Before my wife and I had children, we had a dog. Her name was Chewy and she was a mutt. We lived in a small house in Pooler, GA. Chewy did not like to stay in our yard. I remember one time when Chewy bolted out of our door and straight across the street in front of our house. A car was coming down the street at the same time. Chewy didn’t quite make it across the street. The car hit her just before she made it to the other side. She didn’t see it coming.
Fortunately, Chewy made it through that accident alive. When we moved to Charlotte and bought our house, the very first thing that we did was build a fence around our yard; not just for our dog Chewy but also for our 2 year old son and 3 month old daughter. We live on a very busy road – Park Road – and the fence around our yard was not for our privacy; it was a matter of safety for our family!
“The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
“Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.
“For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee.” Psalm 147:11-13
In ancient times, if the people of a city wanted to be safe, protected, and “blessed,” they would fortify the city. They would build thick walls, strong barred gates, and heavy defenses against potential enemies. The walls and gates served not to imprison people, but to protect people by keeping the enemy out!
This is also why I have a fence around my backyard – for the protection of my children, not their imprisonment! And this is why God has placed authority in your life – for your protection!
Unfortunately too many teenagers are too focused on the “fence” that they completely miss the protection, the safety, and the advantages that the fence gives them. They never see the love, the compassion, and the care that the fence builders of their lives have for them. They ignore the blessings of the great things within the fence – the fun, the freedom, the safety. They are too busy trying to break free that they never realize they are breaking free from safety and will soon enter the freedom of the hungry-lion cage!
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Peter 5:8
Message preached by Pastor Campbell in the high school chapel at South Charlotte Baptist Academy on March 31, 2015. Click here for Pastor Campbell’s sermon notes.