Do you ever feel like you’re trapped in an invisible box and there seems to be no way of escape? Most Christians are even though Jesus came to set humanity free from the bondage of sin, death, and the devil. Most know this in their head but have yet to experience these benefits in their heart. Most never experience the liberty to be the person God created them to be. Most never experience a genuine relationship with God. Instead, they live in what I call a box—that is they live a box life.
Technically a box is a six-sided container with a top, a bottom, and four sides. A box is a container—it contains or limits the movements of whatever is placed in it. In the physical realm boxes are all around us. We live in a box called a house, an apartment, a condo, or a manufactured home. We shop in boxes called stores. We travel in boxes called automobiles, buses, taxis, trains, boats, and airplanes. If you work inside, you work in a box. If you have a cubicle you work in a box within a box. And eventually all of us will likely be buried in a box called a coffin, which will be placed in a box called a vault, and interned in a box called a grave. Boxes are our constant companion from the cradle to the grave.
But—God never intended for his kids to live a box life. His plan did not include emotional, relational, intellectual, philosophical, and most of all—spiritual boxes. These are the invisible boxes most of us find ourselves trapped in.
This invisible box is anything that limits God in your life or limits your ability or willingness to follow God wherever he leads. This unseen box is the border of your comfort zone. It is also the outer edge of your faith. You know where the perimeter of your box is and you will do everything in your power to stay away from its boundaries. It’s not comfortable there because it’s too close to the unknown and most people hate the unknown.
Some of you exist in teeny-tiny boxes that are so tight and cramped you can’t even breathe or relax, always fearing someone might find out who you really are, what you really believe, or how you really look on the inside. Perhaps you live in a more spacious box with a bit more room, but the truth is—a box is still a box. It provides a modicum of protection but it also limits you. It contains you. It keeps you from becoming all that God intended and it prevents you from experiencing the limitless grace and love that God has for you.
We build these boxes to protect ourselves or hide ourselves or to keep others away from our wounded hearts and broken spirits. We build them to contain our treasures, attitudes, knowledge, experiences, theologies, world views, and belief systems. At first, the box seems spacious—just what the doctor ordered. But over time, it tends to close in, restricting and even choking us. It cuts off the blood flow to our brain, and we become entrenched with attitudes and beliefs and create a world we think we will be happy in. In this make-believe world we also create a god who fits perfectly and even resembles our image and likeness. But without the inflow of blood, by that I mean the discovery of new truths, or experiences, or successes and failures, or victories and defeats, we develop varicose brains.
Over time, we become hard-headed and hard-hearted. This leads eventually to fear, or arrogance, or jealousy, or shame, or loneliness, or depression, which is death on the inside of the box. The box we’ve built to protect us soon becomes a prison cell that entraps us or a grave that entombs us. It shuts us in and God out!
God never created you to experience a box life!