Summary: This is a message about breaking through boundaries, that we need to break through, and submitting to those that we need to submit to.
Psalms 32:8,9 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
The only thing keeping society from chaos is a thin line of morality that men and women voluntarily agree to subscribe to. I call that thin line the invisible fence.
In the previous century we have seen society after society where for a season chaos has reigned and there has been no limits to man’s immorality. Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia, Idi Amim’s Zaire, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Milosovic’s Serbia, and the list goes on. There is nothing that really forces us to act as decent human beings other than our conscience, and the intervention of God. So it is in Christianity. God does not force us to obey. But He does erect invisible fences and teach us to stay within proscribed boundaries.
Recently I saw a sign in a yard that said, “Invisible fence, dog in training.” Invisible Fence is a product that is on the market that is highly effective for keeping your dog in your yard simply with the use of sound and training. When the dog gets near the boundaries of your yard an alarm goes off that is inaudible to humans but piercing to dog ears. The sound does not physically prevent the dog from crossing the boundary, only his character and training can. This is the exact same principle upon which the human conscience is built upon. When we come up against the border of right and wrong an alarm goes off, it is only as effective a deterrent as our character allows it to be.
Dog trainers call this obedience training.
Psychologists call it classical conditioning.
In Christianity it is called either demonic bondage or moral character depending on the usage.
It is called demonic bondage when satan and his cronies who have no legitimate power or authority over you as a believer, manage to keep you within their proscribed boundaries simply with smoke and mirrors. That is satan keeps a person in bondage whom the son has set free through the power of lies and noise. When a person tries to get out of bondage satan screams as loud as he can, his voice is only as effective upon us as we allow it to be. “He who the Son sets free is free indeed.” A Christian in bondage is one who voluntarily accepts that bondage, as the following will illustrate:
Illus: Tug boat:
A preacher was flying into an airport that was surrounded by water and saw a tugboat pulling a giant naval vessel in the bay near the airport. Seeing the tiny tugboat pull the great battleship was a curiously odd sight to him. He mused in himself, “I wonder what would happen if the battleship were to fire up its engines and put them into reverse.” He realized that the only reason the tugboat could pull the great battleship was because the battleship “allowed” itself to be pulled. As he thought on that the Spirit of the Lord came upon him and told him that it was an apt illustration of God’s children facing temptation. Because we are Christians, and have Jesus in us, we are like the battleship, when we yield to temptation, it is not because we are overpowered, but it is because we have allowed ourselves to be pulled along. 1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Paul in Romans put it this way, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”(Ro. 6:16) Notice he doesn’t speak of the control or domination of either the Spirit or the flesh, but of someone yielding to either of them. We were bound as captives prior to salvation, but now we are new creatures in Christ Jesus. If you are struggling with something as a Christian the only thing holding you is an invisible fence, and the lies of the devil. Who do you choose to believe Jesus or the devil?
Invisible fence is called moral character when God keeps you within His proscribed boundaries simply by speaking to your conscience and that is the only force that restrains you.
Character is what you have, and what you are when you think no one else is looking.