It’s not uncommon to put up a wall to protect yourself from being hurt by others. At the time, these walls seem like a great idea; you can continue to act happy and positive, and you’re able to guard your pride from criticism. But when you put up these walls to keep out your mentors and church leaders, you end up putting them up against God’s messages.
Have you ever felt hurt by what you’ve heard from your church? Chances are you had your walls up, and instead of opening your heart to the message, you chose to hold on to your pride, refusing to acknowledge that what your pastor might say could apply to you. What you may not realize is that when you do this, you’re spiritually starving yourself!
This is what happened to the King of Israel in 2 Kings 6. His people had been attacked by the Syrian army, and the physical walls that surrounded the city were not just keeping the enemy at bay, but also trapping the people inside, leaving them to suffer and starve. Suddenly, the King was faced with much more than a warring nation – he was also faced with the reality that his own nation could die.
The King’s anger at his situation overwhelmed him, and he directed it all at Elisha, demanding that the prophet be killed: “God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him today!” (2 Kings 6:31, NKJV)
Elisha was way ahead of him, however. Instead of running in fear or lashing out in anger, he chose to delay the King, allowing him to calm down and collect himself. This is exactly what God does for you and me every day. We are all faced with circumstances that are so frustrating that it seems we lose may ourselves as a result. But God will stop us in our tracks and, in His mercy, give us the time we need to rethink our actions before we face the consequences.
When you get chances like this, do you take the time to look at yourself in the mirror and understand what’s going on? Lowering our walls is not easy, but it can keep you from the selfish rage you may feel when you aren’t willing to listen to what God can do for you.
Take time to check yourself and correct yourself. God is willing to give you time to reverse yourself; all you have to do is get over YOU. Are you willing to set aside your own feelings and choose His way instead?
Remember, God has not forgotten you in your trials. He’s just waiting for you to take a breather and calm down so that He can minister to your heart. So, next time you are at church and your Pastor says something that stirs your heart, don’t let that motivate you to get angry and build a wall. Instead, let that be a message to you that you may need to face something important in your life – before it’s too late!
Living in His Grace and Peace,
Dr. Derek Grier
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