As I drove home the other day, I drove by a beautiful little home with what clearly was going to a awesome garden. And it was fenced and had covering over it as well. The way it was designed the garden would not see larger animals like deer. On the lower part there was net that would appear to keep smaller animals out like rabbits and such. And certainly no birds would attempt to fly through the netting that hung over the trellises. Now, while I recognize this was going to be a beautiful garden who was going to get to see it? People would not be able to see through the netting and such. Sometimes that which you erect to keep others out does much to keep you in…
I thought about the gardens of my youth. My parents would set lines around the outside of the garden. Some of the flower gardens they would “fence” with rocks and stone. The purpose being to delineate where the garden was in context to the surrounding lawns and such. Fencing things in.
When the Lord made the decision to keep Adam and Eve out He placed cherubim to guard it. In the New Covenant, the Lord asked for the five fold ministry to oversee and “surround” the people of God. The purpose being that working in conjunction with the elders and the deacons, the people would be safe. Many years ago the Lord showed me that there were three types of people in the leadership of His church (As well as perhaps those not leaders.). There were those that would watch over what was happening on the inside. A second group would watch the “door” as to who would come in. And yet another group (Much like myself.) would look out in the future and see that which was coming upon the church and its people.
Why would anyone be kept out? In 2 Corinthians 11:13 we are warned by Paul of what should be kept out. “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.” 2 Peter 2:1 says “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” I firmly believe that what was false about them was not their message, their prophecies or their teachings, BUT the heart that was behind it, driving them to work against the Lord.
Let me simply say this. I think the Lord wants them all. But sometimes there is what we can only call safety.
Many years ago I had a pesky rodent I “affectionately” called Woody. This woodchuck would come and steal my vegetables. I set up a sizable offense against him…to no avail. (You can read about it here.)
Some years later I planted marigolds and similar flowers about the garden I had. The purpose to repel or kill various insects, snails and such. I planted marigolds, garlic, lavender, dill and oh, so much more. And I still needed to deal with the peskier animals, especially deer. Some of the afore mentioned herbs plus a line of blood meal around the garden kept the deer at bay. (Add snakes that seemed to be there to deal with the rodents and we were all set.)
The blood of Jesus acted as a deterrent as well. The very drops of His blood brought sin to its end. Much like the cherubim at the Garden of Eden, similar to the work of the fivefold and much like what I did with herbs, the blood cut things off. The death on the cross killed Adam and opened the door to a new covenant.
But unlike the covering I described over the garden I drove past the other day, now one can see in. The people who are operating in the grace of the five fold, their purpose is to equip and strengthen the body of Christ. And no more like the priests of old is God separated from His people. That which He sanctified He set apart. That which He set apart, He has positioned. And that which He has positioned He has empowered.
There is a garden in you. Its boundaries set by the power and the presence of God. Watched over by the Holy Spirit (God Himself) and surrounded by the angels of the Lord who have been commissioned to walk with the people of God. While we are free we are “fenced” in by God. Made in His image, for we are God’s handiwork. (Ephesians 2:10)
The kingdom of God is our fencing. (And it is increasing and taking ground.) And now we see that there is a place that is so precious to God that He has not only thought about it and planned for it but that He put His atmosphere over and about it.
The constraint of the Lord is for your goodness.
(And just for those who like a little song…)