Shut In

There is the mistaken assumption that being a Christian means giving up fun. We seem to hear a lot about what we cannot do, where we cannot go and what we cannot say because it is conduct unbecoming a soldier of the Cross. This perception is not only negative and discouraging but it is also flat wrong!

Just as children often complain about their parents’ lack of love in handing down discipline and restrictions, children of God sometimes do not understand the dangers lurking in the shadows waiting to soil and spoil and send us to Hell. The lessons learned from the consequences of poor choices are often scars that never leave and God would prefer we not incur these soul-wounds Satan supplies in such copious quantity.

Throughout human history, God has revealed His abiding love for us (cf. Deuteronomy 4:37; Isaiah 43:4; John 3:16). If we are faithful to follow Him, He will never forsake us (cf. Deuteronomy 4:31; Hebrews 13:5). If we trust in Him, He will always protect us from harm, seen or unseen (cf. Exodus 23:20; 2 Thessalonians 4:3). So, how should we view His “restrictions”?

When the earth began to implode into its own degradation and demise, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8) and God purposed to save him from evil. As the process of destruction began, He instructed Noah to build an ark to the saving of his household. So, while the earth reveled in its rebellion (“having fun”), Noah went about building the ark and teaching people that safety was in the ark of God. When the destructive water came, rain from above and fountains of the deep from below, this element simultaneously saved and destroyed. Noah was safe because “the Lord shut him in” (Genesis 7:16). It is sadly ironic that water serves for both the salvation and destruction of people even today (1 Peter 3:20-21); and so many prefer to ignore God’s instruction and warnings, just as in Noah’s day, and “have fun.”

Some may argue that obedience to God is restrictive; a Christian would argue that it is liberating, protective, and saving. In the ark of the church (Acts 2:47), God will keep us from harm if we will but submit to His will (Acts 2:38). Being shut in the church by the Lord is a choice we make that keeps us safe from a sinful world, and carries promise of “fun” beyond our imagination in Heaven (Revelation 21:4-5).

Jeff Sweeten