Back to Basics – Fences

The freedom of having fences

by TJ Freeman – August 18, 2017

They say, “good fences make good neighbors.”

Fences are intended to keep some distance between you and whatever lies on the other side. On a recent trip to Wyoming I was very appreciative of the fence that separated me from a large bull. But, we don’t always appreciate fences. Some are more like a barrier that stands in our way.

That was the case for one 19-year-old New Jersey man. On a hot summer day he and some friends approached a fence marked with a no trespassing sign. They knew that on the other side was a beautiful lake formed in the crater of an abandoned gravel mine. The friends easily crossed the barrier and made their way down to the lake. They spent the afternoon laughing and swimming together. This was the perfect summer day! No one suspected it would end in tragedy. Everything changed when one of the friends jumped into the water and began to cry for help… Before anyone could reach him, the man slipped beneath the surface of the water. Despite his friends efforts to find him, he never emerged.

Whether we appreciate them, or resent them — fences are meant for our good.

Sometimes we think of the act of believing in and following God as a fence. It’s just a barrier that keeps us from doing what we really want to do.

And many have said “no thank you” — I don’t want anything to do with religion because I just want to be me. I don’t want to be made to feel guilty for doing something that makes me happy. I don’t want to be told how to dress — I don’t want to put on a fake smile — I don’t want to give up my Sunday mornings…I just want to be me.

It is possible to live a happy and successful life without paying any attention to God or His Word. Those who push past the barrier of religion often find that it is just as much fun on the other side as they hoped it would be. Yet, in the end, they will face tragedy.

The fact is, we’ve all hopped the fence — every time we’ve broken one of God’s commands we chose to ignore the barrier to get something we want. Every white lie, every impure thought, every unkind word — all of it is evidence of the fact that we are trespassers.

At the end of our lives, we will all face God and give an account for the way we lived…and Scripture teaches that the wages of our sin… or our trespasses… is death! The tragic ending for every one of us who have crossed the fence is an eternity of torment apart from God.

Yet, there is hope!

In Ephesians chapter 2 the Apostle Paul says this:
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved…”

Friend, God’s purpose is not to fill your life with barriers — it is to set you free! Life on the other side of the fence may seem good for a season, but it will lead you to eternal tragedy. Would you turn from your sin today and trust Christ as your Savior. If you have questions about what it means to follow Christ I’d love to talk with you. You can email me at

Idea/Concept: TJ Freeman
Videography: Erin O’Shea
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: TJ Freeman

Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by Sherwood Motel, Akiko’s Floral Arts

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