Philippians 4:11 “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content”
We live in a very rural area. There are lots of woods and pastures on our way to the nearest town. As we were making our trek to town last night, I saw several cows grazing near the fence line. Then just a bit off from them was a very large cow who had stuck her huge head and neck through the barbed wire fence to eat as much of the green grass as she could on the other side.
I thought “yep” we always think the grass is greener somewhere else. However, sticking our “necks” through the boundary that God has set for us never leaves us unscathed. How many times have I wanted what someone else had, “man, I wish I had a car or house like her, or they sure have the perfect marriage I wish I had one like that”?
God sets boundaries in our lives in order not to restrict us and keep us from having fun but to protect us from things we cannot see nor foresee. It is when we longingly want that “greener grass” that it becomes so much of a desire that we set out to get it, not in Godly ways, but in ways that either push the loving boundaries or just flat out “stick our necks” through the barbed wire that we sin and have long lasting unpleasant consequences.
If we are His children, we will never break God’s laws without consequences. If we are not His children, then sometimes there are no bad consequences depending on whether or not the laws we break are strictly God’s laws or national and communal laws. There are too many commands to even begin to make a list of how we choose to break them every day.
You see, I find that the enemy of my soul will make the grass so green on the fringe and just beyond God’s boundaries that when I begin to desire it, I also start justifying it. At that moment, I am hooked and will start to move closer and closer until I think a few scratches won’t hurt too bad.
Next, I stick my neck through that barbed wire and before I know it I am bleeding and totally out of God’s will and plan. Just like a sheep that is so dumb that it will wander straight off a cliff while looking down eating the green grass, we will come to much harm when we step out of the boundaries that God has set for us. The poor sheep was not looking up enough to see what was coming ahead. We, as children of God, have very limited knowledge and foresight of what is coming.
If we will just stay in the path behind our Good Shepherd and not look to the right or to the left, we will be satisfied. God will provide our needs, not necessarily our wants. Our enemy knows our weaknesses better than we do and you can be sure that those are the areas he will fertilize the best. We need not compare ourselves to others in any way because God’s plan for us is a plan designed uniquely for us. Everyone has their own special purpose and plan. We should learn to be content in what we are given whether it be gifts and abilities or any other asset He allows us to obtain in order to be His steward.