The Truth About Greener Grass

When we moved to our small community a few years ago, one of the things I appreciated most about our new home was the big, beautiful backyard surrounded by a brown picket fence. The security of a fence gave this mama of four a lot of peace of mind!

I’m certain our little ones could climb over the fence if they really wanted to, but we’ve made it clear that the child who chooses to breach this barrier without permission will face serious consequences.

So, the physical barrier of our fence serves as a constant reminder to stay inside where it is “safe.”

But as much as I love our fence, it can only protect my children if they obey me by staying inside its confines.  The fence is no longer useful should they decide to venture outside of it!

And I’ve seen him, our littlest boy, eyeing the gate from time to time…looking for the proverbial greener grass.

What would happen if he chose to leave the security and protection of our fenced backyard for the greener grass?  Perhaps nothing, at first.

Perhaps nothing, at first.

In fact, we may not even catch him doing it right away.

Escaping negative consequences, he would likely decide to slip out unnoticed again….and again… and yet again… until one time, he ventures far enough to find himself suddenly facing grave danger.

That movie that we really shouldn’t watch, that book we shouldn't read, that person we shouldn't be with, that substance we so desire, all provide satisfaction that is only temporary at best, not forever paradise. Discover the truth about greener grass and the danger it brings!   Christian women, God's boundaries, God's moral law, consequences of sin, Christian encouragement, Bible study, devotional

And like disobedient Peter Rabbit suddenly face-to-face with the Gardener, he quickly understands the reason behind the boundary, the one he crossed without permission, the one meant to protect him, not to ruin his fun. 

But it’s too late.

The damage is done and now he must deal with the consequences, whatever they might be.

Does the story sound familiar? It reminds me of Eden.  God gifted Adam and Eve with a panoramic paradise, a perfect relationship to enjoy, and a life of ease with all of their needs provided for.

It reminds me of Eden.  God gifted Adam and Eve with a panoramic paradise, a perfect relationship to enjoy, and a life of ease with all of their needs provided for.

And he gave them one rule. One.

Many times we fail to understand the protective nature of God's boundaries. Instead we see them as hindrances, obstacles to fun.  So, we seek the "greener grass" in life. But there is one surprising truth about that greener grass...

 The scripture records that before they disobeyed, Adam and Eve walked around naked and felt no shame.

Can you imagine?  Feeling no shame? Ever?  We’d be like toddlers running naked after a bath, full of joy and exuberance, not a care in the world.

Total freedom and wild abandonment.

That, my friends, was God’s original desire for us: to live a free and abundant life of pleasure in a world of paradise!

But we chose our own way.

When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, the whole world changed.

They abandoned the the protection of the “fence” to venture out on their own, and the consequences were immediate and disastrous: separation from God.

Imagine the sorrow of a Father God sending his beloved children away from the garden, knowing that for the time being, they would suffer and struggle, knowing also that one day, His only Son would pay a terrible price for their single indiscretion.

One rule; one choice.

Imagine the despair of being forced from that beautiful paradise, and the weight of knowing evil for the first time.

How often are we like these original sinners, or that curious four-year-old?  We fail to understand the reasoning behind the boundaries God sets for us.

Instead, we seek the illusion of greener grass.

Many times we fail to understand the protective nature of God's boundaries. Instead we see them as hindrances, obstacles to fun.  So, we seek the "greener grass" in life. But there is one surprising truth about that greener grass...

Like the four-year-old investigator, we might not see the danger lurking at first. We might not suffer any harm, or so we think.

But each time we leave those boundaries that our loving Father set to protect us, we take a bigger risk.  And one time, we’ll have gone too far.

We’ll find ourselves face to face with danger, with the serpent, with Satan.

With His lies, he ensnares.  

He promises freedom, but delivers slavery.

My friends, why oh why do we choose to leave the protection of the fence? 

There isn’t any greener grass; in fact, it’s a hollow deception, a mirage. What lies on the other side of that lovingly placed boundary is

t…h…i…c…k  mud,

s

i

n

k

i

n

g

sand,

                       miry clay.

That movie that we really shouldn’t watch, that book we shouldn’t read, that person we shouldn’t be with, that substance we so desire, all provide satisfaction that is only temporary at best, not forever paradise.

The choice to willingly disobey only brings us danger and heartache and burdens, so many burdens.

And each time we venture out, we risk more.

We risk a reputation, a relationship, a marriage, a child, a ministry, sometimes even our very lives.

The truth is, the only green grass we’ll find in life, the only abundant paradise, is right within our Father God’s fence.

His boundaries exist for us, not against us; for our benefit, not our detriment;  for our protection, not our suffocation; and only because…

He.

Loves.

Us.

Like a parent looking after a beloved child, He gently guides us away from evil in this world, if we allow Him.

 

Many times we fail to understand the protective nature of God's boundaries. Instead we see them as hindrances, obstacles to fun.  So, we seek the "greener grass" in life. But there is one surprising truth about that greener grass...

So, the next time you think you see a prime piece of greener grass just over the boundary, remember Who built the fence and why He built it.  Remember that what He most desires for you is life abundant.

If you choose to stay inside the protection of the fence, the only thing you’ll missing out on is the Serpent’s deceit and the slavery that follows.

Choose freedom.  Choose abundance.  Choose life.

Choose abundance.  Choose life.

Choose life.

Jen :)

Comments

  1. says

    Devotional book please!!!!! Thank you for the time you invested to put such a striking reminder together. I want to write “remember who built it and why he built it” on our walls in big bold lettering as a constant reminder that His boundaries are for our good, not what’s standing in the way of our good! Beautiful Jen. I love the whole passage of your last verse and the comparison of a dried up tumbleweed versus the life giving tree. I have that verse hanging up in the kitchen!

  2. says

    Jen,
    This is my 1st time visiting your blog. I linked up after you at Tell His Story. I love your blog’s theme verse and title, and this post was fantastic.

    A verse that reminds me to stay in the fence is John 10:10 where we are reminded that God gives life abundant, but the enemy is seeking to destroy me. There is a lot of danger outside of the fence… I am thankful for its protection.

    Blessings to you! :)

    • says

      Lyli, I’m so happy you visited today. I’m just getting my start here in the blogging world, so you’re encouragement is meaningful to me. John10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Excellent verse for staying inside of the fence. Thanks for sharing that!
      Jen :)

  3. says

    How often we want to push against those boundaries, thinking they’re out to spoil our fun. Yet God knows SO much more than we do about what’s on the other side of the fence. Thanks for the reminder that being content on THIS side of the fence is where true freedom can be found.

    • says

      Thanks, Lisa. It’s something we all struggle with at times – I know I do! I think, fundamentally, we forget who God is. His character is truly good. When I remember that, it’s easier for me to follow through in obedience, to remain near to him. Thanks for visiting!
      Jen :)

  4. says

    What a wonderful post about the importance of obedience. This is an area we are working with our 3 year old on. It’s not easy – but so vital. Learning to obey as children goes a long way in helping us learn to obey God as adults.

  5. says

    I love this – such a great reminder the things we chase after, thinking they will please us, are only temporary. God’s Word provides what we need for lasting contentment and true joy. And – love what you did with “sinking sand” and “miry clay” and “thick mud” – love the visual! :)

  6. says

    Amen!!!
    Wow, Jen – brilliant lesson, brilliantly written.
    Thank you so much for sharing this.
    It’s so so true.
    May the Lord help us all to stay inside His fence!
    God bless,
    Lois

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