Many of us have experienced the crushing blow of embarrassment. Many of us have experienced the powerful pain of disappointment. We have experienced rejection and failure. We’ve been hurt by others with their words and by their actions. And in all of these cases, we’re left with a reality that causes us to protect our hearts from the pain and wounds of the world that consciously and subconsciously build walls.
These walls take all sorts of forms — the walls a child builds on the playground against the mean words of another is vastly different from the walls an adult builds who’s trapped in an abusive and toxic relationship. I read in a devotional once “walls are built for appearance so that outward beauty covers up inward brokenness. That walls are built to be strong and tough so that pride and strength cover up inward vulnerability and self-consciousness. Some walls are built in order to blend in so that people pass us by altogether and never try to know us.” (Craig Denison)
Regardless, the walls we build that are meant to protect us, also keep us from experiencing a true freedom and joy that’s found in Christ alone. Friends, it’s time to tear down the walls that are holding us captive and keeping us from living in the priceless joy of having an abundant relationship with the Lord.
Are you allowing the Lord to be the protector of your life? Are you trusting in his provision? The walls we have built to protect are giving us a false hope, and we have to stop putting our hope in something that’s never be able to do for us what God alone can do for us. Psalm 3:3 declares: “But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.”
Stop placing confidence in things we can’t fully trust or surrender to. Seek to cultivate Christlike joy by purposing to abide in him throughout your day. It comes down to an issue of love for many of us. A true and authentic love relationship produces a confidence and trust that can’t be broken. But in the reality of the world we live in, people and events have corrupted this true love for us and that has deeply impacted our confidence in the love of God for us. That directly is affecting our trust in Him and in trusting in his provision for us.
Friends, in order for anyone of us to have any hope at experiencing this glorious freedom and abundant life in Christ, we have to stop trusting in the walls we’ve build to protect ourselves, and we must start trusting in the powerful, capable hands of your loving Father.
Begin to look at those things you have placed your hope in for protection. Perhaps you’ve built for yourself a wall of protection you weren’t even aware of, and it’s affecting your spiritual growth and reliance on the Lord. This also shows you where you’re guarded and holding back, which provides you with prayer points so you may surrender fully all you are to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
As you explore this, you begin to identify the walls you’ve built that need to be brought down. As you confess to him the things and the people you’ve placed your trust and hope in instead of him, be faithful to share your heart to him and experience once again the safety of his mercy and grace. God is faithful and just and he forgives you and restores you and fills you anew with his good pleasure, his redemptive plans and his everlasting hope!
The Lord is with you in this journey and he heals and redeems you in this process of tearing down the walls you’ve built. He wants you to clearly see his love for your life and to fully trust in that love above all else, so you have an eternal hope that comes from being found in Christ alone.
When our relationship with God is secure, we’re free to run to him, with no hindrances or distractions or obstacles. Invest in this relationship with your loving Lord. And run to him, allow him to affirm who you are, and to fill you with his hope for every circumstance you encounter.
Nick Emery is the senior pastor at Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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