home > Pastor’s Desk > 2023 > 25th August > Freedom within Boundaries

A suburban home in Australia is shrinking in land size even though the average house size is headed in the opposite direction. What hasn’t changed is fencing around the block of land in order to separate it from a neighbour’s property. Broken fences, overgrown hedges and pets jumping fences are a known source of conflicts. We value our privacy. Those fences are boundaries. To go over them without permission will be trespassing. Renting, owning or owned outright – our home is our safe haven. When we chat with neighbours across the fence, there is a sense of security that comes with standing on our own patch of land. A little piece of Australia over which we have custody, albeit temporal.

The home also has compartments. The garage, bedrooms, living areas, bathrooms and toilets all have boundaries with an access door. Some rooms have locks that demand a knock before one opens it. You say this is not rocket science, I know. A house protects us from the physical elements of the environment. It serves as a sanctuary to relax, rest and reconnect with the most important relationships in life. It can be argued that rest, relaxation and reconnecting is, sadly, not everyone’s experience of a home. However, most people will agree that a home should be a safe sanctuary where occupants are free. Free to be who they are, again, within agreed boundaries. And thankfully, the majority of suburban homes continue to remain a safe sanctuary that allows members of the household to grow and flourish as they learn to serve one another.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather serve one another humbly in love.
Galatians 5:13 NIV

By nature, boundaries are restrictive yet freeing. It provides security for the individual, family and community. Lack of boundaries may initially present as freedom. However, when boundaries are not set in place and observed early enough the consequences could be dire. Lack of boundaries can lead to chaos, insecurity and suffering. In the story of the lost son in Luke 15:11- 32, the younger son was eager to break free of his father’s oversight. He demanded his share of the inheritance and departed to live it up in a far away land. His boundary-less indulgence resulted in him desiring the same food the pigs he was hired to feed, ate.

So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
Luke 15:15-16 NIV

Think of living without appropriate boundaries. When the reality of a world that is not centred around us, strikes, the blame game begins. Lack of personal responsibility results in brushes with the law. Unfortunately, the common way the law enforcement authority applies boundaries is by restriction of freedom in the form of penalties or jail time. Succumbing to every wish or instinct we may have without consideration of the consequences on ourselves, and others is a recipe for all kinds of pain.

“Boundaries are to protect life, not to limit pleasure” – Edwin Louise Cole

In the case of the younger son in Luke 15, he came to his sense and was humble enough to realise he needed to return home, offering to be treated not as a son but a hired hand – an indication of how appreciative he was of the privileges the boundaries his father’s household provided.

When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants”.
Luke 15:17-18 NIV

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1 NIV

When boundaries are appropriate, we grow, flourish and engage in respectful relationships. This brings pleasure to God our father, for in choosing to serve others, we serve Him. When we ignore boundaries in pursuit of our self-desires and passions, we hurt not only ourselves and others, but also God who made us in his image.

Take some time today to reflect on areas of your life where freedom has caused you to indulge the flesh. Perhaps it’s time to put up some fencing…




Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.


  1. Emeka Walter OHAHURU

    So true, God’s boundaries set us free and are for my good.

    Thanks, Elder Ali

    • Ali

      So true though it doesn’t always seem so to us. Thank you Emeka

    • Kefas Makadi Samu

      Very true and timely,too much freedom leads to ultimate chain on things destructive, cigar, alcohol,women,clashes with the law and jail.
      May we have healthy boundaries that pleases God and make for a fulfilled life.

    • Ruth Akwara M

      ‘ freedom within boundaries ‘…. is a nice piece, setting should be done at early stage of life, and is considered obedience to authority and to God

  2. Danlami Rukujei

    Apt. Great teaching

    • Ali

      Thank you, honourable.

      • Kenneth Akwara

        I receive the grace to stay within the boundaries that keeps me & still enjoy my freedom in Christ.

  3. Japhet Nehemiah Maiyanga

    This is absolutely right, we can go overboard without boundaries, the whole Law and the commandments of God is aim at prpreserving us as God’s heritage. Am lifted and reminded. Thanks!

    • Ali

      Thank you, Dr Maiyanga

  4. Abdulrahman Rufai

    Composition was great sir! I love it especially the part; “Boundaries are to protect life, not to limit pleasure” – Edwin Louise Cole
    That’s inarguably true because without boundaries, one’s bound to temptations and as the famous writer wrote from his book(Maximized manhood); “Temptation can be tormenting, but remember: The torment of temptation to sin is nothing to compare with the torment of the consequences of sin. Remorse and regret cannot compensate for sin….though sins can be forgiven immediately – the consequences can last a lifetime”
    May God protect us all from indulging in things that will eventually lead us to temptation. Amen

    • Ali

      My nephew, na gode. So true

  5. Bitrus B Cobongs

    Amen, brother. I am blessed by your ministry, and I thank God for technology that allows me to benefit from afar. This message is on point for us all.

    • Ali

      Encouraging from a seasoned minister and veteran. Thank you, my brother

    • Elkanah Kabilis

      The words “God’s boundaries don’t fence you in-They set you FREE” are so true and timeless.

      Using the home to illustrate this truth is very apt and will serve as a constant reminder.

      Thank you, Elder Ali, for sharing.

  6. Francis Achi

    Beautiful piece with deep message.

    • Ali

      From a seasoned journalist, well appreciated

  7. Yakubu Buba Kwasshak

    While we are focussing on fear, worry, or hate. It is not possible for us to be experiencing happiness, enthusiasm or love, you are absolutely right

  8. Chef Ajaero

    On point. Temporal is the word…

  9. Philemon Tanko Danladi

    A very good fact about freedom here; You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather serve one another humbly in love.
    Galatians 5:13 NIV. It connotes service to humanity as the Best Work Of Life. Am so Blessed.

  10. Gabriel Toma

    Wow! Great word! Beautifully crafted! Very refreshing!
    Thank you for sharing, Sir!

  11. C J Esomeju

    Boundaries are important to protect each other from psychological and physical threats but can also alienate people from each other, therefore, recognition of boundaries requires caution to avoid excessive separation that can result to hermits.

  12. Amboge Samson

    I find the ideas shared in “FREEDOM within BOUNDARIES” really inspiring. It talks about important things like having freedom and knowing how to be responsible, finding room for personal growth, treating others well, admitting our mistakes and trying to make things right, serving others as if we’re serving God, letting what God wants to guide us more than what we want, finding the right balance between enjoying ourselves and staying safe, and helping us realise where we need to be more in control of ourselves. May God give us more grace to apply them in our daily life.

  13. Danladi Umar

    Thank you Elder (Mr Prof. my Doc.) I never understood the meaning of boundaries in relation to life as it is applied here in all ramifications of reality. It has broadened my understanding as applied to activities of daily living. Thanks may God in his infinite mercy continue to grease you for greater highs. Thank you very much for this topic on BOUNDARIES. Remain blessed. Regards to family


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


For those unfamiliar with the story of the Bible who may be seeking to remedy that unfamiliarity, I would recommend that they start reading in the New Testament. It is there that they will be introduced immediately to Jesus who is the central character of the whole Bible. For many novice readers of the Bible who then attempt to read the Old Testament of the Bible (its first 39 books), it initially seems like they are reading a completely unrelated story which seems to describe a completely different God. But with a little patience and persistence the reader will begin to suspect that this is not a different story but is in fact the prequel to the New Testament. Then a strange supernatural thing happens as they continue to become acquainted with the lives of the patriarchs, judges, kings and prophets, as these characters interact with enemies, giants, angels, strange heavenly beings, and GOD Himself. The reader begins to see in a similar way to what a photographer could not previously see clearly until his camera’s focus was adjusted to make the picture clear — the GOD who created, acted, spoke and judged, frequently referred to Himself as ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘our’, and at times seemed to have conversations with divine characters identified as ‘the LORD’ and ‘Me’ and ‘His Spirit’ (Isa. 48:16). And this all begins to sound very reminiscent of the GOD described in the New Testament as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. With a growing knowledge of the Bible and hunger to understand it, the follower of Christ discovers that literally for thousands of years prior to this day there have been many many others who have also walked the journey of discovery through the mysterious pages of the Bible and have each made a startling discovery about the human Jesus’ pre-existence throughout the pages of the Old Testament.


The One who spoke the world into existence entered materially into His World and “split time in half”. He came to rescue the world because a great betrayal occurred. One of His chief agents was filled with self-deception and conceited envy and manipulated a serpent to his bidding in destroying the very last and highest of the Lord’s “very good” creation. Disappointingly she fell for it – and her husband who supposed to protect her failed in his most basic of responsibilities. Their fall from innocence and into grace plunged that was momentarily and formerly under their vice-regency. The world had now gone rogue. When the Eternal Son of God submitted to His co-LORD, the Holy Spirit placed Him into a virgin’s womb by uniting his consciousness and sinless essence with the ovum of this young virgin. In doing so, Immanuel relinquished none of His sovereign power or prerogatives but chose to lay aside His glory and become fully human. And for those who came to recognise who He actually was, it ever caused them to fall down at His feet in adoration, or shrink back from Him in terror. The side-effect of those who who adored him was a new ability to sleep. If you have trouble sleeping because of worries, you too can discover how an acquaintance with the Lordship of Jesus the Christ can also help you to sleep better. 


Today, “Jesus Christ is Lord” sounds like a bumper sticker or part of an ancient church liturgy but when Christianity was founded if someone uttered these words it could literally mean death! ’o christos ’o kurios “Christ is Lord” was a risky thing to declare when the only safe thing to declare was ’o kaiser ’o kurios “Caesar is Lord”! Yet it was upon these words that the earliest confession of the Church was founded. For the early Christians, this was not a glib, throw-away line uttered during a church service or something stuck on the backside of your donkey (or chariot if you were wealthy).  


I really dislike the expression ‘moving forward’. So many people say, ‘moving forward’ from the meeting, the experience, the…. whatever! Has anyone stopped to think that time continues. We can’t go back. Even if we are reflecting, or for that matter mulling, we are in the continuum of time, and unless we have a mythical time machine, we just can’t go backwards in time. Our only option is to ‘move forward’.


I have long said that my primary role as a shepherd-pastor is to help people to die well. To do this, as I have often said, requires that we learn how to live life well. Of all the normally uncomfortable subjects that Christians find it difficult to talk about, death should not be one of them. But it is. This is because, of all the world religions, only Christianity has a positive view of death. After all, we have a divine Saviour who confronted and conquered death. As a result the original apostles mocked death.
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
¶ The sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.”
(First Corinthians 15:55-56)
These apostles refused to be intimidated by death which was ultimately evidenced by their martyrdoms. The apostle Paul could look forward to his death with the obvious lament that he would no longer be available to help those he had led to the Lord (Phil. 1:23-25). But he could face his impending death with the assurance that it would mean that he would immediately be in the presence of his Lord — and so should we! And like Paul, we too should be be able to talk about death in a very different way to those who do not know what we know.


Each of these uncomfortable topics in this brief series of articles are uncomfortable because there they carry a sense of embarrassment or even shame attached to them. But this particular topic also carries a good deal of pain associated with it – in addition to any feelings of embarrassment or shame. This pain may involve a sense of failure, betrayal, rejection, and humiliation. Divorce rarely effects just the two people involved in ending a marriage. Divorce can scar people like little else can. It can scar socially, financially, emotionally, relationally, and even a person’s physical health – and sometimes do so permanently.


All of us feel sad at some point – even people who are usually happy most of the time. Usually though for most people there will be some understandable reason for it. This might include the loss of a loved one, a certain disappointment, an accident, or sympathy for someone. This kind of sadness is temporary. But there is a kindness of sadness that lingers which leaves a person drained, teary, thinking dark thoughts, and feeling desperately lonely. This is usually when we consider someone is experiencing ‘depression’ and it is one of those things that Christians find difficult to admit to or even talk about.


There are some things that Christians can’t and don’t talk about – but probably should. So, I would like to pastorally share some thoughts about this taboo topic of doubt in what will be part 1 in this short series of pastor’s desk articles of four taboo topics that Christians can’t talk about.


Resilience was one of the predominant character traits of the early Christians. They called it being steadfast. For these early Christians being ‘resilient’ meant being able to keep going despite set backs, discouragements, betrayals, unforeseen circumstances, lack of energy, motivation, and resources. Like a weary hiker looking down a long road that leads to the mountain range they must walk over, being resilient in life means putting one foot in front of the other, and then doing it again, and again, and again, and so on. God knows that today, in what many are describing as “Post-Christendom” (and the resilient among us prefer to think of as Pre-Christendom) to be resilient is to live with a purpose, to stay focused, to live for others, and to strive toward a good, honourable, goal. With so many reasons to lose sight of the true purpose of life the tendency is to be tricked into believing that life right now is too hard. But the truth be told – people need to know how to be more resilient. Leaders especially need to be resilient right now. Churches assuredly need to be resilient at this time. With the recent interference into churches by government through the measures they said was “to keep people safe” — it has actually depleted people’s ability and willingness to be resilient! Here’s what leaders, people, and churches can do about it.


home > Pastor's Desk > 2023 > July 21st > COME ON IN AND JOIN USSome people think of ‘church’ as a place of religious rituals. To them it a place where sermons are preached, hymns are sung, weddings are conducted, funerals formalised, and babies are...