Christmas without limits?

Christmas is often expressed as a time to live without limits. John the Baptist challenges our generation with its rejection of boundaries. We don’t think to ask “Who has God made me to be?” but rather, “What could I make of myself?” John the Baptist knew who he wasn’t.

He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, ‘I am not the Messiah.’ John 1:19-20

God had shown John who he was, and he was content with that –

 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Make straight the way for the Lord.”’ John1:23

In our society it never occurs to us that there could be a limit. We want the biggest, the best, the most, … Christians have christened this value to become: Having the biggest church, Having a strategy that will take the world for Jesus Christ, … Another name for this value is greed and with spiritual clothes it becomes spiritual greed.

The godly value that opposes greed is contentment. Paul writes

“Godliness with contentment is great gain” 1 Timothy6:6

John the Baptist did not go to the crowds in Jerusalem, but risked all on the passage the Lord had given him. He went to the wilderness. John was content to depend on God to fulfil the ministry He intended.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

Am I willing to receive the delightful inheritance God has given me with its boundaries?

Limited Vision

“Surely I have a delightful inheritance.” (Psalm  16:6), yet I am encouraged to hanker after more under the guise of having a big vision from a big God. At times I wonder if I am if I am being distracted by spiritual greed.

This verse begins, “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.” Boundary lines are a significant factor in the Bible. Israel had geographical boundaries and Paul had boundaries to the scope of his ministry. The very nature of boundary lines runs contrary to the vision casting that is prevalent today. Many visions cannot be satisfied till they encapsulate the whole earth. Such a vision drives me beyond the boundaries God has set. I cannot focus on what God has given, let alone enjoy it, while hankering after the world.

What inheritance has God given? For each it will be different, but in my case I see Him fulfilling the prayer of my 20s: “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)

This does not stunt God’s vision for the world. When C.T. Studd was given the vision to start a world mission people expected him to run around the world initiating projects. However, he remained with the people of the Congo where he had been sent while watching God spread WEC into the world.