Job began Chapter 14 speaking of man and the brevity of his days upon earth; of his many troubles; and “Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;” Our key word is “bounds.”
Webster defines “bound” as a noun, being something that limits or restrains: limit, boundary; as a verb, to set limits to, to form the boundary of. The word “boundary” then means something that marks or fixes a limit (as to territory).
There are physical boundaries, laws set up by God to guide His creation with order; and there are boundaries set up in the Bible to maintain Scriptural order in the spiritual realm. Whether it be the sea having a distinct boundary that cannot be passed on the shore, or whether it be the order of the planets in the heavenlies that are set on their own circuit, or whether it be whatever you sow you reap; these are bounds that cannot be passed.
However, what a person can do is learn to live within his bounds. He can’t change them, but he can learn to survive in his bounds. There is a great freedom in living within the boundary set up for you. But to experience this freedom, you must know the boundary lines; you must know the rules that govern your bounds; you must consider others that are within your bounds to some degree. An example of this is 300 million people live in the United States of America. But this nation is divided into 50 states; and each state is divided into counties, districts, or parishes; and each county has certain cities within the county; and the counties and the cities are divided into individual parcels of land deeded to certain people. A person’s property lines form his boundary lines. It is his land on his side of the line; but on the other side of the lines, or bounds, is his neighbor’s land.
You cannot have freedom unless you know your boundary lines; unless you know the rules of the bounds wherein you are set, and you must consider others who are in bounds with you.
A good example of this is Joseph in prison. He was bound by bars for no crime of his own. He was over Potiphar’s household, all except Potiphar’s wife. She tried to seduce him, and when she could not get him to sin against his God; she lied on him and told her husband he tried to rape her. Then Joseph was thrown into the king’s prison. It got worse for him in the physical sense, but better for him in the spiritual. It was through this experience Joseph met the Butler and the Baker. The Baker was used of God to tell Pharaoh that Joseph could interpret dreams. Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and became a preserver of many lives during a famine and was exalted to Second in Command to Pharaoh.
Some of these people Joseph saved in the famine were his own family, his 11 brothers that had caused him to be imprisoned wrongfully for 13 years. When Joseph met them and identified himself to them, they feared for their lives. But Joseph forgave them and did no harm to them. But rather he blessed them and preserved them in Egypt and in all the days of his life.
How did Joseph do this? He learned his bounds; he learned and obeyed the rules of his bounds. He lived 13 years in an adverse situation, and yet he had peace and was exalted in his adversity.
Child of God, whatever your bounds are, and we all have bounds; there is a way to have peace, joy, and power within these bounds. We all have limits and restrictions on our bodies and in our minds. It is hard to find anyone that is happy with where they live, their work, their physical traits, and their spiritual traits. The reason is they have not found freedom in their bounds. Their complaints are endless, and change is sought after more that their necessary food.
The following steps will lead you to freedom in your bounds. Paul said in Philippians 4:11-12:
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (12) I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
First, Paul learned his bounds; “whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Paul took note of where he was; he knew he could not change it; he learned to be content (that is to be still and wait on God). How did Paul learn to do this?
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13) He knew Christ and His Peace, Joy, and Power.
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) He knew God’s Promises were true and certain for his supply.
Paul knew that God loved him and had a purpose for him, and that God would carry it out (Acts 9:15-17; Proverbs 19:21). No matter the situation or the circumstances that you find yourself in, God knew it before you. He has prepared the way for you.
Paul knew as did Abraham that this world and its lusts were not his home; he knew he was a stranger and a pilgrim just passing through. He had his mind on heavenly things and not earthly things (Hebrews 11:8-17), and so with Moses (Hebrews 11:23-27; Colossians 3:1-3).
Second, Paul learned the rules of his bounds: surrender to God as Sovereign; submit to God’s Word; obey His Word; and endure in His Word. The rules of your bounds are set forth in the Law of God and fulfilled in the Law of Christ (Love). Paul knew the only success he would have is to follow Christ and be His disciple (Luke 14:26-33; Joshua 1:8).
- Do it for the Glory and Honor of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)
- Do it because He owns you, you are His bond slave (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 6:1-23)
- Do it because you love Him (John 14:15)
Third, Paul learned that his bounds were for his good and God’s glory (Romans 8:28-39)
Yes, there is great freedom in Christ; walking in His Purpose; resting in His Promises; Performing in His Power; and Perceiving His Peace in all situations.
Child of grace, enjoy your freedom in Christ. Your bounds have been appointed for your good and God’s honor. Keep your eyes upon God, His Purpose, and His Plan for you in that Purpose. The boundaries are set to test you, to try you, and to prove you. “The truth shall make you free” (John 8:32b). So walk in the Truth (Christ) and you will experience true freedom within your bounds.