FoundationsForGrowing

The Work of My Wall: Part II

by Joanna Pierce on May 18, 2017

Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work (Nehemiah 2:17–18, KJV).

Recap

Last week, we learned about how walls were of great significance during Biblical history. Today, that same significance has translated to our spiritual walk with God. City walls provided boundaries, identity, protection, and connect people together. Our spiritual walls function the same way in our walk with God—setting boundaries for us, providing identity and protection in God, and connecting us with our Savior and the body of Christ.

9 Ways to Build Our Spiritual Walls

There are 9 ways to build our spiritual walls. Last week, we discussed praying, reading the Word, and fasting.

4—Discipleship

In the New Testament, specifically the Gospels, we find different types of people: 1) those who followed Jesus from a distance—the Roman government, Pharisees, etc.; 2) those who followed Jesus in the masses—people who were among the “multitudes” Jesus spoke to; and 3) those who followed Jesus closely—the disciples.

A disciple is a learner, and lives from the teachings of Jesus. There is a difference in just learning the teachings and living the teaching. It’s easy to enter into a relationship with Jesus through our initial salvation (repentance, baptism in Jesus name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost). But, the work in following Jesus is discipleship.

We’re told in Scripture to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). There’s an inward call to submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ, and it’s a lifelong commitment. We must die out to ourselves (self-denial) and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). Our goal as a follower of Christ is to be like Him in every part of our lives (Romans 8:29). We must be transformed and conformed to His image (Romans 12:2).

Knowledge is the first step in the process of discipleship, and this knowledge/understanding must come from the Word of God. We must have a Biblical decision-making process in our walk with God that:

  • Considers the Choice—We need to know it’s God who dictates what’s right and wrong, and we must apply these guideline to our decisions (Micah 6:8)
  • Compares to God’s Word—We must consult the Word to determine an answer for our present situation. There is an answer in His Word for everything! There are great Scriptures (e.g., Psalms 119:30–37) we can pray over our decisions
  • Chooses the Biblical Way—Christians know what they should do, but then do the wrong thing. We must make a commitment to follow the steps outlined in Scripture (Psalms 25:12)
  • Counts on God for Protection and Provision—Our faith must assure us God will protect and provide for us. We can give ownership of every problem to Him and receive the blessings He has in store for us (Deuteronomy 28:2)

Our spiritual walls needs to be built on a lifestyle of following Christ. The wall isn’t going to stay strong without spiritual discipline, maintenance, and by making good decisions in how to care for it according to God’s knowledge.

5—Strong Families

There is a reason why God instructed His people to teach their children about Him and His Word. The Jews who truly followed the Lord were able to sustain their core doctrine/beliefs through bondage, captivity, and terrible circumstances over thousands of years because of what God instituted through Moses—the instruction to teach their children the ways of the Lord. They invested hours of spiritual instruction into their children to help the truth find a lodging place in their hearts.

In the New Testament, we see evidence of strong families in Ephesians when husbands are admonished to love their wives, wives to honor their husbands, fathers not to provoke their children to wrath, and children to honor their parents. When our families aren’t strong or abide by God’s ordained structure, spiritual attack will crop up in our lives. When there is a lack of spirituality in the home, nothing but dysfunction can occur.

We need to get smart about how we invest ourselves in the relationships with our families (I Peter 3:7). If we don’t maintain a strong family, there will be areas in our spiritual life that will be hindered. The church is only as strong as the families inside of the church. And, our families are only as strong as the individuals. Our spiritual wall is dependent on our strong families.

6—Fellowship

Fellowship is an element that goes deeper than community. It’s a spiritual connection only found in God’s kingdom. A wall isn’t a wall unless it connects with something else. In the early church, right after the birth of the institution, the people continued steadfastly in the Apostles doctrine and fellowship (Acts 2:42). We need to have fellowship with the brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s one of the strongest things we can do to help build our spiritual walls (John 1:7; Hebrews 10:24–25). We’ve got to stay connected to each other even outside of the normal church services and encourage one another to stay strong in the faith. Our mission should be to connect with other people.

7—Worship

Worship is the mortar that makes up our spiritual wall. Worship will bring and evoke the presence of God in our life and in our churches—God is truly what holds the Kingdom and His people together! Scripture tells us God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalms 22:3), so we must seek to offer Him praise and worship every day of our walk with Him. His very presence brings power, promise, and cohesiveness in the church. We’re not going to have a strong spiritual wall without worship.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on May 17, 2017 with Pastor Nave