Friday, October 11, 2013
Walls Falling, Life Building
By Brenda Black
In the middle of the night, after fitful dreams of disaster thanks to an unwelcome and untimely problem, I jumped out of bed and headed for fresh air and prayer. A few tears later and an agreement with God to surrender helped me slowly return to sleep. The following morning, the wall had not fallen, but it seemed there might be a crack through which my Lord was shining a ray of reason. Before I ever opened my eyes, I could feel the warmth and I envisioned myself standing in the light of that symbolic pencil thin sliver of hope and felt a little more sane. God was already chipping away at the wall.
Dr. Ted Engstrom, past president of Youth for Christ, was quoted in Bill Bright The Greatest Lesson I Ever Learned: “A friend explained, 'Begin every day by offering your life, walk, and ways to the Lord as a living sacrifice. Put your body, mind, will, time, energy and all that you have into the hands of the Lord. Make it a daily experience.' What a wonderful bit of advice this has been.”
Those are wall falling, life building words! It's not our strength or ingenuity that decimates the barriers. God's complete and effortless mastery over all things clears paths and crumbles troubles. All He asks of me is to come to him with my mind, body and will.
In Joshua 6, the walls of Jericho tumbled down upon themselves when God's people obeyed instructions and marched around the city for seven days. Those walls may have towered a good 25 feet high and measured 20 feet thick. No shouts from a small army would be enough to budge a brick, but belief in the God of heaven heaped a fortified city into a pile of shards and dust. The crashing walls of Jericho was an act of God!
As I sensed God breaching my most current, looming edifice, I also began to see some self-made enclosures that had shut me off from feeling safe in the center of His protective will. I needed to get to work chipping away at some of those as well. That's called repentance.
Whether the walls that confine us are erected by others or ourselves, made of concrete or philosophy, difficulty or pride is irrelevant. God can lay them low if we put our trust and faith in His strength. But, in order to conquer, we may need to surrender first so that the walls can fall and lives can be rebuilt. As the Lord renovates, He searches for pure hearts, right motives and willingness with which to work. Once discovered, there will He erect His dwelling and reside.
God clarified to Solomon the prerequisite for holy construction. “'And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.'” (1 Chronicles 28:9-10)
Fallen walls and erected lives are only possible through the power of the Savior. I am thankful He is on my side willing to march around giant barriers, even in the middle of the night. I am humbled that He would care enough to fight my battles and reassure me of His power and presence. How could I not join forces and be devoted to One so loving and able!
If you feel like you are up against a wall, pray and shout! Then watch the Lord work it out and start building again. It's all part of his Master Builder plan to transform people into sanctuaries.