God has set a place for you along the narrow trail.

by Kevin on September 27, 2010

Fence building never seems to stop when you live on a ranch. There is fence falling down. There is fence falling over. There is even two sections of fence that are falling up (water gaps).  God can teach us a lesson in anything we do and I especially like his lessons on the need for fences.

I am enclosing the 8 acres in front of my house so I can put a horse or two out there. I have one side strung up with three strands of barbed wire and I will be putting a fourth strand on this week. I remember when I stretched the first wire. This would be the guide for where the t-posts needed to be set.

The t-posts are driven into the ground and all they do is give stability to the fence and hold the wire apart. I had set all the t-posts and then strung the other two strands of wire when I looked down the fence line. No matter how tight I stretched that wire, there was no way it could hold itself up. It would break before it was able to be stretched that tight.

Looking down that fence line, I thought that the narrow road that Jesus talks about has a fence  just like it. The strands of wire are righteous living. Loving God with all your heart is the top wire. Loving your neighbor is the middle wire. The final wire is loving yourself the way God loves you.

When someone is saved, they are placed on this narrow trail with the fence beside it. They are able to follow it by stayin’ next to this fence. The problem comes in when the t-posts get too far apart. The wire starts to sag and starts laying on the ground.

We as Christians are the t-posts that are rooted deeply along the path and hold the strands of righteous living up to mark the way for new believers.

The problem is that many self professed believers in Christ, or t-posts, are way off by themselves in the middle of the pasture. They are not along the path, they are just hanging out not doing anything. They have not picked up the top strand of wire and made God the most important thing in the world. You can tell this by the way they live their lives. Just listen to their conversations and you can tell they don’t hold the middle strand of wire. They don’t love their neighbor except as a subject for gossip and criticism topic. Without these two strands of wire, there is no way that they can love themselves.

This fence line we talk about is the church. If the members of the Body of Christ are unwilling to take their spot along the narrow trail, who will mark the way for new believers?

When a person is saved, they are new to the trail and can easily stray back into the world. It is the church’s responsibility to be that fence that marks the boundary.

Galations 6:1

……you should gently lead that person back to the right path.

Being a Christian isn’t about what you do, it’s more about who you are. I challenge each of you today to stand up tall and take up the strands of wire that are stretched between the cross and the throne of God. There is no greater service to God than to be the cowboy or cowgirl He wants you to be.

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  • This topic’s been on my mind a lot lately. Too many of us Christians don’t look any different than the rest of the world, and so our lives don’t point people to the Truth. We talk about God, but then we live like that God doesn’t have any real power – at least not enough power to change a person. When we do that, we’re just guiding people into the field of religion, and not into the “green pastures” full of Life.

    What is my life telling Christians and non Christians about God?

    Barbed wire is a good metaphor too. When we Christians wander off of the path, it hurts us, even though we may be so numb to the pain that we don’t realize it. Also, when we wander off of the path, God will sometimes use pain to put us back on the path. The pain isn’t punishment, but loving guidance. Without the pain, we’d get completely lost and find ourselves out in the wasteland.

    Once again, you’ve come up with a great parable. Thanks for this reminder.

  • The church has certainly had a problem with its fences. We have left big gaps in them, let them go unmaintained, and even knocked a few over. The consequence is that too many Christians have strayed and gotten caught up in the trappings of the world. Oh, that the we would let the Lord live through His church! United by the bonds of love, keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace–we grow all the more in love with Jesus and with each other.

    –Richard

    • Kevin

      We as a church wonder why so many wander off the path, but we tend to try to place blame everywhere besides us. The church isn’t to blame all the time, but have we really done all we could?

  • Great thought! I pray that I always bear the burden to shepherd new believers and to allow my life to serve as a visible sign for the road that God wants us to travel. My heart right now is burdened for discipleship, but I have to start by, as you said,… “by being the cowboy God has called me to be.”

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