Monday, April 06, 2009

A City Without Walls

Then I looked up—and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand! I asked, “Where are you going?”
He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”
Then the angel who was speaking to me left, and another angel came to meet him and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, “Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of men and livestock in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,” declares the LORD, “and I will be its glory within.” (Zechariah 2:1-5 NIV)

Have you ever been in a situation in which you really wanted a good, solid response to some offense? Your feelings had been hurt, along with your pride. We picture ourselves responding in a way that is deep or witty. We try on different responses. The piercing gaze perhaps, or some one-liner that puts everything to rest. It becomes something like a competition in our minds, to out-do the offender.
Maybe what we want is a good, solid wall. You know, something to really defend ourselves. Something we can touch and feel, and tell that it is at work for us just by looking at it. We want to build something impressive, daunting to protect ourselves. And we can have that. We can work at building up that wall, making it sure, and work everything from a human standpoint.
But what if you can have a wall of the Lord's presence instead? What if instead of defending yourself and planning out your smart retorts, you invite the Lord of Glory to be your wall of fire? To surround you with His presence, and make you so prosperous in your spirit that human walls cannot contain the wealth of God's presence inside you? What if you trust Him to be your defender, forget the smart retorts and worldly means of defense, and ask the Spirit of God to speak to you just in the right moment, giving you His words?
The Spirit of the Living God does not like walls. He is wild, He is untamed, and He will not be contained in a man-made box. To walk in the Spirit instead of the flesh requires us to put down our “weapons” and trust God for the right words at the right time. In that act of faith, God takes over and takes the responsibility to defend us. Having prayed blessing on our “enemies” as the Lord has instructed us, prepares our frame of mind to set everything upside down. Instead of a sleek human response, we respond with a heart of blessing. It becomes obvious that we are not fighting with the weapons of this world. We fight with the Spirit of God, and we cannot hear him when our hearts are shouting smart comebacks.
I pray for myself, and for all my friends today, that the Lord helps us to choose His wall of fire, not the man-made one. That the glory of our lives would be that of the Spirit of God within, and the wall of fire without, always growing and spreading in such a way that a man-made wall could never contain it. That the absence of man-made walls in our lives and the living, breathing, growing Kingdom of God, surrounded by God's wall of fire, would be what the world sees in it's place. Amen!!

No comments: