Range Wars

Written by Greg Benner 09-26-1999 

Boundaries!  Since humanity's first breath, man has dominated the world around him by building fences on life's open range.  His inner need to hack out personal identity, to gain physical control, and to impose authority drives him on.  Blowing war's dust from the annals of time, we read tragic accounts where bitterness carved its divisive mark daring opponents to stick their willful toes across the line.  Screaming from the pages of American history, moral and social decency is jolted by godless feuds akin to the one between the Hatfields and McCoys in the back hills of Kentucky...all over a stolen hog.  Ringing out from the Wild West, gunshots wounded everyday people in fights-to-the-death over territorial power, water rights, and fence lines in the grass.  Yes, whatever the issue, wherever the boundary, and whoever the scoundrel;  people roll up their sleeves to fight when fences get built because their dignities, beliefs, and possessions hang snagged on the barbs of wire stringing from hell.   Therefore, we must build our fences from God's materials, for God's purposes, and on God's boundaries if we want to avoid wars on life's open range!

Build God's Way

We must build our fences from God's materials if we want to avoid wars on life's open range.  Since time began, man has bucked God's plan by building unauthorized fences with defective goods.   Yet, God's fence lines can only be built on immortal boundaries with eternal stuff.  To this end, God's redemptive fences must rise out of His holiness, not human failure.  Paul slams this gate in I Corinthians 3:11-15 as he rebukes petty strife and validates Jesus saying, "no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.  If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light.  It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.  If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.  If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames."  People, either we can be richly blessed by building fences God's way or or we can sneak into heaven smelling like smoke clinching a fire-policy in our smoldering grip.  Therefore, we must build and mend life's fences with Jesus if God's purpose is to be fulfilled in and through us. 

Build With Purpose

We must build our fences for God's purposes if we want to avoid wars on life's open range.  Spanning the centuries, human agenda has wrestled with God's design by raising its prideful fist in the face of the great "I Am!"  Time and again, shifty rustlers of God's grace cut the wires of His redemptive plan with clippers sharpened on sin's stone.  Sadly, God finds Himself tacked to the world's walls like a criminal every time these outlaws of the faith jump a fence in Jesus' name.   You know the type!  We've all seen the gun slingers, snake oil salesmen, and lowly sodbusters who squat on the boundary of God's law for reasons unique.  For instance, the gun slingers called Pharisees parade proudly atop a fence of legalism waiting to shoot their judgmental bullets at people whom they deem less righteous than themselves.  Likewise, hell's snake oil salesmen known as false teachers uncoil their lies as they move maliciously back and forth on a fence of deception causing their listeners undue harm.   And, clinging unconsciously to the lowest wire...we find the simple, the unsaved, and the religious sodbusters hedging their bets against life pressures and hell's flames by keeping one foot in both pastures.  Yet, God in His faithfulness, keeps His watchmen humbly poised on His law to proclaim truth, to extend grace, and to impart life where there is need.  So, we must build and mend fences for God's purposes where only He commands.

Build To Last

Third, we must build our fences on God's boundaries if we want to avoid range wars on life's open range.  Still to this day, man struggles against truth as human desires jump the fence of God's timeless commands.  Even now, rebels of the range defy God's throne as they attempt to move His ancient boundary stones under the cover of darkness. Yet, God will not be mocked!  His boundaries stand forever!  On a mount long ago, God declared war on sin as he penned His commandments on stone and streched love's arms on a cross to set His boundaries in the hearts of men.  Centuries later...Paul sheds light on the purpose of God's law in Romans 3:20 by telling us that it's "...through the law we become conscious of sin."  God exposed sin by raising truth's standard.  Yet, exposing sin did not satisfy God's reach...   Determined to break sin's grip on mortal man, our Father in Heaven drove a post on another hill called Calvary.  On the cross, the corner post of God's protective fence...Jesus hung and died to stretch the final wire between death and eternal life so we could escape the tyranny of war within.  Still standing...God's fence of protective love stands undaunted amid the winds of life!  Therefore, we must build and mend fences on God's boundaries, God's way, for God's glory!

No More War

Finally, we must mend our broken fences with God's love if we want to end range wars on life's open range.  Looking back, we all see broken relational fences, rotten ethical posts, and tumbling spiritual weeds on the horizons of life.   We remember fences we jumped in anger, clipped with hatred, or destroyed through bitterness.  We remember posts decayed by compromise, toppled with greed, and uprooted in pride.  And, we remember the tumbling weeds of fear, hopelessness, and defeat.  Yet, beyond life's tattered barriers, God's fence of hope stands tall with its corner post in place and its wires stretched tight as a monument to His unfailing mercy.  Beyond unforgiveness...beyond injustice...and beyond heartache untold, God still mends life's broken fences with love.  So, the next time you build or mend a fence, are you going to do it God's way...or your own?  Remember, our fences fall down. But, God's fence stands to end range wars forever in the lives of His people!   What side of God's fence are you standing on?


Copyright / BattleCry Ministries - Greg Benner 1999 / All rights reserved worldwide.  These materials shall not be used or distributed without written permission.

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