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 Issue #83 Mon, 15 May 2006

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Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: Issue #83 Mon, 15 May 2006   March 11th 2007, 23:49

WALLS OF PROTECTION
Dear Youth,

Young people, God wants to protect us. He doesn't want us to get hurt, He doesn't want us to experience bondage, He wants only what is best for us. But, you know, there are a lot of things out there that WILL hurt us, that will place us in bondage, and that will forfeit our happiness. So God has placed a solid wall around us to protect us from these things. Isn't that what we want, youth? A firm, solid, unbreakable wall so that we can experience a life free from harm, free from the influence of the vile things that surround us in our corrupt world today.

On the other side of this wall, there are all kinds of ravenous beasts; lions, wolves and bears who are blood-thirsty. These deadly beasts desperately want our lives, but they cannot get to us as long as the wall is still standing firm and without even the smallest break in it! In His great love, God has placed us within a strong fortress, and as long as we stay within this boundary, we are safe from the enemy.

So, young people, what IS this wall of great protection? We want to be safe inside this wall don't we? And so we need to find out what this wall is so that we can abide in its perfect safety and freedom. In ancient times when people lived inside a city or castle, they were surrounded by a strong city wall. As long as the city's citizens obeyed the laws of their king or city, they were granted the freedom to dwell within the safety of the wall.

In God's Holy city, we see this same principle. Revelation 22:14-15 says: "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie." (Verse 14 KJV, Verse 15 NKJV) God's faithful children who are safe inside the walls of the Holy City are those that have been keeping the commandments of God. Those who are left outside with the enemy are those who have not kept and obeyed God's requirements. So the defining factor here between those who are safe within the city gate and those who are left outside the gate, is keeping God's law. The separating wall between the evil outside and perfect peace, happiness, and freedom inside, is the law of God.

The wall of protection God has placed around us is His law, His principles and His standards of living. I've heard a lot of people, young and old, who proclaim that God's law, principles and standards, are too high, unreachable and restricting. Friends, this is a deadly deception of Satan. If we stay within God's will, we are kept safe inside His hedge. David says: "I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and fortress: my God; in Him will I trust. Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence." (Psalm 91:2-3)

Do you remember what is lurking outside of the strong hedge? That's right, all kinds of deadly beasts. The Bible says that our "adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8 ) God gave us standards of living to keep us safe from the enemy, not because he wants to keep us restricted! James even refers to God's law as a law of freedom or liberty! (See James 1:25)

Think about this for a moment. Why did God tell us that we shouldn't even touch or look at wine or alcohol? (See Proverbs 20:1, Proverbs 23:29-35). Not only is it harmful to our health and life, but it is addictive. We may never know if we have inherited hereditary tendencies toward alcohol, and that is why God warns us not to even take one sip, because it could be the one and only step that leads us to our downfall. Why did God give women counsel to dress modestly? (See 1 Timothy 2:9-10) Was it to keep them penned-in, or was it because He knows that it could be a stumbling block in the way of men, or anyone for that matter? Many girls have got themselves into a lot of trouble simply because they did not accept God's guidance in this area of their lives. Why did God give us certain laws in the area of health? Just to tease us and say, "Look at all those nice cakes and sweets, but ha ha, you can't eat them." Absolutely not! It was because He knows that bad health leads to a bad Christian experience. It also ultimately leads us on the road to unhappiness, unnecessary sickness and premature death.

I think we would all agree that these things mentioned here, clearly show that God is a God of love, and He only wants what is best for us. Of course these are just three of MANY standards God has placed around us as a wall. Of course, it is up to each of us to search out God's standards and will for our lives.

Christ has put these laws here to protect us, but we can choose to break this wall. What do you think happens when we, in our carnal state of mind, choose to compromise just one standard? We put a hole in the protecting barrier, and then what happens? "He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him." (Ecclesiastes 10:8 ) We get bitten. A snake's bite is venomous, it leads us to sickness and even death if we choose to keep getting bitten. It also hurts. When we choose to compromise one of God's principles or standards, we only hurt ourselves. If we go against God's word and put just little bit of jewellery on, or take just a sip of wine, watch just one movie, or listen to just one song that God and heaven disapproves of, we are really hurting ourselves. We may not even realize it, but we are taken bondage by these things and Satan will make sure that we are not allowed to experience the freedom and peace that comes from living in Christ.

You see, often we look at it and think that it's just one small thing. But, it doesn't really matter how big the hole is, because even just one small peep-hole can open the door for the beasts to take us and devour us. We are told to: "Remember Lot's wife." (Luke 17:32) It took just one small look and she lost all eternity! You see, even if we are only peeping, it shows where our hearts really are. The one short glance spoke of her inner heart. She felt restricted and she desired the things of Sodom, and even today we often seek after the things of Sodom. We may knock the entire wall down and go right out into the world, or we can just make a small hole, compromise just one principle, but we will ultimately end up in the same place if we do not return to the safety of Christ's fold. We are told: "Almost but not wholly saved, means to be not almost but wholly lost." (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 118)

I want us to just quickly look at one last aspect of this. Isaiah 58:12 says this: "Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In." (NKJV)

In our church today, there are many breaches, or holes in the wall. The standards are sadly but surely and rapidly dropping. This verse is telling us that God's faithful people "will raise up the foundations of many generations" (Ibid.), they will point the church back to God's original ideal, they will raise up the standards, the foundations, that our church once stood for. "Thus saith the Lord, stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." (Jeremiah 6:16)

They are also called "The repairer of the breach", and as God's chosen people, we need to repair the holes in the wall. Bring the standards back into our lives first, and then into the church, and then the church WILL have the power to change the world. But always remember that it is your duty to point others to the Saviour. And when you are pointing others back towards God's law, remember that you must also show them the Saviour within His holy law, because He is always there in the very core of every precept, principle, or standard.

Our loving Lord has prepared for us a haven of safety amidst the darkness and wickedness of the world, but ultimately He is also preparing for us a haven of perfect rest and safety where "there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth." (Revelation 21:27) He has told us: ". . .I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:2-3) I want to be in that place, don't you?

Our time throughout eternity will be cantered around God's law, and so if we aren't living within God's law NOW, eternity would only be restrictive to us. If we went to heaven we would want only to break down the wall. And you know youth, that's exactly what Lucifer did in the very beginning. He did not abide in the light and glory of God and he wanted to break down the protecting wall. Young people, he DID succeed in breaking down the wall, and look where he ended up. Our life and happiness is not in being popular with our peers, it's not in following the fashions of the world, or in enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season. Our happiness young people, is in following the will of our Saviour and living in His light.

If our greatest desire here in this life is to live a life hid in Christ, eternity will satisfy our hearts desire beyond comprehension. Youth, we need to pray that Christ will place it in our hearts to love Him, to WANT to serve Him, and to have it our greatest desire to live inside of His protecting wall. And He will do it, for He is faithful! (See Philippians 2:13 & 1 Thessalonians 5:24)

--Stephanie Fox

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PLEASE NOTE: All Bible verses are taken from the King James Version, unless stated otherwise.
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I wish to thank Dr Barry Harker for giving me the inspiration to write this devotional. His thoughts and references are the basis for what I have shared in this message. Thank you so much.
With much love and appreciation,
Stephanie
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Issue #83 Mon, 15 May 2006
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