Today we are going to discuss about boundaries that we hate and like at the same time.
We fight to destroy and at the same time construct boundaries; we are afraid to live without it.
Boundaries limit our freedom, but freedom is meaningless without boundaries.
Boundaries are real.

We always feel in our life the presence of boundaries of traditions, beliefs and values.
Some of them are created by humans and some others exist from time immemorial.
We can break some, we do not like to break some and we cannot break some other.
Boundaries influence, limit, control and give meaning to our life.
We see boundaries around provinces in this world, in nations and states.
There are boundaries set by social groups, religion, families and even by individuals.
There are physically drawn and fixed boundaries like that around the nations.
We have fixed, drawn and well protected boundaries around our land properties and orchards.

What is a boundary?

Let us start our discussion with a question: What is a boundary?
We would like to define a boundary as a personal property line that marks those things we own and responsible.
Boundaries speak, “me and not me”. It speaks, this is ‘mine’ and ‘not mine’.
In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not.
And so boundaries impact all areas of our life.
Hence, it gives a shape to our personality, philosophy and life.

A Boundary marks our possession and what is not ours.
Boundary limits our freedom. It defines the limit we may go and the limit we should not cross.
Crossing the boundary is a challenge for humans.
Humans have been never satisfied with their legitimate possessions.
They are after those ‘attractions’ over the boundary.
So, kings set out to conquer neighboring lands.
Sailors left their families behind to have a glimpse across the boundary.

Boundaries keep the other side dark.
Boundaries set by social, cultural, religious groups and families look idiotic. It is not always rational.
Still there is something positive about it.

Boundaries are identity

Personal boundaries define your identity. They’re like the property lines around a house or a yard.
We build a house in a land owned by us.
Everybody knows that the land and everything in it belongs to its owner.
Still, we put a small sign board on the gate telling the name of the owner, house name or number of the house.
It gives the land, the house and everything in it an identity.
The same thing is done with large vineyards or estates.
Boundaries say, from here to there, everything inside it belongs to such and such person.
Boundaries give identity to what we have and who we are.

Boundaries tell that: this is my property and that is not my property.
This is me, these are the things I value, what I am comfortable with, my beliefs, need, emotions, happiness and frustrations.
Everything outside my boundary is not mine and it is not me.
Good boundaries help us to experience care and helps to care for others.

God and boundaries

Concept of boundaries comes from God, since it is rooted in His nature.
God has His own boundaries; so everything that came from Him have a boundary.
God is not controlled by any other force or philosophy. God was there before everything else.
That is why He is called the ‘ancient of days’. (Daniel 7:9)

God exists in a self-created boundary.
Because no one else can create something for Him, he has defined His own boundaries and has confined to it. He has made it his nature.
God defines Himself as a distinct, separate being, and He is responsible for Himself.
There is none above Him, none beside Him and none with Him.
So He cannot shift the responsibility of His thoughts, plans and actions to any other.

God is a holy God, holiness is His nature. It is not created or attributed to God by someone else.
And so whatever He thinks, does and wherever He goes are holy.
God cannot be without holiness.

He is the only one God.
So He defines and takes responsibility for His personality by telling us what He thinks, feels, plans, allows, will not allow, likes, and dislikes.
He defines Himself as separate from His creation and from us.
He says, I am who I am and there is no other God but me. He says he is love and he is not darkness.
God limits what He will allow in His yard, the whole universe.
He confronts sin and allows consequences for behavior.
He guards His house and will not allow evil things to enter there.
He lets His love flow to those who loves Him.
His gates open and close appropriately.
Not only that God has self-imposed boundaries, He respects them too.

Let me read some scripture for you.

Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (NKJV)

Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, (NKJV)

Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images. (NKJV)

Who created boundaries?

Now you know the answer to our second question: who created boundaries?
Here, there rise another question: is it a creation?
Boundaries are created. The concept of boundary itself is created.
The Bible says that God first created boundaries as and when He created the universe.
Boundaries was there with all His creations.

Genesis 2: 8 The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. (NKJV)

Genesis 2:7 says: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
When man was created there were no boundaries on this earth, but earth has a boundary.
Soon after God created a beautiful garden in the eastern part of the earth called Eden and put humans there.
It was their responsibility to guard and maintain the garden and only the Garden of Eden.

Eden was more prosperous than other places on earth.
All the earth, which God called ‘good’ when He created I, was prosperous.
That means, God first created boundaries on earth, to separate places from places, prosperity from prosperity.
Thus God created a boundary between prosperity and better prosperity.
God created boundaries.

Adam and Eve had an opportunity to experience the existence and blessings of boundary around the Garden of Eden.
After they sinned, they were punished by God.
Because of Adam, God punished the earth. And they were sent out of the Garden of Eden.
Thus they experienced the other side of the boundary.

It was a punishment for crossing the boundary set by God for them while they were in the Garden.
God gave freedom and authority to human to eat and enjoy all blessings including the fruits of all trees.
But God placed a boundary line between all trees in the Garden and one particular tree that was the tree of knowledge of the good and evil.
Humans were forbidden to eat from this one particular tree.
Unfortunately, humans were deceived by satan to disobey God and eat the fruit of the forbidden tree.
Thus they crossed the boundary set by God and so God sent them out of the boundary of the Garden of Eden.

Boundary is a nature of God and created by God on this earth.
Boundaries are created by God in human beings.
Everything created by God will exist till the end of this world.
Only the creator has the power and authority to destroy boundaries.
So from the creation of this earth onwards boundaries exist and they are real.
As we accept the limitations of our human nature, we have to accept the boundaries around us and live accordingly.

Boundaries declare ownership and responsibility

Boundaries are not all bad; they are good when they are set according to the Kingdom principles.
One good thing about a boundary is that it declare ownership.
It says to us and to others, what is me, what is mine and what is not me and what is not mine.
Ownership is not just possessing something, it is responsibility to possess, keep and guard them.
That was the duty assigned to Adam and Eve by God when they were in the Garden of Eden.
Whatever is within a boundary, whether it is useful or not, good or bad, rich or poor belongs to its owner.
The owner has the authority and only the owner has the authority to keep it, mend it or remove it.

Ownership is responsibility. We are responsible for everything we own.
That is why God asked Cain to subdue sin. We read the story of Cain in Genesis 4.
Adam and Eve had two children, Cain and Able. One day both of them decided to offer a sacrifice to God.
Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD.
Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock for sacrifice. And God blessed Abel and his offering,
But God did not respect Cain and his offering. Cain was very angry.
So the LORD said to Cain:

Genesis 4: 7 "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."  (NKJV)

Cain is responsible for his action and for the after effect of his action.
God warned him that sin lies before him waiting to take over him.
So God asked him to “rule over it”.

By being angry towards his brother and God, he has permitted sin to enter into his boundary of life.
And because sin is now within his boundary, he has to deal with it; it is his responsibility to defeat sin.
God will not encroach into your boundary.

Many used to claim that it is their life and they have freedom to do whatever they wish with it.
It is true that it is your life and you have freedom to do whatever you please.
But please remember that, ownership is closely associated with responsibility.
Whatever inside your boundary is yours and you are responsible for the good and bad.

Boundaries help us to distinguish our own property lines so we can take care of ourselves and be good stewards to God.
Boundaries are fences to keep the good in and the bad out.
They guard our treasures so people will not steal them.

Boundaries are protection

One good thing about boundaries is protection from the enemies.
Boundaries speak about the existence of enemies and the necessity to protect your life and properties.
It protects the rewards of our hard work.

Let us read a verse from Songs of Solomon:

Song of Solomon 2:15 Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes. (NKJV)

Solomon’s readers considered foxes to be destructive animals that could destroy valuable vineyards. 
The season presented in this verse is the time just before the harvest.
The vine plants are pruned and new sprouts and tender grapes come out.
The gardener is expecting a bountiful harvest of good grapes.

He has selected a fruitful hill for planting the vine plants (reference to Isaiah 5: 2, 5)
He has dug it up, cleared out its stones and planted the choicest vine plants there.
He built a tower in its middle and has made a winepress in it.
And the most important thing he did was to build a hedge around it so that it will not be eaten up or trodden down by wild animals like foxes.

The verse above is speaking about little foxes. They were seldom more than fifteen inches high.
 As long as there is a high and strong hedge, no foxes, big or little can get inside the vineyard.
The gardener might have built a good, high and strong hedge around it even before the small saplings were planted.

But the foxes are not idle and they do not ignore the vineyard by seeing a hedge and go their way.
Foxes live in nearby caves or holes and constantly watch the vineyard.
They visit the hedges regularly and try to jump over or make holes in it.
A good gardener knows it and he used to go around the hedge occasionally and maintain the hedge by closing all small holes built by foxes.
But an overconfident or a less vigilant gardener will not give much care to small holes here and there.
He is confident that no big foxes would come inside the vineyard through small holes.
And the time has not come for ripening of grapes, foxes usually eat only grapes, not the vine flowers.

But he forgets a valuable lesson: little foxes can come through little holes in the hedge.
The vine is not ripe, that is not a disappointment for little foxes.
They come inside the vineyard, jump over the tender branches of the vine breaking them and the tender grapes.
They destroy by gnawing the bark, digging holes in the vineyards and so spoiling the roots. 
Little foxes may not get ripe vines to eat, but they destroy the promise of a good harvest itself.

Little foxes are little sins that break our boundary and enter into our life.
They destroy the promises of God about a bright future.
We have the responsibility to keep and guard our boundary from enemies.
Only a strong, high, well maintained and guarded boundary can protect God’s promises about out life.
Sin, like little foxes may destroy of life, our health, finance and spiritual life.

How shall we catch and kill the foxes?
A strong will is necessary to catch and kill these little foxes.
Find out what these wild animals are and where he hides. They are of different kind. They attack from different directions.
We should keep a watch to find out how they are spoiling our vine plants and ripening grapes.
Then catch them and kill them.

So keep your eyes open; do not be over confident about the boundary around you.
The enemy is constantly attacking to make small holes in the hedge.
Examine your life, its hedge, often; sit in the presence of the Lord for Him to reveal small holes made by little foxes.
Close them at once, then and there itself. Do not let any little fox come inside your life.
Remember, offence is better than defense.
Going into the forest to find and kill potential wild animals is better than chasing them away after they have entered your orchard.
Remember: no guarded boundaries, no life.

How to create a boundary?

How can we build a strong boundary?
Boundaries are anything that helps to differentiate you from someone else, and show where you begin and end.
Boundaries express the means to your end, where you will go and where you will not go; what you will do and what you will not do.
Boundaries are set by ‘Yes’ and ‘No’
When we say ‘yes’ to some idea or life style, we are enlarging our boundary.
When we say ‘no’ to a particular idea or life style, we are limiting our boundary.
Both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ define our boundary.

Bible does not promote a life of compromise with good and bad.
Jesus in Matthew 5:37 said: "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”  (NKJV)

Our words let people know where we stand and give them a sense of our boundary that says, “This is where I end.”
“I don’t like it” or “I appreciate it” is a clear message about the “rules” of your yard.
We may maintain our boundary by keeping a geographical distance or by our absence in a situation.
When a relationship is negative, the best way to show the other that your boundaries are real, is to create a space from them.
That is why the Bible supports the idea of limiting fellowship to the community of believers.
A fellowship of the true believers can protect you and help you to fight evil

2 Timothy 2: 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  (NKJV)

The strategy of Jesus was not defensive.
Defensive method over tax you to the final stage of breakdown.
Defense is a continuous processes.
So Jesus lived on the offensive in dealing with temptation and Satan.
He was proactive in his intimacy with Abba and this gave him energy and focus.
And He lived a successful life and was never in danger of burnout.

Boundaries are separateness

The best thing about boundaries is that, boundaries are separateness.
Separateness is a misunderstood concept these days.
Somehow we have taken separateness in a negative sense.
But in fact, separateness is positive, it is protection from the enemy.
Actually we share the same land with our neighbor, but separated by a boundary.
Boundaries create separateness.

The great news about it is that we are separated for a special purpose.
And we should stand separate to receive a special blessing.
During the time of the plague in Egypt, God separated Israel from it, in order to protect them.
Bible says that we are not ordinary people.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  (NKJV)

Not only that we are entitled to have special blessings, but we have special responsibilities also.
Matthew 5: 13 says that we are the salt of the world.
It is our primary duty to preserve this world without decaying by evil.
Verse 14 says that we are the light of the world which is supposed to give the right light to the world.
Only if we stand separate from the world, we can function as a preservative and light.

Separateness is an aware that a special appointment is on us.
We are predestined by God to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself. (Ephesians 1: 5)
So we are chosen as a special generation by predestination for adopting us as God’s sons through Jesus Christ.
We are chosen, called and elected by God as royal priesthood of His Kingdom.
Thus we are chosen to inherit the Kingdom of God which belongs to Jesus and His true believers.
We have to understand this truth and live accordingly.
Living according to the principles of the Kingdom of God is living separate.
And God offers protection form all the diseases that came on the Egyptians.

Exodus 15: 26 and said, "If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you." (NKJV)

Biblical separation can be summed up as being in the world but not of the world.
When Jesus prayed for His believers, He said, "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world" (John 17: 16 - NKJV).
Biblical separation is not refusing to have any contact of any nature with unbelievers.
Biblical separation does not mean we must always separate ourselves physically from those who do not believe in Christ.
Christians are to be in the world but not of the world.
But we should not identify ourselves with the worldly people.
We are to love the lost people, but not to fellowship with them.
We are to be separate from immorality and ungodliness so that it does not influence us and at the same time we should minister to those who are trapped in it. 


Living with a boundary is to live within four closed walls.
But it should not be closed everywhere and always. It must have a gate.
A gate allows things to get in and go out. That is the purpose of a gate.
We shut and open a gate as we decide to let something out and to let in.
Sometimes we still may have something bad inside our yard.
Sometimes there are good things outside that we should bring into our yard.
So our boundary and fences need gates in them.
We need to open up to confess sin and pain so that we can be forgiven and healed.
We should open gates to let Jesus in, the deliverance and all goodness from Jesus must get inside.
We should also let spiritually right people into our hearts.
Boundaries are not all walls, they should have gates also.

God designed our personal boundaries with gates.
We should have the freedom to enjoy safe relationships and to avoid destructive ones.
God even gave us the freedom to let Him in or close Him off.
God really respects our boundaries and never break in. He knocks and waits for us to open for Him.
That is what He says in Revelation 3:20: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”  (NKJV)
It is our responsibility to open up to let Him into our life.

We have the freedom to close or open the gates.
We can open the gate for good and close the gate for bad.
But sometimes we make mistakes with it.
Because our flesh is in sin, we are prone to open the gate for bad and close the gate for good.
Again our choices are important. Every moment in our life demands a choice.
So be careful to the make right choice and open the gate for the right thing or person.


Let me conclude this message.
The question, “Do we need boundaries?” is not valid. Because boundaries are real.
Our life needs a boundary around it. A boundary limits our freedom and we should not cross it.
It is an inconvenience, but is a blessing.
It gives protection, meaning and care to our life.

Thank you so much for watching and listening to this message.
May God enable you to live a Kingdom living. Amen.


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