Every house has walls, these walls are mostly to carry load, provide shelter, and provide security. These walls would also provide privacy, defence and stop unwanted interference.
This means a house without walls:
- Lacks protection from harm
- Is defenceless when faced by an enemy; armed robbers, killers and wild animals
- Lacks privacy and is unable to stop unwelcome interference; people can walk in and out as they like.
Jericho And Her Walls
Jericho was the first city of Canaan to be taken by the Israelites as instructed by God.
Jericho’s walls were about 6.6 feet thick and 15-17 Source- Wikipedia
Now the spies Joshua had sent came back with news that the city was already in fear of Israel and their God. But the children of Israel could not enter the city because of her walls. Her walls were her defence and any country that sought to attack Jericho had her walls to overcome first.
Cities in those times always built walls with towers as a defence from the attack of enemies, they had towers on these walls and set watchmen to know when an enemy was approaching. Any city with broken down walls would be an easy prey to enemies and attacks. Hence the walls of a city were very important.
This makes it easy to understand why Nehemiah was in such a grief while serving King Artaxerxes I as his cupbearer after he learnt of Jerusalem’s walls.
After the Babylonian Captivity, a remnant of the Jewish people had returned to Jerusalem under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Ezra. These returned exiles had rebuilt the temple, but they were now in need of protection.
Hanani and some other Jewish men had just returned from visiting Jerusalem and Nehemiah asked after the Jews who escaped captivity and the walls of Jerusalem. They told him how the remnant of the Jews were in great affliction and reproach because the walls of Jerusalem was broken down and her gates burnt with fire. Nehemiah 1:1-3
The lack of fortified walls around the city left the people defenceless against enemies. weather, wild animals, opposing people/countries, and other opponents could easily enter and cause “great trouble” to the people.
A city without walls revealed a defeated people, people who are in unsafe conditions. People in trouble, people of reproach. Nehemiah 2:17
Nehemiah knew the impact of this. He knew that Jerusalem was defenceless and subject to incessant attacks as long as her walls remained broken. His heart was broken because he knew the reproach his nation faced in the eyes and hands of her enemies as a result. He risked his life by letting the king of Persia see his grief while attending to him and because he had fasted and prayed to God, he won the king’s favour to go and fix his country’s walls.
How Does This Concern Us And Our Faith?
He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.
Proverbs 25:28 AMPC
In the above verse, God likens a man who has no self control to a city without walls.
Who is this man?
In John Gill’s words:
He has no rule over his affections and passions, puts no restraint, unto them, as the word signifies; no guard against them, no fence about them, to curb his curiosity, to check his pride and vanity, to restrain his wrath and anger and revenge, and keep within due bounds his ambition and itch of vainglory;
He is like a city without walls…
- into which people may go in and out with pleasure, and which
- is exposed to the rapine and violence of everyone
- has no command of himself and passions, but gives the reins to them,
- is exposed to the enemy of souls, Satan
- is liable to every sin, snare and temptation.
This man is is without defence and open to all kinds of attacks from the enemy. He is exposed to all forms of evil thoughts and falls easily when faced with temptation.
In order for us to be fortified against all the aforementioned troubles, we must have rule over our spirits, over our passions, temper, emotions and affections.
How Can We Rule Our Spirits?
1. By Agreeing With God’s Word.
God has already given us the spirit of self control.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 AMPC
2. By Filling Our Hearts With God’s Word And Declaring It With Our Mouths.
God’s word in our hearts spoken by our mouth can prevail over everything.
…It is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. Romans 1:16 NKJV
For the word of God is living and powerful… Hebrews 4:12
So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Acts 20:32 NKJV
3. By Spending Time In Prayer With Fasting.
Fasting with prayer draws God’s attention and action.
So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.
Ezra 8:23 NKJV
Fasting strengthens our prayer.
…this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. Matthew 17:21 NKJV
When we pray, we receive power to overcome.
Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Matthew 26:41 NKJV
Praying in the spirit strengthens our faith.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.
Jude 20 NKJV
4. By Intentional Healthy Thinking.
Our minds will be attacked with evil thoughts but we must refuse to entertain them or roll them over in our minds. We must replace all negative thoughts with godly, healthy thoughts.
But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and make no provision for indulging the flesh put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature to gratify its desires (lusts). Romans 13:14 AMPC
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honourable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things fix your minds on them. Philippians 4:8 AMPC
5. By Healthy Association
It is no doubt that the people we allow into our inner circle will influence us. We must guard against the people we associate with and draw boundaries when and where necessary.
Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul. Proverbs 22:24-25 NKJV
He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.
Proverbs 13:20 NKJV
6. By Depriving Flesh Of It’s Control.
Deny your flesh, the word of God empowers you but you must enforce this power by saying no and doing everything to maintain it. Train your flesh to obey you by insisting on God’s word.
So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God). Colossians 3:5 AMPC
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV
The enemy is waiting and constantly watching to find the opportunity for an attack. He waits to see when our walls are broken, when we are vulnerable to attack and he seizes the opportunity.
We must keep our walls up, intact and strong so that when the enemy comes he will find no space or room to operate. We must do everything according to God’s word and wisdom to live continuous lives of self control.
Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring in fierce hunger, seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
1 Peter 5:8 AMPC
Are you living life with walls?
Do have self control?
Copyright© Ugochi Oritsejolomisan 2017