22 Jun The Walls Come Tumbling Down
It starts from a very young age. Stemming from physical abuse, emotional pain, grief, loss, sorrow, betrayal, etc., we start building the walls that surround our hearts. It’s a natural instinct, not something that is taught at all. Even in young children it’s a defense mechanism that helps us cope, and helps us feel safe.
Everyone has walls of some kind. Walls are set up to provide security. Throughout history, walls have been built around fortresses, cities and across borders. In the Bible, even God has called men to build walls. Like Nehemiah, whom God called to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem to keep it safe from its enemies.
Nehemiah 2:17 – Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.”
There are at least 50 references in the Bible to walls and building walls.
When we are hurt, we put up barriers between us and the people who cause us distress. For a time, they are necessary to protect us. As your heart breaks, it gets tougher, and harder. Those bricks just keep going higher and higher.
If the abuse or pain is coming from more than one area, and you are getting hit in multiple ways, the walls keep going up between you and more and more people, until eventually you just feel walled in. You find safety in that, knowing that you are untouchable, unreachable, unhurtable. It becomes hard for people to get through, but it is safer for you that way.
In ministry, I have encountered many who have learned to build great walls around their heart. There are some people who run straight into my arms for a hug and other just draw back and don’t even want to be touched. Walls.
We get to the point where we just don’t trust anyone. We stay behind our walls and feel like the whole world can just go to hell. We grow to believe in our heart that everyone is out to hurt us, so we work hard not to let anyone in.
Those walls we build keep everyone out and in our solitude we pacify ourselves or numb ourselves with drugs and alcohol. We boost our mood with sex, shopping or eating. We criticize others to make ourselves feel better. It helps us to feel content in our self-made prison. But it is never satisfying and it is never fulfilling. Our walls feel comfortable after all.
But there’s one thing about old walls, they can chip away, and by some miracle, a crack of light breaks through and shines on our face. That’s what happened to me the night I accepted Christ as my Savior. I was in a small church in Conway, SC. My sister nagged me to death about going so I finally gave in. I was listening to this young preacher talk about Jesus, and that He died on the cross just for me. He said Jesus was the sacrifice that had to be made to bear the weight of the sins of the world and redeem each of us for the glory of God’s love and eternal life with Him.
Something about what he said struck me, and God was able to break through those high, thick walls. It was if I was hearing the truth for the first time. I went forward and openly gave my life to Jesus Christ and I knew my life would change.
When God called Nehemiah to build the walls around Jerusalem, it was to serve as protection for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. But you know with God, there’s always another message. God intended to demonstrate to all believers for all time that victory is found within the walls of salvation and we need to be in a close relationship with Him in order to flourish.
Isaiah 60:18 – No longer will violence be heard in your land,
nor ruin or destruction within your borders,
but you will call your walls Salvation
and your gates Praise.
The walls around Jerusalem gave the Jews, Gods chosen people, protection from their enemies, but the wall also represents spiritual protection to all believers. Victory is found within the walls of salvation!
As our walls come down, God replaces the bricks we built high with His own hedge of protection, but now instead of a wall of our own making, we are surrounded and protected by our Father in Heaven who loves us and wants to heal us and help us.
As Believers in Jesus Christ, we are set apart for the service of God and the building up of His Kingdom. Now, all the trials and tests that we go through and endure, all serve to help us grow in strength and in faith because now we have the Lord on our side helping us. We trade the walls built by pain and separation for the arms of a loving Father who embraces us.
We are no longer helpless children who have to build walls around their heart to protect themselves, but we have an Almighty God, our Father in Heaven who adores us, watches over us, protects us, teaches us, guides us, and moves Heaven and Earth for us. He is our help and we are His glory.
Colossians 2:6-8 – So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
This means don’t believe everything you hear!
Scripture makes it clear that if we fail to grow spiritually, if we fail to build up our spiritual wall, we are vulnerable to attack.
“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” ~ Proverbs 25:28
The whole time Nehemiah and his men were building and repairing the walls around Jerusalem, their enemies were standing outside mocking them and trying to get them to believe they would never finish in time, they wouldn’t be able to pay for it, they were too weak to accomplish it.
This is the same thing the devil does to us every day. We hear his mocking voice telling us we will fail, we will never be free, we will never be healed or whole again, and that Jesus is a lie. He tries to defeat our faith and our spiritual growth by constantly reminding us of our failures, our past and our shame. Satan tries to keep us prisoners behind the very walls we built!
Isaiah 25:4 – For You have been a defense for the helpless, A defense for the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the breath of the ruthless is like a rain storm against a wall.
A rain storm against a wall. What can rain do to a wall? Can it destroy it? Can it tear it down? NO! When you accept Jesus Christ as your savior, when you keep Jesus Christ at the center of your life, you do not need walls anymore. You don’t have to build walls around your heart or around you any longer because you are not alone. God builds the wall around you. He is your fortress and your strength. He is your rock and your refuge. He is your shelter against the storm. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will protect you for as long as you live. He will make your enemies your footstool.
Isaiah 54:4 – “Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth.
Remember when I said that a little stream of light can break through the darkness? That is exactly what happens when you surrender to Christ.
Ephesisans 5:14 – For anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
This is us waking up from a deep sleep!! God shines the light of Christ into our dark and fearful soul and suddenly we feel hope, we feel His presence, His warmth. We see His help, we hear His call, we experience His power. We feel His arms around us now instead of a wall we built.
How do we tear down the walls we built? Walls that have been there as long as we can remember? Walls that not only keep others out, but keep us prisoners of our past and our shame?
Love. As we learn to love one another, God breaks down those walls brick by brick.
Forgiveness. As we learn to forgive one another and those who hurt us, we let go of the anger and the pain and the bricks fall down one by one.
Service. As we step out of ourselves and our place of comfort, and find ways to serve others, help others, encourage others, we see those walls crumble and the bricks fall.
Prayer. We pray for God to help us tear down the walls. We pray for God to restore trust in us and bring back joy. We pray for God to give us a clean heart and one without shame and guilt.
Preaching and encouraging is my way of serving, but all around you there are opportunities to love one another, help each other, listen, forgive those who hurt you, and pray together.
What you’ve lost is nothing compared to what God has in store for you! The enemy lost his chance to destroy you, so it’s too late now. He should have killed you when he had the chance, but he failed. Why? Because God has a wall around you. The wall is His loving arms. The devil is too late today, because you now know the truth and he can’t touch you. We will see the fulfillment of what God has for us because we have called Jesus to be our Lord and Savior. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. You have a destiny that is greater than your past.
When you feel doubt creeping in, when you feel condemnation, when you feel shame or feel those bricks going back up, stop and pray. Bind the devil in the name of Jesus. Use the power God gave you and the authority you have through Jesus Christ to bind all things evil.
You are the very children of God and the walls are tumbling down in the name of Jesus! There are bricks on the ground all around you! Bricks of pain, bricks of abuse, bricks of humiliation and rejection, bricks of insecurity and neglect.
Don’t put them back up, walk around them, kick them out of the way. You are free of the walls that you’ve hidden behind for so long. Free in the name of Jesus.