Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Best Kind of Wall to Have


I scanned through photos this morning, looking for a blog topic, and came across this one from my time in Israel. It's a picture of the Golden Gate taken from the Mount of Olives.

This gate is the only one on the eastern side of the city. It's also sometimes called the Mercy Gate. It's the gate through which Jesus is thought to have arrived on Palm Sunday and through which He is expected to arrive on His second coming.

The purpose of the gate was to allow access to the walled city. The walls, of course, were built to keep invaders and enemies out. Today, as I pondered those walls, I realized that some of the worst enemies of the city were likely inside the walls already.

Scripture tells us that kings, priests, and people alike strayed far from God. They replaced a relationship with the Most High God with a form of religion that left their hearts cold and distant. Every man (and woman) did whatever they wanted to do, whatever seemed right to them. 

When God decreed judgment on the nation because of their sin, it was as good as done. There was no military might that could keep the invaders out. There were no walls strong enough to keep the people safe within. 

Eventually, invaders entered the city of Jerusalem and carried the people into captivity. They were able to enter because of the sin in the hearts of God's people, not because of a problem with the walls.

The people of God in ancient times were no different from us today. They did whatever they wanted. They wrapped their action in "God-talk" in an attempt to cover their sin, but God saw their hearts. He knew exactly what mattered to them. He knew their desires, their hurts, and the things they used to ease their pain. Just as He does today.

It wasn't city walls that gave the greatest protection to God's people. It was God Himself. Disaster came when He removed that protection in response to their sin. 

What the people didn't quite understand was that the wall they needed most was the one around their hearts. They needed the wall that kept sin out. 

We, too, are in desperate need of the walls-of-diligence that keeps sin out of our hearts.

Today, let's stop for a moment and consider the spiritual walls of our heart. Are we careful about the things that enter and take up residence there, or have we flung the gates wide to allow anything the world offers inside? 

The best walls aren't made from brick or block or wood. The walls that offer the most protection are the walls that guard our hearts and keep sin out. Let's be sure those walls are in good repair. If it won't please God, let's choose not to let it take up residence in our heart. 

"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." 
Proverbs 4:23 NLT

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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Very Dumb Wise Man  (http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-very-dumb-wise-man.html)
And here's the link to the Snake Story: Sam The Snake Handler and Our Big Adventure 
(http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2016/05/sam-snake-handler-and-big-adventure.html)
#guardyourheart #faithlife #Jesus