A rich man’s wealth is…like a high wall in his own imagination.
He sets up walls and ramparts for security.
Wall of Stone
Walls. They enclose or divide; protect or isolate; include or exclude. Walls create boundaries. We can choose to remain behind, climb over, dig under them, or tear them down. Physical walls in our homes shelter us from the weather, keep out intruders, and give us a sense of security and privacy. They are made of wood, brick, stone, cement and, in some places, mud and straw. Walls are sometimes built for purposes of defense. They also hold back flooding rivers, mark property limits, enclose dangerous animals or people.
Spiritual walls fall into two categories: man-made (walls of brick) or God-made (walls of stone). Brick is a block of clay, usually rectangular, hardened by drying in the sun or by burning in a kiln until hard, and used for building, paving, etc. On the other hand, stone is a hard concretion of earth or mineral matter, as lime, silica, or clay. In other words, brick is man-made, stone is God’s creation.
God creates walls for our protection. They enclose us, His people, in a safe place. They create an atmosphere of community where we may freely fellowship together in Jesus. Within His walls we find acceptance, peace, truth, and all of God’s blessings. We can choose to remain outside His walls, but we will also find ourselves outside of His favor and purpose for our lives. Our heavenly Father desires to gather us into His enclosure where He can shepherd us, care for us, feed us and teach us.
Picture a flock of sheep after a day out in the pasture, as the shepherd leads them into the
sheepfold for the night. They trustingly follow their leader. They are assured of peaceful sleep, safe from roving predators, faithfully guarded by their loving shepherd. The wolves may howl, but why should the sheep fear? What if the night is black, no stars are shining, no moonlight illuminates the countryside? The sheep are content to be with their shepherd. It is his responsibility to keep watch. He will risk his life for those sheep. But suppose one sheep refuses to enter the fold? What fate might await this defenseless creature who ignores the possibility of danger? Are we not often like that sheep? We want to be in control, to rely on our own powerless defenses. We raise up temporary walls of brick; God builds for eternity with stone.
God builds with stone
To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ;
Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
Jesus is the chief cornerstone in the building of God. We, His people, are also living stones. If we are obedient to Him, He will place us into His building, His walls. We are built on a solid foundation. This wall, this building, can never crumble!
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
But walls of brick are built by people who wish to insulate and isolate themselves and exclude others from their lives. Protecting ourselves from pain becomes a priority. Hidden in the comfort zone behind our walls, our attitude speaks loudly: “I choose my own way, in spite of what others may say!” While locked away in these false sanctuaries, we nurse our hurts, cling to wrong attitudes, persist in our sinful ways and delude ourselves into believing that we have the right to our own choices. We erect walls with bricks made of grudges, unforgiveness, anger, jealousy, selfishness, the nurturing of past abuses and rejection. After building the walls, we justify our actions with an attitude of self-righteousness, and create a false sense of security. We deceive ourselves. What we trust is protecting us is actually isolating us from the place of healing in Jesus. We not only barricade ourselves in, we obstruct all attempts of aid from outside. Self-pity, struggling in our own strength, striving for acceptance and love is fruitless and will, in the end, bring despair. Our only hope is to be hidden with Christ within the walls of His fold.
How can we deal with rebellion? We must tear down those walls, dismantle them brick by brick. The power of God is essential for us to accomplish this; He alone can help us overcome every obstacle in our lives. Only Jesus can heal our wounds. When we realize that we are poor and needy, then the Lord can work in us.
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;
That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.
He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.
Destroy your walls of brick; scatter the rubble to the four winds; flee from your self-made prisons. Be instead a prisoner of Jesus Christ.1 Experience the joyous freedom of being enclosed within God’s stone walls where you are protected by His Holy Spirit, surrounded by His chosen people. Fenced in by His love you can find healing and rest from futile self-effort. Patiently wait for the Lord and see what wonderful things He will do. Remember: we are living stones; we are God’s building. We are the triumphant church of God!
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ… 1
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.1
Thought for the day: Never build your own walls of separation when the Lord is waiting for you to allow Him to be an encompassing wall of protection around you at all times.
Prayer: Father, I pray for all those who have over the years built walls to protect themselves against rejection, hurt, and many other things. Help them to know that these walls, rather than isolating them from further hurt, are really separating them from the process of healing and wholeness in Jesus Christ. Teach them how to destroy those walls. Let them fall like the walls of Jericho, never to be rebuilt again. Help them to release all the hurts, guilt, feelings of rejection, unforgiveness, shame, desires for revenge, refusal to open themselves to the love of others and to Your love. Give them faith to believe You will release them and replace those walls with Your strong walls of love. Father, my heart grieves for those who have been so severely hurt by others that they can see no place of healing. Oh, Lord, reveal Your love to their hearts. Show them just how much You long for them to cast all their cares on You and lean on You for their support. Touch them, Jesus, and make them whole. May they learn to let go of the past and allow You to be their Comforter, their Healer, their Life. Lord fill them with joy. May they find their sole satisfaction in the Savior of their souls. Break every bondage in their lives, and set them free to worship and serve You. Help each one to pray and believe for their own release. Thank You, Lord. Amen.