When my dog Tobi was a puppy I used to allow her to come in the front yard with me unleashed. She is a quick study and soon learned where the boundaries were and that she was not to go beyond them. She is a very good dog and generally quite obedient but she does have a little bit of a "Free Will" attitude that shows itself at times. She would meander around in the front yard slowly inching her way closer and closer to the edge of the boundary line. She would just hang around it for a period of time acting as if she had no notice of it, all the while keeping an eye on me until she thought I no longer noticed her. Then she would bound over the boundary line and run and jump all around the yard just outside the line. She is no longer allowed in the front yard unleashed.
A daily devotion I receive from David Jeremiah (Turning Point Ministries) today spoke on ways in which we are desensitized into tolerance and indifference. The truth of this really touches a chord with me. This desensitization process not only lulls us into not noticing as it occurs, but it is so subtle that we can be even be convinced that it doesn't occur at all. This false belief is expressed in our acceptance of things simply because we are in a different time in history. This is one of the most effective lies of the enemy, and oddly, it is never outdated itself. If we wipe the fog from our vision and look around through a clear lens we can see this occurring all around us. As certain behaviors, beliefs, etc, become more visible, over time they lose their "shock" effect and become tolerated. After they have been tolerated for a while, then they begin to appear "normal" and are accepted and even embraced. This is true not only in areas of sin but also (maybe even more so) in areas that are not sinful but simply not beneficial. Like Tobi slowly moving closer to the boundary hoping that I had reached a state of tolerance and acceptance.
The center of God's will (a very large area) is the most beneficial place we can be. From that point, every step we take in any direction that is not beneficial, is a step closer to the boundary where we can, even unintentionally, move outside God's will.
O Lord, help me to be sensitive to your ways.