By: Carole L. Haines
“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1)
The Women’s Ministry Leaders, at a Retreat I led worship for, gave me a gift. It was one of those wonderful Bibles with pictures in the margin to color and wide margins for taking notes. I was coloring one of the margins today, after reading the text I am studying, and was frustrated because I didn’t stay within the lines. There’s no erasing, no do-overs, I just had to leave it that way. But then it was like God tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, “Yeah, Carole, but who put the lines there?”
I sensed God telling me that life with Him is not meant to have the picture drawn ahead of time, not by other people or even by ourselves. He is the only One who determines the course of our life. He intends for us to be colored outside the lines that others have forced upon us, or we have strangled ourselves with. His Will is perfect, our concepts of His will are not. Have you ever had someone try to pigeon-hole you, make you something you are not? Have you failed again and again at something you know the Lord has called you to do? Perhaps it is because you are not allowing Him to be the one who draws the lines of your life.
5 The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You support my lot.
6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.
(Psalm 16: 5-6)
A measuring cord or line, a territory; that is what the word “lines” means in this context. The lines in which God marks off our life, the boundary lines, the territory we dwell in, we minister in, we work in. God has set those lines and the psalmist says they have fallen to him in pleasant places. The Apostle James tells us that all good gifts are from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly Lights (James 1:17). We only appreciate God’s Boundary Lines when we erase our own. If God is coloring outside your established lines of life, let Him! His picture of your life is far more beautiful and far more fruitful than anything you could imagine for yourself.