Can you imagine life without walls? We live in a world of walls. Walls around houses. Walls around rooms. Walls around closets. Walls around buildings. Walls around churches. Walls around schools. Walls everywhere we go. Walls that divide. Walls that separate. Walls that distinguish. Walls that announce boundaries. Walls that reveal beginnings and ends. Walls at the beginning. Walls at the end. Walls in between. Walls here. And walls there. Even walls around our hearts. Imagine if we lived our lives without walls. Even if we still had walls everywhere we go, imagine if we at least lived our lives without walls around our hearts.
Not so very long ago, I crossed paths with a fellow traveler and discovered I still had some walls around my heart. I thought they had all come down as I continue along my journey with Jesus, but alas I discovered walls around one particular area of my heart. Astonishingly, painfully, but blessedly, the walls came tumbling down. But alas, I soon collided into the walls of my fellow traveler. My walls had come down; the other person’s had not. We finished crossing paths, and off we went in our own separate directions. Off we went without and with walls. Perhaps I have other walls; I have yet to discover. I try to live my life without walls – without walls around my heart. Because I believe God didn’t create me to live a life of walls around my heart. I believe He wants to use my heart to pour His love through to touch and transform the world around me. And how can I do that if I live a life of walls?
When I think about walls, I don’t so much consider bricks, and wood, and vinyl, and insulation, and the makings and trappings of the walls we humans spend so much time building. I think more about the walls that sin builds around our hearts, around our lives, around our friendships and families, around our towns and cities, around our states and schools, around our clubs and churches and sports teams, around our nation, around our backgrounds and ways of life, around and around and around we go.
We invest, we erect, we establish, we build, we re-build, we construct, we reconstruct, we build more and more and more walls. We even buy insurance to protect the future of our walls. But I am not talking about the physical walls of our buildings. I am talking about the walls of our lives.
WALLS OF SIN. Anger. Rage. Fear. Worry. Doubt. Bitterness. Envy. Jealousy. Hatred. Prejudice. Pride. Arrogance. Judgment. Condemnation. Lack of forgiveness. Hurt we won’t let go. Vengeance. Don’t get near me. I won’t get close to you. Don’t help me. I won’t help you. Don’t love me. I won’t love you. Sin, sin, and more sin. Walls, walls, and more walls.
We see ourselves as different. Unique. Better than. Worse than. Compared to. We peer outside our walls and look at “them”. Even in our churches, we see the differences. Walls, walls. My walls, your walls. They’re not like us. I’m not like them. Them. Us. We. I. Me. My team is better. Yours is worse. Your town ends there. Mine begins here. Our nation, wow. Look at our nation. Hey, pray for theirs. Walls, walls, more walls.
Big block, cement, concrete, iron, steel, thick, sturdy, inflexible, fireproof, ever wide, forever tall walls around our hearts. Walls of fear, envy, bitterness, pride, arrogance, self-righteousness. Lust, hatred, oh, the list goes on. Your list. My list. Your wall. My wall. Walls, walls. Forever the list goes on; forever the wall continues. On and on, on some more. Sin by sin, brick by brick, walls of “protection”. We need our protection, don’t we? Keep God out, let God in. Take Him on a walk. Doggie door? God door stuck in your wall just to make sure you’ve got control of when God can come in – and OUT? Like a dog. Sick, isn’t it? You can come in when I say so, God. Right?
Walls, walls. You get the point. Do you? We live in a world of separation. Separation by walls. All sorts of walls. And more. We are a wall-breeding world. Creating more and more walls.
But then we call ourselves Christians. Then we call ourselves loving. Then we call ourselves kind. Then we go to church on Sundays. Then we read our Bibles. Then we say our prayers. For them. For us. For both sides of the walls. We get off our knees, and return to our walls.
Yo, God, you’re on the wrong side of the wall. I just sinned. Stay out of here until I clean up the mess. Walls, walls. Fear, fear, fear. Don’t let that person in. He could hurt you. Or me. I’ll stay on this side of the wall. You can sit next to me in church. But don’t call me for help. I have a wall around my phone. I screen calls. Caller ID. Wall-er ID, eh?
What about you? What about me? Is it time to look at our walls? Is it time to bring them before God? Is it time for some of them to come tumbling down? How about all of them? Which walls do we need? Who knows? Ahem. God knows. One set of walls we need for certain.
God tells us in the Bible to go into our prayer closet and close the door (Matthew 6:6). Why should I shut the door? I need to shut the world out and focus on HIM. I need to spend time with HIM. So there are good walls. God walls. The ones He creates; the ones He desires. A closet of walls with a DOOR so when we are through spending time with Him, we go back into the world – outside the WALLS – to share the Gospel and minister His love to a world in need. Love one another, remember? Sometimes it’s hard to hear, and remember, His WORD, through the thickness of our walls.
And there are the walls He calls us to build, or re-build, like around Jerusalem in the Old Testament in the book of Nehemiah. The Bible tells us that any house building without God behind it, well, let the Lord speak for Himself in His Word: “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Psalm 127:1 KJV
Yes, there are good walls. Nothing wrong with walls around a school building. They keep the heat out, the cold out. Or the walls that protect a sports stadium from the elements. You know the deal. But those walls are good walls.
But what about the wrong ones? Walls of prejudice. Walls of arrogance. Walls of division. We are not called to be divided; we are called to be one in Christ. One. One. One.
One? What happened to this? What happened to unity in Christ? What happened to “love one another”?
Too busy building walls. Too busy keeping them up.
What if today we go before the Lord and talk to Him about walls? What if we ask Him to take down the ones that need to be demolished? What if we confess our sins to Him, the sins of walls, and ask Him to forgive us through faith in Jesus Christ? What if we surrender the walls around our hearts and stop shutting people out the Lord wants us to love, to minister to, to bless?
What if we give up the walls around our hearts and lives so we can truly love the Lord and our neighbors as ourselves as we are called to do?
What if get rid of the doggie door, the GOD door, along with the walls – the walls and door that we use to determine when God can come in, and when God must go out?
What if we really do this?
What if we truly live a life without walls – without any walls the Lord does not want us to have?
Better yet, why not do it?
Lord, there are so many walls in this world. So many walls in our lives. Lord, I did a word search on the word “wall” in the Bible using E-Sword.com, my favorite study tool. And there are tons of walls in the Bible. There are good walls, Lord, walls you want. Walls of protection. Good walls. So I started to think, maybe I’m wrong on this. Maybe this piece I started writing is just off. Maybe walls are all good. But they’re not. You know it, God. You’ve watched us create walls, walls of division and darkness, walls of sin and oh, Lord. You know the deal. Just like us, if we’re honest with ourselves.
Lord, I remember when you taught the people how to take down the walls of Jericho. Lord, I ask you to help us to see the walls we have erected, the wrong walls, the walls you did not command us to build. I ask you to not only help us to see them, but that you would bring each and every one of us to repentance for these walls. Please help us to hear from you about walls.
Lord, just this morning you showed me a sin in my heart. You brought me to repentance. I thank you for doing this! I thank you that you love us so much you do not want to simply watch us build more walls, or keep the ones up that need to come down. You want us to remember you are a merciful God, and that we can come to you in confession and receive forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus the Christ.
Oh Father, forgive our rebellion. Forgive our sick, evil, dark, wicked ways. Forgive our walls! But Lord, please don’t let me just say this prayer for “all of us”. You know I love to intercede when you call me to. But this time I ask you to PLEASE convict hearts today, prick hearts, chasten hearts, please BRING US TO REPENTANCE. Please bring people who read this to their knees, their hands, and their faces.
Bring down the walls down, however you please. For your Glory!
In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Eph 4:1 “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
Eph 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Eph 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Eph 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”