I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
The boundaries of a golf course are clearly defined. White stakes, fences and interstate highways alert the golfer that his or her golf ball should not land outside of these borders.
Borders are important to the identity of the believer. The Holy Spirit leads and guides our direction and paths. The things outside our established borders are usually not good for us. The elimination of borders creates confusion and the allowance of evil within our lives.
Notice that the scripture above mentioned the “stone wall being broken down.” One day it was presumably a strong and sturdy barrier to intruders. The lack of care and negligence of the owner allowed the stones to decay and fall over the course of time. A horse or another wild animal didn’t knock down the stone wall. It eroded gradually over the span of years and decades.
Compare the stone wall to the borders in our own lives. Many of us began our life as regularly attendees in church, Sunday School, and Bible School. We were instilled the love of Jesus and country while developing a solid foundation of Biblical principles and morals. Our own negligence has allowed sin to creep in through a loose or broken stone or hedge which once barricaded our spiritual house. One sin or discretion led to another sin. We then soon find ourselves in a backslidden condition unwilling to border our lives with the protections afforded by the Holy Spirit. If we are saved, He is still present, but we fail to give Him the influence He desires.
A drug addict in his or her early days of abuse always draws an artificial line with a vow to never inject. As time goes on and as the abuse becomes more regular and severe, there is no longer a border. This process reflects how sin is easily allowed to take hold onto each of our lives. Moderation is simply the process of eroding and chiseling out a rock from your border of protection a little at a time. Moderation is an excuse of the devil.
When the fence or barrier wall is gone, so are our protections. Notice the land in Proverbs 24:30-32 was taken over by thorns and nettles because of the owners neglect. Let us pray for our personal borders to be clearly established, defined and maintained. Regular prayer, Bible study and church worship fortify the stone walls into our heart and keeps us “inbounds”.