The Fortress

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The Fortress

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Imagine yourself a master mason working tirelessly to build an important wall. The building of this wall has occupied much of your life. It has been very successful in protecting you, defending you from outside influences. In a literal sense, it has become your impenetrable fortress of defense. It is too tall to see over, too thick to penetrate and what is on the other side cannot be heard or seen.

That wall isn’t just a fantasy. It is a real barrier that every human spends much of his or her time erecting. Inside our wall, Jesus says that we are unable to see, hear or understand Him (Matthew 13:13).

A subtle “architect” provided humanity with the encouragement and the blueprint for our walls. Inside our personal fortress, we are safe from outside influence. Yet, the view of our situation from the light of day outside gives a very different perspective. We each unknowingly have created a little prison that cuts us off from reality and leaves us in the dark. Inside, we slave away at our work on the wall. It is what we do, and what we are. We are slaves of the wall and slaves to sin (Romans 6:16).

Our wall is constructed from our many sins. Each sin contributes its share, creating a separation between God and us, so that He will not hear or even see us. Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.”

The Temple complex at Jerusalem stood as a visible example of the separations that our sins create. Humans tend to view the Temple as a place where Israel could approach God with sacrifices for their sin—yet it consisted of six separate layers of “walls” that effectively barred anyone approaching God while separating them from each other as well. The Apostle Paul referred to its second barrier as “the middle wall of partition between us” (Ephesians 2:14). The Temple can thus be viewed as a systematic representation of a human’s personal wall of sins, whether a foreigner, a gentile, an Israelite, a woman, a man, or a priest.

You may ask, “How can my wall come down?” The answer is through a process led by our Father and through His Son, Jesus Christ. The Holy Day called the Day of Atonement is a day that speaks to the breaking down of that wall of separation. It is a day that speaks to restoring and healing our relationships (Isaiah 58:12).

The process begins with a Savior who lovingly intervenes to destroy our wall, which separates us from God. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation” (Ephesians 2:13-14).

“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Romans 5:10-11). Jesus set us an example of rejecting the architect of sin (John 8:44) and instead following God. Matthew 4:10 records Jesus saying, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” The process of reconciliation with God involves a personal fight against Satan’s influence. We are given the tools needed to combat Satan’s influence, but we must choose to use them (Ephesians 6:11-18).

Our reconciliation with God and man increases as we cease our old wall-building activities and pursue the harmonizing work of loving God and each other (Galatians 5:22-23). We then each become a very different kind of slave (Romans 6:16-18), one that now devotes him/herself to building a very different wall, as portrayed by Isaiah:

“I will also make your officers peace, and your magistrates righteousness… you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but the LORD will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory” (Isaiah 60:17-19).

This new wall is symbolized by the vision John saw of New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:10-14). It will effectively keep sin out and righteousness in, forever (Revelation 22:14-15).

Now is the time to pursue peace and harmony with God and neighbor. Our Source of help and inspiration is outside the wall that our carnal nature continually tries to build. Catch the vision and mission of the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Ask Him to “bring down this wall” and help you to be about your new Father’s business.

Further reading

For more information on how to bring down your wall, request or download the booklet The Ten Commandments.

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