There are special moments in your life when Jesus beckons you to come away with Him to be refreshed and refilled in His Presence. I was blessed with just such an opportunity at a recent conference by joining a band of Burning Hearts infused with one magnificent obsession – to worship and exalt Jesus alone.
During one worship session, a line from a song by Caleb Andrews captivated me and began swirling in my spirit. ‘I’m building fences around the precious, and I’m breaking covenant with the worthless.’
As I sang these lyrics aloud, a heavy weight of conviction and urgency descended on me and I began inquiring within my soul, “Lord, have I been guarding the precious in my life or flirting with the worthless; worse still, have I covenanted with it in any way?”
Inquiry led to a fruitful self-examination and repentance. So now, in the spirit of Paul’s admonition to examine ourselves regularly, I invite you to join me to check the condition of your fences.
1. Our Relationship with Jesus
First, our precious relationship with the Lover of our souls. Have we jealously protected His Presence, His preeminence, in our lives?
Have we been building fences around our times of worship, both personal and corporate, to effectively keep out the distractions and temptations of this world? Or is there a porous border between the Holy of Holies and the Outer Court of our temples?
2. Our Lips
How about our mouths through which we’re commanded to praise and honour God? What’s the condition of the fence around our mouths? Is it allowing fresh or bitter water to gush out? Jeremiah reminds us if we separate the precious from the vile, we will be as His mouth (Jeremiah 15:19).
Proverbs 20:15 describes lips speaking knowledge as a precious jewel, and informs us that ‘The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Knowledge’ (Proverbs 1:7).
3. Our Faith
Peter tells us we’ve have a faith as precious as the apostles (2 Peter 1:1) – more precious than gold that perishes. (1 Peter 1:7).
Have we kept our faith pure and genuine? Have we fenced it with a sharp Spirit of Discernment so we don’t succumb to every free-floating and false wind of doctrine which could wreck it?
Or have we reduced our faith to an echo of declarations and decrees without genuine assurance of hope in our hearts? Worse still, have we unwittingly cut a covenant with the twin demons fear and unbelief – the ultimate saboteurs of our precious faith?
4. The Unity of the Brethren
What about the precious oil that flows from Aaron’s head to the edge of His garments? (Psalm 133) Have we diligently built a strong fence around the Body of Christ to protect the unity? Or is the gush of the Spirit’s oil being hindered and hampered by our offences, unforgiveness, and jealousy?
God has given us everything we need to live a godly life, even enabling us to share in His divine nature. But there are conditions and caveats.
His holiness can never be compromised, His Glory will never be shared. His covenant remains unbroken but His discipline towards disobedience will always be swift and sometimes painful.
And, it’s precisely because we’re so very precious in His eyes that He has jealously fenced us in. In the same way, may we build fences to guard the things that are precious against that which is vile.