Saturday, March 22, 2014

Building Walls

Regardless of what others think, when you are going through a trial your pain is personal, and your pain is very real. Thankfully, the One who controls the dial on the trial is a loving, merciful God.

I feel like Job--there are so many different things in my life right now that are uncomfortable or physically painful. But I am in the refiner's fire and that is a good thing, because the refiner always keeps his eye on the fire.

Faith not tested is worthless, and that is how my faith has been. I can write and talk about it until I am blue in the face, but it is all for nothing if I implode when things get hard. And that is exactly what I have done.

I am quick to whine, quick to grumble and complain, when what I should do is build walls.

"Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit," (Proverbs 25:28 NASB).

Cities in the Middle East have had walls around them for protection. From the tops of these walls, watchmen could see the surrounding area and monitor who was approaching, whether visitor or invader.

When some Israelites went back from Babylonian exile to rebuild Jerusalem, they left off the building of the temple in favor of building their own homes (see Ezra, Nehemiah, and Haggai). And the walls around the city were still in ruins. Later, the Lord stirred Nehemiah to exhort the people to rebuild the walls. They were slack about it at first, because they had their houses done. But without the protection of the walls, they were vulnerable to enemy attacks. They needed the safety of those walls.

That is exactly the way it is with us. Without control over our spirit, we are vulnerable and easily manipulated by the many schemes the devil uses to bring us down: pain, anger, discouragement, lack of peace, etc.

How can we build healthy walls, those boundaries that are needed to keep us in check, but not shut out the work of the Holy Spirit?

This is something we all need to ask ourselves.  I am far from an expert, but I will share with you what I'm learning about this. Stay tuned. 

What about you? Do you struggle with building healthy walls? How do you handle trials?



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