Last week I wrote about the old and new… I really hope you grasped the importance of believing that the “old” is the foundation of the “new.” You cannot have one without the other! You cannot take a foundation away and expect anything new to stand. You always have to have a foundation.

That being said, what is in the idea that Jesus came and taught outside the box of the “old teachings?” Did Jesus leave that box?

As I mentioned last week, Jesus did NOT stop following the commands God gave to the Israelites. Jesus was a Jew and was required to follow the teachings handed to Moses. What Jesus did do was remove the fences put up by man-made religion.

How does this apply today?

Within Jewish laws today are man-made fences so they “don’t accidentally break the law.” Take for instance the idea of not working on the Sabbath. In some circles you are not allowed to tear toilet paper on the Sabbath because it is considered work. Is this what God intended? Is this what Jesus would have desired to see happening as He walked on this earth? Jesus would have removed the man-made fence, but would not have taken away the idea of not working on the Sabbath. Not working on the Sabbath came from God.

Okay, so let’s apply this to outside the Jewish context… Within Christian circles there are fellowships that do not allow for certain color vehicles to be driven. Is this a man-made fence? I guess in those circles it would not be considered that, but is it a command in the Bible? I could list others, but as we know the list would get long.

Across the board men have put up fences in order to “keep themselves from accidentally breaking the law.”

Putting up fences has caused us to put ourselves in boxes that God never intended for us to be in. Establishing “rules and guidelines” that are not part of God’s original intent have put us into situations that keep us caught in religion.

God never wanted religion. God wanted a relationship.

God sent His Son Jesus to the earth so that He could establish a relationship with His people. God told them that He wanted His Words to be written on hearts of flesh, not on stone tablets. He wanted them to BE WITH HIM in Spirit and Truth, so He sent the WORD to be flesh. Jesus was the walking Word of God. He LIVED and BREATHED Torah.

If we look at boxes in the Bible, they were only used to hold precious items.

Exodus 25:21-22 “Inside the ark you will put the testimony that I am about to give you. 22 There I will meet with you. I will speak with you from above the ark-cover, from between the two k’ruvim which are on the ark for the testimony, about all the orders I am giving you for the people of Isra’el.

Matthew 26:7 A woman who had an alabaster jar filled with very expensive perfume approached Yeshua while he was eating and began pouring it on his head.

(some translations say box instead of jar)

God wants us to be His precious items, but He doesn’t want us in boxes. He doesn’t want us struggling in fear to “live up to religious laws.” God wants us to have a relationship with Him.

I continue to ask Him every day about boxes I need removed. I ask for His wisdom to teach me and give me understanding into what I need to let go of. I want my relationship to go deeper and deeper as He writes more and more of His LOVE on my heart.

We need to have commands because we need guidelines and instruction. But, they were never intended to keep us in fear and bondage. His grace is more than enough to bring us out of those places.

As you live, move and find your being in HIM, place your precious items into a box to remind yourself that He is with you. DON’T place yourself in a box. Ask yourself every day to rid yourself of things that will entangle you and drag you down. Believe that HE will give you clear direction when you Ask, Seek and Knock…

Shabbat Shalom,

Rose Horton