Restrain, Restrict

<<hold back, limit>>

In all aspects of life, various authorities impose limitations or controls for the harmonious functioning of society and life in general. Without these, there would be chaos if each person did what seems right to them.

The Bible's commands are boundaries given for our benefit, not because God is against us having fun or freedom (Ex 20:3-17; Mk 12:30,31).  If society operates by these divine guidelines, there will be order, peace, respect, trust and security with goodwill because boundaries provide a safe environment inside defined limits. When people are unaware or disregard these protective barriers they come out

Do I view restrictions as                being for my good?

 under a covering ‘umbrella’ and are vulnerable to extra spiritual attack with consequences which will follow any wrong choices made.  

In the Garden of Eden, a place of infinite choice, there was just one restriction; Satan tempted mankind to ignore it and because restraint (through self-control) was not exercised sin took place (Gen 2:16,17). Ever since, there has been ongoing temptation to overstep the boundaries, with human nature wanting its desires met while not considering the long-term repercussions. If we give in to this urge it will be to our loss and ultimate regret as we experience the consequences. A wise man keeps himself under control (Prov 29:11). Prevention is better than cure, obeying is better than making amends after sinning (1 Sam 15:22).

Some biblical restrictions are permanent (eg Do not commit adultery), while others apply only for a period (no sex with your partner before marriage changes after the public marriage commitment).  Patience and self-discipline need to be exercised to see the long-term perspective of what would be lost by succumbing to the temptation to ignore the restriction.

Self-control, or inner restraint, is a necessary discipline that needs to be constantly applied in our Christian walk.  The desires of the physical body should be under the control of our soul and spirit at all times. The world’s system of rules is largely ineffective to combat or hold back sensual indulgences. Even
if the action is repressed the heart’s desire (lustful thoughts and fantasy) is also sin and creates wrong soul ties (Mt 5:27,28, 15:19; Col 2:23). A change of heart is required so the mind and attitudes are purified (Rom 12:2; 1 Pet 4:2).

Externally, clear rules (along with a conscience that will bring conviction if they are broken) and penalties are incentives to keep us from wrong. For your own protection and peace of mind, know and live by the commands and principles of Scripture as well as those of society. We are specifically

Some people believe ‘rules are made to be           broken’. How do you respond to this?

instructed to obey our authorities (Rom 13:1-3). Recognize also that a wise person uses few words and doesn’t need to speak their mind on every subject (Prov 17:27,28). However, note there are no laws against being too kind, self-controlled or any other fruit resulting from having the Holy Spirit work in your life (Gal 5:22,23).

Satan wants to hold us back from entering in to what Jesus died to provide for us. He does this by keeping us from knowing the truth, deception or guilt about our past. There may be areas of our life where we need deliverance from bondages to walk into the freedom of Christ (Gal 5:1).

Righteousness is currently holding back the full effect of the evil Antichrist; however, this will not always be the case and end time events are increasingly impacting the world (2 Thes 2:1-7).

See also: binding and loosing, boundaries, commandments, conscience, deliverance, discipline, freedom, hinder, protection, rules, self-control, temptation.

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