But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she (Potiphar’s wife), caught him by his garment, saying, ‘Lie with me’. But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. [Genesis 39:11-12]
We may think that a result of walking with God is that life becomes restricted but that is wrong thinking. When we walk with God we access a new freedom, one where we are encouraged to live in the wide-open space of all that God has for us.
It is a freedom, with boundaries.
Such a statement can sound like a paradox. How can freedom include boundaries, yet with God I think it’s right. The boundaries come because God’s best for us is contained within them. God is not restricting us, He is protecting us. His desire is for us to flourish in the safety of ‘His green pastures’.
Boundaries though not always enjoyable are good for us. They are not about legalism, but about grace. They are not about religion either. Good healthy boundaries come from strong healthy relationships. Just as we encourage our own children to not go beyond certain boundaries because of dangers that may lay beyond them, God is the same.
Joseph had a big enough view of God to know that even though staying within God’s best may not always make sense in the natural, that he could be placing himself in trouble, he also knew the benefits of living within those boundaries were of far greater value. God was there in the middle of it all.
Joseph’s boundaries came from his values and beliefs, from the WHY he was here, not just from a check list of WHAT had to be done.
The boundaries caused him to do a number of things…
…to keep walking with God
…to work hard wherever he was
…to honour those he worked for, wherever that may be
…to always be listening to God
…to have a helpful attitude
…to known when to flee if in a compromised position
I am challenged to look at the boundaries in my life and why they exist and to be honest enough to change them if they don’t line up with the boundaries that God has laid for me. After all, God’s are the better than mine.