Yesterday, I read an article about the increasing number of walls going up in the modern world. Some walls are meant to scare; tall and formidable, they are surrounded and topped with broken glass and razor wire. Armed guards look down menacingly on those who would attempt a breach. We have airport security checkpoints where we gain admittance after passing through a series of inspections. There are computer firewalls and passwords, simple locks and keys to prevent access to our homes and possessions, and then there are the masks that we put on from day to day to prevent people from gaining access to our thoughts and affections. Some walls are meant to protect what or who lies behind them while others exist to protect us from going somewhere potentially dangerous. Walls exist because we live in a broken world and we are a broken people.
The wall that I sense most acutely is between God and I. Within me is an aching desire to know Him, to love Him fully and enjoy the wonder that his presence brings. The wall between us stands because He is holy and I am a sinner. In my sinful state, I would get burned by the beauty of his 100% holiness. It would be more than I could take. Enter Jesus, who as my priest, forgives my sin and invites me beyond the wall and into the presence of God:
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:19-23
Does this mean that every time I pray or read my Bible that I sense some mystical thing happening? No, I am firmly planted on this earth. Too often, the shouts of this immediate world seek to drown out the persistent whispers of God’s kingdom BUT those whispers never let go. Something happens even though I may not feel it; God is drawing me closer to him and in that intentional turning to him, the peace and joy come, maybe not immediately, but his presence always comes and always delivers.
As I consider how Jesus has graciously torn down the walls that separate God and I, I ask myself, what walls have I erected to keep God out of my life? Where have I denied him access? May God, in his goodness bring those carefully constructed barriers to light and give me the desire and strength to tear them down .