “where there’s a will, there’s a way” mentality.
I’ll share with you how God revealed “my word”.
One cold January morning during my regular quiet time, I ended in Psalm 16. With anticipation, I was eagerly looking for God’s direction for 2018. As I was reading, it was as if God took His heavenly highlighter and colored verses 5 and 6 in my Bible. As I re-read the verses, the word “boundary” kept speaking to my chaotic and bulging schedule. I had waited and waited for my word from God, but once He gave it to me, I was hesitant.
Boundaries=Discipline. I dislike both, but I was ready for a respite.
“LORD, You are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” Psalm 16:5-6 (HCSB)
God quickly brought to mind a time in my life, where He had convicted me about creating margin. John and I have three busy children. Although I am thankful they are healthy and active, balancing everyone’s schedule is difficult, and at times, daunting. During that particular season, our scheduled events were bulging and expanding our family margin. There was no longer room for dinner together, quiet time together, and/or Saturday afternoon activities together. All our “togethers” were erratically proportioned between ball courts, baseball fields, football fields, and dance classes. Not only did it affect our family’s emotional bank account, but it also affected our marriage. Our family was fueled by popcorn and hot dogs, and we were literally, Livin’ on a Prayer.
Conviction. I knew we had to stop something. It was vital that we push away from something to find rest, not only with each other, but with Him. It had affected my personal walk with the Lord.
Although it was a difficult season, God revealed so much truth about His gift of time and the many blessings John and I have been given stewardship over, including each other.
God led me to Breathe, a Bible study by Priscilla Shirer. This study encouraged me but it also changed my mentality toward my role as a wife and a mother. Even now, several years later, God is still teaching me about boundaries. I still go back to the workbook, reminding my spirit of the Truth. Continually, God’s Word breathes sense into my crazy. I heed the warnings. I make a decision to stop something. I push away from something to find rest.
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions” Galatians 5:16-17 (NLT)
Galatians 5:17 is a daily battle. If you know me, you know this verse is a banner for my life. I truly battle my flesh all day long. Why? Because I want to walk by the Spirit and my flesh doesn’t like it. It is a constant battle. Then, my spirit quickly reminds me of the verse before. So many times, I enter into my daily battle without any protection of the Spirit. I lean on my own understanding without submitting or trusting in God and His way. His ways are so much better than the muddle I try to create on my own.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
What area of your life has God’s Word defined with boundary lines? Are you staying within that boundary or bulging at the seams?
I’m still not there, hence my word for 2018, but with God’s grace, He is still growing me.
If you can relate to my crazy, I want to share some helpful strategies I have gleaned from Priscilla Shirer’s study, Breathe.
She writes in the opening pages, “God always and eternally intended the Sabbath to be a
lifestyle-an attitude, a perspective, and orientation for living that enables us to govern our lives and steer clear of bondage.” That sounds so good…to steer clear of bondage. She continues to explain the Sabbath margin mentality, “Sabbath margin is the boundary God intended for us to place around the things we enjoy so that we’ll never be a slave to anyone or anything other than Him.”
She outlines four principles to help us do just that.
1. The Sabbath principle is the key to freedom. (Galatians 5:1)
2. Just say no. (Deuteronomy 5:12-15)
3. Obey-God will take care of the rest. (Exodus 16:22-33)
4. Margins keep us from marginalizing God. (Matthew 6:33)
I hope these strategies allow you the opportunity to begin fencing in the areas God has entrusted to you. Rest in Him this week, even in the chaos. He will define your boundary lines in pleasant places providing you a beautiful inheritance.
He is our portion and He is our blessing. Girls, our inheritance is in Him-nothing else.
Time to Unfold
- Read God’s Word: Make it a priority to read God’s Word first before your day begins.
- Pray: Spend time with God asking Him to reveal the areas of your life that need His boundaries.
- Do: Be intentional. Create a boundary, based upon God’s Word, that will allow white space in your margin.
- Repeat. Keep seeking margin because there you will find rest.
Breaking the bondage of busyness,
Heather McVey, a speaker and accidental writer, has a passion for connecting the dots of God’s Word. Her mission is focused on teaching women how to unfold the scriptures within their own life, encouraging and equipping them to walk worthy of their calling. Learn more about her in Meet Heather.