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On the Line

by Joanna Pierce on July 26, 2017

It’s a wonder my parents are sane today when I consider the constant bickering that ensued in our household growing up. My sisters and I were at a constant state of war, and would have fought to the death if it hadn’t been for the intervention of my mother.

We all tried our utmost to infuriate the other by any means necessary, and a methodology—most used by my sisters, I might add—was in occupying the doorway of said sister’s room, taunting the room’s residee.

I’d shout, “Get out of my room.” To which, I’d always hear the response sung as a tantalizing jingle, “I’m not in your room, I’m on the line.” It was then I’d approach my room’s doorway, come face-to-face with one of my sisters, and abruptly shove (or punch) her into the hallway. I know that’s harsh, but if you mess with the bull, you’ll get the horns…

Don’t think I side-stepped any sort of landmine here because I was always relocated to the punishment zone shortly thereafter. But, outside of the reprimands, my sisters and I all learned a valuable lesson. If you choose to walk on the line, or on the border of danger, don’t be surprised if you get hurt—in more than one way.

Residing “on the line” isn’t a cautionary tale that’s relevant only to my childhood. It exists in the world today:

He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him (Ecclesiastes 10:8, KJV).

In our spiritual walk, God has erected “hedges” around us to keep us protected from the enemy. These hedges are comprised of His hand of protection, angels, and guidelines given for us to live by so we don’t succumb to danger. These guidelines are supplied in Scripture and through the words God speaks to us in prayer or via the men of God in our lives.

Sometimes, due to our human nature, we’re rebellious, and don’t want to stay inside the hedged (protected) area God has designed for us. We like to live right on the edge of God’s outline. Whether we realize it or not, we’re getting as far away from God’s directives and presence before breaking through to the other side. We’re in danger of not living for God and coming out from under the ark of safety.

There’s a problem here. When we choose to live for God on the fringe, on the hedge, or on the line, we’re going to get hurt. As this Scripture shows, serpents live in the hedge. If you start to trample into the hedge line and break into it—even just a little bit because your leaning that way—you’ll irritate the serpent living in the hedge, and he’ll get you.

Our adversary is looking for someone to devour (I Peter 5:8). He’s that old serpent that deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Where do you think he’s living in this world? Close to God or far away?

Today, I think we all need to complete an inventory check and determine how many bites we have on our spiritual skin. Do we need to take a step—or more than a few steps—away from the hedge and back toward God. Let’s be sold out to living for Jesus in every area of our life. Let’s submit to His will and to His Word. It’s time to stop living on the line. If we do that, we’ll all suffer a few less snake bites.