“Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.” (Neh.2:17)
In summary of the first devotion, the “Discernment” of the need, or the must of the wall of defense in the child of God, is because of the fact that the presence of the “old man” (or the flesh) remains in the believer, even after his regeneration and conversion to Christ. This fact is to be the first alarm bell in the believer that he must have a wall of defense against the trickery and deception of the old man because of the bent of the old man to sin. The second alarm bell in the believer is his discernment that evil temptations have their entrance into his spirit through his five innate senses (seeing, tasting, smelling, hearing and feeling). Thus the reason of using the text verse for this devotion: “Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach” (Neh. 2:17). Here Nehemiah stated the terrible condition of Jerusalem, it “lieth waste,” and the solution to the problem, and the reason to implement the solution. The problem: “…and the gates thereof are burned with fire.” The solution: “…come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem.” The reason: “…that we be no more a reproach.”
The questions remain however: What is the wall? and How does the believer build the wall of defense against the entrance of evil temptation into the spirit of the believer? The answer to these two questions is the primary focus of this devotion: “Build the Wall: Part Two: The Defense.”
The Wall (which is the same as the “gate” in Neh. 2:17 that was “…burned with fire”) (or the What), is the spiritual defense within the believer. It is not only: (1) to discern the “old man’s presence” in his flesh (or soul-the seat of affections); but also (2) to discern that it is the desire of the “old man” to commit sins of the flesh (that is, of the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life). This internal “defense system” must have the “strength of the Lord,” or be in the power and might of Almighty God, in order to be effective in the believer to stop the old man from penetrating the believer’s spirit with evil temptations, which results in the practicing of sin in the believer’s daily life because of weak defense system.
But, How is the believer to build this internal wall?
- As already discussed, he must Recognize the Problem (the existence of the old man remaining in him (Rom. 7:15-24); that the gate, or the wall, must be strong to keep the enemy out; and he must recognize “vain is the help of man,” even his own limitations to overcome the enemy’s attacks.
- He must Remember the Person, Promises and Power of Christ (2 Peter 1:12-13; Phil. 4:13; 2 Cor. 3:5; 12:9); and who he is in Christ (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19 – the temple of God; 2 Peter 1:1-11; 1 Jn. 5:20 – possessor of eternal life; Rom. 8:14-16 – a son of God; Rom. 8:29-39 – eternally secure in the Love of God).
- He must Respond to the Commandments of Christ (Jn. 14:15).
It is the believer’s Responding, or the keeping of Christ’s commandments, that builds the wall in the believer; which is the system of defense to keep out evil temptations put forth by the attacks of the “old man” through the five gateways (or five senses) that is inherit in all men.
Three things are to be noted in the building of the wall of defense:
- The building of the wall is a never-ending process in this life by the believer. You must eat to maintain life; and so must the believer be on the wall at all times maintaining the wall for the wall to be at full strength; for the enemy, the old man, never ceases in his attempts to make the believer stumble and fall. (Please read Neh. 4:3, 6, 13-17.) The Apostle Paul wrote in (1Co 10:5-12): “(1Co 10:12, Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (1Co 10:13)There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
- It takes action by the believer to build and maintain the wall. Yes, God is faithful and will make a way to escape. However, the way to escape is not passivity, or do nothing; but, “take heed lest he fall.” This taking “heed” by the believer is the building of the wall and staying on the wall daily. This requires action from the believer. It requires diligence by the believer to follow Christ.
- The believer must recognize that the building of the wall and the maintaining of the wall is by the power of Christ and not his power.
Note the following Scriptures that tell How the believer is to build and maintain the wall of defense against evil temptations:
- (Mat 22:37-40), First, you must love God and the brethren;
(37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
(38) This is the first and great commandment.
(39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
(40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
All surrender to God; all submission to His will; all obedience to His Word; and all endurance in the same begins in the Love of God being shed aboard in a person’s heart by the Holy Spirit of God. The reason being, there is no obedience to God; no building of a wall of defense, unless a person has been given Faith, or Christ, Who is The Faith (Gal.2:20.) Paul said (in Gal 5:6) “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Therefore, Love (or Christ) must be in the person for the work to be done. Jesus said (in John 14:15) “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
- (2Ti 2:15) “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Three key words, “Study,” “approved,” “workman,” are necessary to start the building of the wall and to maintain the wall unto death. The foundation, and the building materials, and the blueprint of the wall are within the Written Word of God. But, the believer Must study the Word as workman (no, it is not easy; but a labor to study the Word of God; it is a daily dedication). The believer’s diligent study must be to show himself “approved” unto God first. Then, when the believer does this, he will not be ashamed. The Written Word of God will supply the workman with the plain instructions concerning the materials, the tools, and the how the wall is to be built and maintained. To be successful the believer must follow God’s instructions explicitly. (See Joshua 1:6-8.)
- The believer must rely upon the Power of Christ dwelling within himself, to build and maintain the wall of defense in his spirit against all evil. Paul gives the answer in (Phil. 4:13) “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” And see (2Co 3:5) “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” The fact is, without the Indwelling Christ in the believer, the believer does not possess in himself the power to accomplish the building and the maintaining of the wall (Heb. 11:6; Gal. 2:20).
In closing, what is wrong in your life as a believer in Jesus Christ? Why are you in financial trouble? Why are you committing adultery? Why are you yielding to the lust of the eye, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life? Why are you living in defeat and depression and despair?
Obviously, the questions are many of Why? However, the answer is single and simple. The answer is, “Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach” (Neh. 2:17).
The problem is your wall of defense is in need of repair. The only repair is to follow Christ and not the flesh; and then “we be no more a reproach.”