Limits, you know those things you believe that tell you…you can’t? Limits, those self or others-imposed beliefs that stop you at a certain point for one reason or another? Limits or as in the story we are about to look at lids, that keep you from doing what needs to be done, because someone somewhere said, that’s now how it is supposed to be done. Limits or lids are ways to stop you from being who God made you to be, which is limitless.
Did you know that you are without limits, but you are with boundaries? There is a difference between limits or lids and boundaries. Limits are like lids that are forms of control that keep you contained, restrained and maintained, whether you recognize it or not, but boundaries are what keep you safe. Lids put a ceiling over your head, while boundaries, put a safety line around your life. Proverbs 22:28 says, “Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors”; Proverbs 23:10 says, “Don’t move the ancient boundary stone or encroach on the land of the fatherless.”
From Genesis to Revelation there are boundaries, God has established for people. Rivers and mountains used to be boundaries that marked out land for certain people groups or tribes, so God is pro-boundaries, but He is anti-lids. Because lids have to do with control, lids have to do with putting limits on people.
Genesis 29:1-3 says, “So Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the East. And he looked and saw a well in the field; and behold, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks. A large stone was on the well’s mouth. Now all the flocks would be gathered there; and they would roll the stone from the well’s mouth, water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on the well’s mouth”.
Jacob came to a well, there were three flocks of sheep, that is about 300-600 sheep all waiting at the well, but there was a lid on it, so they could not drink any water, yet. Why did they not roll the stone away and let the 3 flocks of sheep drink? Because it was customary to not remove the stone from the well, until…until what, the right shepherd showed up, until the correct number of sheep were ready to be watered? What were they waiting for? Someone put a limit on these flocks of sheep and told them they could not remove the stone, until….
Genesis 29:7- 8 says, “Then he (Jacob) said, “Look, it is still high day; it is not time for the cattle to be gathered together. Water the sheep and go and feed them.” But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together, and they have rolled the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep.”
Can you hear the limits put on those at the well? Jacob is like, it is hot out here, the sheep are thirsty and hungry, what are you people waiting for? They say, we can’t, we won’t, we were told not to, its protocol. Can you hear the limits? But what’s ironic, is not only can we hear the lid in their language, we can see the lid, for they are standing right there at the well that has water in it, but none of them is willing to roll the stone away so the sheep can drink. Jacob, is stupefied by this. Maybe it was because he was not a member of the flock or he wasn’t a shepherd, that is why he did not understand.
Genesis 29:9-10 says, “ Now while he (Jacob) was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother”.
Jacob, when he saw Rachel, who was a shepherdess, come with her flocks, he rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, he lifted the lid off the well, so ALL the sheep could drink. Jacob’s love for Rachel lifted the lid for all the flocks waiting around the well that had a lid on it. While the other shepherds would not remove the lid, because of some protocol, love came in and lifted the lid, removed the stone and did not care what anyone thought.
There is a group of people on the face of the earth, who are so in love with Jesus, that they are lifting the lids off of people’s lives, not out of rebellion, as though they have no boundaries, but out of love, because they have no lid. Love is lifting the lid off of people’s lives. Love is revealing to the sheep that there is no limit, no lid, no stopping how deep they can go into the presence of God, how wide open the spaces in God are.
Just like in John 4 when Jesus rolled the stone away from the Samaritan woman’s heart at Jacob’s well, she ran into town and told everybody, come meet a Man, come meet a Man. Love is lifting the lid, removing the stone from the well of living water inside of people, it is giving the sheep water to drink. Love lifts the lid, so people can come and see the Man, Jesus the Christ.