“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.”Hebrews 11:30
The walls of Jericho came tumbling down. For six days in a row, they marched around the city—the armed men, the seven priests blowing rams horns, the ark of the Lord, and the rear guard. On the seventh day, this same procession marched around the city seven times, and on the seventh time the people shouted and the walls came down. What an odd battle strategy.
In a way, we all have walls in our hearts. Sometimes, for whatever reason, we are too overprotected. These fortresses can keep out love—love from God, love from a neighbor, even love from the self. If love is one of the end goals of creation, along with worship and repentance and thanksgiving and mercy and renewal and humility, what are we supposed to do about these fortified walls in our guarded hearts?
Perhaps the story of Jericho gives us a clue. The Israelites did not take down the walls of Jericho by attacking them with weapons. It looks as though the walls came down because the people shouted, but we know that noise does not bring down walls. Clearly, this was a miracle. The walls came down because the Lord brought them down. And yet the people somehow needed to participate.
What are the lessons for us?
- Do not be disheartened by the fortified walls in your heart.
- Do not try to force them to come down; you will be unsuccessful and you may become discouraged.
- Do not sit idly by.
Instead, walk around them, getting to know them, acknowledging and admitting they are there. Then wait. Walk again another day, learning more about them, recognizing their purpose and their effects. Wait. Walk again, maybe remembering when they were first built, maybe being in awe of their immovability. Wait. Walk with faith, being open to the possibility that God can take them down.
Wait. Walk. When the time is right, the walls come tumbling down.
Today I will notice a wall of protection that I have built in my heart. I will wander around it, acknowledge it, observe it, get to know it, and trust that the Lord can bring it down in due time. When it does come down, He will have conquered yet another area of my heart. I will turn to Him, less guarded, and love Him even more.