Building Up the Walls of Your Soul
Last week, we talked about building the right foundation. This week, I want to talk about building up walls that protect the inner you the Bible so often refers to as your soul. How can you find victory in the war for your soul?
Using Nehemiah as our example, there are three things believers need to do: ask the right questions, have the right reaction, and take the right actions.
1. Ask the right questions. Nehemiah was serving in exile as cupbearer to the king of Persia when a group of Jews visited from Jerusalem. Because he was concerned about his homeland, he decided to ask them about the city. What he found out was pretty grim: "The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire" (Nehemiah 1:3). In other words, the city was vulnerable. With no gatekeepers or watchmen, attacks were more easily made.
The same is true when it comes to protecting our souls and the souls of our family. We build up the walls of our lives daily by reading the Bible, praying, and obeying what we read. But we also have to guard the gates: what we see and hear on the Internet, TV, in movies, books, and elsewhere. Why build the walls if the gates are just going to let everything in? So that's the first step: ask the right questions. What's the state of your soul? What are you allowing in the gates?
2. Have the right reaction. "So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven" (Nehemiah 1:4). What in your culture alarms you? What moves you? And are you, like Nehemiah, having this deep kind of reaction to it? Unless you see the problems in the world and respond appropriately, you're not going to look for a remedy.
3. Take the right actions. Nehemiah did two things: First, he reached up to God -- he prayed (see Nehemiah 1:5-11). Then, he reached out to fix the problem, starting with asking the king of Persia's permission to leave and help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (see Nehemiah 2:1-6).
So how can you protect your soul and the souls of your family? Act decisively, responsibly, and practically. Block certain TV channels. Set a schedule of when TV can be watched. Get an accountability partner who can look over your Internet browsing history. Deal ruthlessly and radically with sin (see Matthew 5:29-30).
So many of us need to draw lines of resistance and stop living in the broken down, vulnerable position we're in. We are the gatekeepers, the watchmen of our souls. I pray that in asking the right questions, feeling the proper reaction, reaching up to the Lord, and then reaching out to take action, we would find victory and become "more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).
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