“For He Himself (Jesus) is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” Ephesians 2:14
I started running a few weeks ago, well maybe a slow jog would be a more accurate description. Nonetheless, I have enjoyed getting out in the sunshine and sporting my new running jacket. Yes, that’s right, I am officially one of ‘them’… one of those novice joggers who starts out with some nice gear to give the illusion of endurance.
This past week I had a bit of a time crunch. I knew I didn’t have the full hour it usually takes me to complete my 1/2 mile (only a slight exaggeration) so instead I decided to stray from my normal route. There was only one problem… a wall. Not a physical wall or the wall I usually hit from pure exhaustion but a wall that had been built in my heart.
On December 1st we moved into our new home, on a new street with new people and a fresh start. At the beginning of January I recognized an old car, connected to an old relationship which stirred up old, yet surprisingly fresh, hostility in my heart… parked in front of a house on the street next to us. As I began to jog toward a cat walk, which would cut off a significant portion of my route, I realized it would spit me out on that street. I immediately began to think about re-routing myself. I could hear my internal GPS saying, “Recalculating”.
I began to talk to the Lord, although not out loud, who can speak while running .0075 miles/hour? 🙂 I asked Him what was going on in my heart and immediately a verse I had just memorized came alive in my heart and mind;
“For He Himself (Jesus) is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,”
The Lord revealed to me that unforgiveness goes to work building a wall of hostility in our hearts when allowed to make itself at home in our hearts. With every bitter or resentful thought a brick is placed securely in the mortar of the painful memory. The longer unforgivness is allowed to work the higher, wider and longer the wall gets.
It wasn’t until I was faced with the decision to run around this invisible wall or break through it that I realized that unforgiveness was holding me captive. It was even dictating where I could run.
Have you ever been captive to your sin of unforgiveness and experienced a wall of hostility being built in your heart?
How do you tear it down?
YOU don’t. The Spirit does.
Look at what Paul prayed in Ephesians 3:16-19;
“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the Lord’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know the love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
I need to confess my need for the wall to come down and allow the Spirit to use the most powerful of tools, the love of Christ, to demolish it. By taking every one of those bitter and resentful thoughts captive, by the power of the Spirit, we can completely demolish the wall.
Through the cross, Christ destroyed the wall built to hold back the fullness of His love. Christ wants to flow His love to the world through us but unforgiveness works to build the dam that holds it back.
God wants His love to run freely and powerfully in this world. I don’t want to let the enemy use anything in my life to build a wall that serves to withhold that life giving love from anyone. To withhold the love of Christ is to withhold the riches Christ freely gave to redeem those sentenced to death.
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4,5
Are you running free; able to go anywhere, anytime, do anything with or without anyone to allow His love to flow through you?
Is there anything that would hold you back from extending the riches of His grace that were freely extended to you?
It’s time for some demolition! Let the Spirit of God go to work on the wall with His love.
Oh, and just so you know, I ran down the cat walk and so did His love.