Walls of the Heart
Walls can do many things. They can give support, become a solid place to prop things up against or hang things on. They can enclose a space and provide protection for all that’s within. But walls can also conceal and hide things, create a divide, or give a false sense of privacy. And the last example is the type of wall God is talking about in Ezekiel 43:7-8:
“Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the people of Israel forever. And the house of Israel shall no more defile my holy name, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoring and by the dead bodies of their kings at their high places, by setting their threshold by my threshold and their doorposts beside my doorposts, with only a wall between me and them. They have defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed, so I have consumed them in my anger.”
On New Year’s Day my pastor was giving a prophesy update and sent us over to Ezekiel to briefly look at something—I forget what it was—when I got distracted by the above passage. The part that stood out to me was “with only a wall between me and them.” Over the week, I’ve been thinking and pondering this concept of sinning right in God’s presence yet feeling safe because of the presence of a wall.
We may not have physical temples with physical walls and thresholds, but Scripture tells us that our bodies and hearts are the living temple of God and that God dwells within us as He did in the days of the Jewish temple. And how often do we build walls within our hearts so that we can feel better and rationalize our faulty reasoning and wrong perspectives?
How often do we set up walls in our heart by compartmentalizing our sin, and in the process defile God’s holy temple by bringing unrighteousness into our life with only that mental barrier between our own sinful desires and His Spirit? Then after erecting that dividing wall, how often do we get a sense of privacy and safety?
But the truth of the matter is that our mentally constructed wall cannot protect us and conceal our sin any more than the physical wall could in Ezekiel. We are just as guilty as the people of Israel! For just as God knew all about the Jews’ sinful acts done on the other side of the wall, so God also sees and knows all that goes on behind the wall in our heart. And it grieves His heart that there is any form of separation after all He’s done to bring reconciliation between Him and us.
Oh Father, break down all the walls in our hearts that cause disunity and hinder the complete filling of your presence and Spirit! May we no more defile Your temple by building mental walls of division in our hearts, but we surrender it all into Your hands. Purge it. Clean it. Break down all our strongholds, and build us anew. We are Your people, Your body, and Your dwelling place, so craft us and remodel us to become a worthy abode for Your Spirit. To You be the glory!
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