“I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.” — Acts 24:16 (ESV)
Tearing Down Walls
In order to protect our hearts from the pain and wounds of the world, we both consciously and subconsciously build walls. These walls take all sorts of forms. Some walls are built for appearance so that outward beauty covers up inward brokenness. Some 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.
Whatever wall we choose to build, one thing’s for certain: The walls might guard us from harm, but they also keep us from ever experiencing true life.
Abundant life comes from being both fully known and then fully loved. We can’t experience the love of God and others if we don’t allow ourselves to be known. We can’t experience God’s grace and affection for us if we shield ourselves from Him out of fear that He will see us and reject us. And whenever someone tries to love us fully, we will always reject their love by saying, “If you truly knew me, you wouldn’t love me.” Living with walls up isn’t really living; it’s surviving.
God knows our pains. He knows our wounds. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” God is for you. He longs to be near to you and save you. But in order for you to experience the fullness of His love and healing, you have to let Him in. And in order for you to experience true life, you have to stop trusting in your walls to protect you and start trusting in the powerful, capable hands of your loving Father.
In Psalm 57:7 David writes, “My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident” (NLT). God is the One who protects our hearts. There is nothing we can do to fully shield ourselves from the wounds this world causes, except allow our hearts to be fully open to God. Only in God can we have confidence. Only in God can we trust. And only in God will we experience true, abundant life.
Take time today to tear down your walls brick by brick. Stop placing your hope in that which can’t ever truly protect you. And look to God as your great Protector that you might be fully known and fully loved today. May your time of prayer be marked by freedom and deliverance in the Holy Spirit.
— Craig Denison, First15
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