Love Without Borders, Life Without Limits
So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.
But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you after he said, ‘The LORD your God will give you rest by giving you this land.’ Your wives, your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, ready for battle, must cross over ahead of your fellow Israelites. You are to help them until the LORD gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land the LORD your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Actually, in my evening devotional that this Scripture showed up in for that day, it said specifically “rest for your soul“.
An alarm went off in my head saying “pay attention to this!” As I went back to the morning passage, all of a sudden I saw that my “territory,” or my “land,” is my “soul.” But what did that mean?
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Over the course of the past five years, I have received the deep understanding of how all of this fits into my identity.
You see, if my soul is the place He is giving me rest (emphasis on He gives rest, but we labor to enter into it), then the part I play in that whole thing is to patrol the borders of my “territory” and decide what gets in and what doesn’t get in, as well as what’s already in there that has to be removed.
Change “territory” for “soul”, but then realize that your “soul” is your “identity.” So for me, He got me really rooted and grounded in the truth of my identity, but I had to control the borders with great intentionality. My identity is in Him, which means that the goal of all my border control efforts had to be a focused effort to practically apply His character of love as demonstrated through patience, kindness, grace, mercy, gentleness, goodness, and self-control. The more I applied those characteristics in every situation, the greater joy and peace I had. Working hand-in-hand with the Holy Spirit, my definitions for those attributes have expanded beyond my original perspectives; my understanding grew as I practically applied the limited knowledge I had at that time.
What does “border control” look like? Well, for starters, I learned that it is not what I had always believed “boundaries” to be. My boundaries were around my “identity,” not around how I was (or was not) in relationships with people. I had to ask myself a lot of questions, such as “If I want to become Love, how do I have to respond in this situation / conversation?”, “If I want to be a free receiver, and not be an obligation, what do I have to do in this relationship?”, etc.
What that ended up looking like is that I had to become aware of, and let go of, every fear-driven response inside of me and trust the powerful Love that was also inside of me to push through. I had to let go of self-protection and really believe by practicing and proving true that God is my protection. I said it, but I had to do it! I had to let go of performing and earning and really believe by practicing it and proving true that God is my provision. I said it, but I had to do it! I had to let go of my reputation and defending myself and really believe by practicing it and proving true that God is my defender and owner of my value and worth. I said it, but I had to do it! I had to let everyone else go from any and every obligation to be anything for me and really believe by practicing and proving true that God is all-sufficient to meet every need I have. I said it, but I had to do it!
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