Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tuesday's with Jesus #100

#100 "A Breach in Your Wall"
June 12, 2007
"There will be no breaching of walls, no going into captivity, no cry of distress in our streets. Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the Lord." (Psalm 144: 14-15)
You're a Christian. You go to church every Sunday. You read your Bible and pray. You serve on committees, help feed the poor, maybe teach Sunday school. You don't drink, dance or chew and you don't hang out with those who do. In spite of all these things, your marriage is falling apart. Your kids are running wild. The eviction notice is in the mail. The lights are about to be cut off. Your health is deteriorating and you just never feel well. If it weren't for bad news, you'd have no news at all. Those words of health and prosperity that you hear just never seem to ring true in your life. There might be a breach in your wall.
It's easy to blame the devil. And sometimes it really is his fault. I can attest to the fact, and I mean FACT, that I am presently going through a season where the enemy is coming in like a flood. When you are about to embark on a new level of intimacy with God or increased fruit bearing for His Kingdom, don't think for a minute that Satan is happy. He'll fight you with every weapon in his arsenal, particularly those things that he knows are your Achille's heel. But "when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." (Isaiah 59: 19 KJV) That's not what I'm talking about.
Not everything is the devil's fault. Sometimes we play a large part in the distresses of our lives. We create breaches in the walls of our own safety and security. A "breach" is literally a break in something. In the case of walls, a breach is an opening in the wall, a rupture or a gap. In Bible times, cities were surrounded by walls. They were thick and strong. Among the Jews, walls were built of stone. "Walls" were used metaphorically in the Bible to mean security and protection (see Isaiah 26:1, 60: 18 and Revelation 21: 12-20). Walls protect. When walls are breached, those inside are vulnerable to enemy attack. They are not protected. They are open prey for the enemy army. 
It's interesting that while the word breach can be a thing or a noun, as we've just described, it can also be a verb, an action. According to the Law.com Dictionary, a "breach" is a failure to perform a contract or a failure to do one's duty. It is failing to perform one's agreement, breaking one's word or otherwise actively violating one's duty to another. Now we're getting somewhere. 
The picture that God paints for us in Psalm 144, verses 12-14 give us a view of ideal family life in a community whose God is the Lord. The sons are vigorous as young plants; the daughters are tall and stately; the barns are full; the flocks are prolific; and the oxen are strong. The people are blessed with peace. Such are material blessings expected in such an ideal society. A society where God is their Lord. Does this describe your life? If not, why? Again, there might be a breach in your wall.
What part of your wall have you left wide open to enemy invasion? Where have you failed to do your duty, keep your word or otherwise violate your commitment to God? It might be your disobedience to God's written word. Or saying "no" to the voice of the Holy Spirit telling you to do something or not to do something. It may be your lack of self control in some aspect of your life. Proverbs 25: 28 says, "Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control." Are you actively violating one of the ten commandments? Are you proud? Do you continue to gossip, finger-point and judge? Is it adultery, pornography, a relationship in a chat room that you're not willing to give up, at the expense of your marriage? Are you squandering the material blessings that God provides? Are you selfish and self-seeking instead of looking out for the benefit of the other guy and having a ministry of encouragement and edification? It might be outright blatant sin or something a little more subtle and harder to identify. Only you know where your breach is....only I know where mine is. But I'm telling you.... that is right where the enemy is gaining entrance into your life.
The way that the children of Israel rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah is a perfect illustration of what we need to do to repair our own broken, breached walls. First, people were assigned to build sections of the wall near their own homes. This is where they had a personal interest and a great motivation to work at it. "By arranging for each man to work close to his own home, Nehemiah made it easy for them to get to work, to be sustained while on the job, and to safeguard those who were nearest and dearest to them. It also insured that each person would put his best effort into what he was doing." (Getz, Gene A., Nehemiah: Becoming a Disciplined Leader, (Broadman and Holman, 1995), p. 53.) Put your best effort into getting your own house in order. Take the time to search your heart and your life for those vulnerable, open areas that are giving the devil access to your life. Then work hard to close the breach.
Second, remember that you are also a part of the Body of Christ. There are others out there, rebuilding their breached walls, just like you. Come along side of them. Encourage them. Encourage each other. Pray for one another. Be accountable. Walk along side each other for the common goal of being a beautiful picture of a city with strong walls....walls that can't be penetrated by the enemy of your souls. 1 Peter 2:5 says that "you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." Romans 12:5 says, "..so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." Do the breach-plugging individually and corporately for Jesus' sake.
And last, know that the enemy won't be happy. God's work of rebuilding seldom goes forward without opposition. Right after Nehemiah 3 where we read about the work of rebuilding, comes Chapter 4 about the opposition that Nehemiah and the people encountered. They were ridiculed, they were becoming exhausted physically and spiritually. But the Bible says that they "prayed to [their] God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat."  Assess your vulnerable points....start rebuilding and closing up the breaches, pray, encourage each other and let God give you the victory.
You will rebuild the ancient ruins and raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings (Isaiah 58: 12). You will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest (Isaiah 32: 18). God will strengthen the bars of your gates and bless  your people within you. He will grant peace to your borders and satisfy you with the finest of wheat (Psalm 147: 13-14). There will be no breaching of walls, no going into captivity, no cry of distress in your streets. Blessed are you, the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the Lord. (Psalm 144: 14-15)
Donna Schultz                                                                             

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