Upon settling back into Israel after seventy years of exile in Babylon, the Jews heard from the Lord through the prophet Zechariah, who instructed them to return to God with the corresponding promise that He would return to them. An important part of demonstrating their renewed faith and hope in the Lord was that they would build His temple before reconstructing other parts of the long-forsaken city. Accordingly, since their efforts would be focused on erecting God’s House, at least for a season, Jerusalem would be without walls. While this doesn’t mean much to us today, back then, it was simply unheard of. Nearly every town, city, or settlement was enclosed by some type of barrier meant to provide protection. A properly-constructed wall allowed for observation and fortification against a siege of enemy troops, and the only cities that didn’t need them were those boasting such great armies that no one would dare touch them (i.e. Persia or Babylon). Therefore, when the Lord made this declaration about Jerusalem, He was foretelling that one day, it would be so great, so powerful, and so full of life that it would not need a physical wall around its border. Likewise, in the realm of the heart, the Holy Spirit has set us free from the temptation to build impenetrable barriers around the inner parts of us. While proper boundaries are good and necessary, they needn’t be fortified walls that keep God’s glory from flowing in and our faith from flowing out. Because we are completely accepted and protected in the Beloved, His grace is the foundation upon which we can build a confident and courageous life that is not reliant on strategies of self-defense.
My friend, the Lord provides glory and protection for the kingdom He’s placed within your heart. No longer do you need to build walls around your wounds or vulnerabilities, but rather, you can surrender them to Him and allow His healing power to beam hope from deep within. Your Savior plumbs the depths of your spirit and delights in bringing His restoration and wholeness to every part of your being. Though it’s tempting to hide behind barriers of control, abundant living is not found when you insist on being your own lord. Instead, every good and perfect gift comes through surrendering to the One who knew the number of your days before any of them came to be. With Him on the throne of your existence, you are a city on a hill whose life shines forth the glory of God’s unconditional love!