Random Blog Clay Feet: December 16, 2008
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tear Down This Wall

I just finished reading about the New Jerusalem and also about the fall of the Berlin wall in Germany. I can remember watching the news during that time with awe and fascination as pictures of exuberant Germans tore into that giant wall that had split their homeland apart for so many years and right in front of the authorities, in a frenzy began to destroy it with any tools they could lay hands on. The intensity of their emotions from getting a taste of freedom for the first time in their lives was contagious.

I myself had lived my whole life hearing stories of the horrors of communism and the desperation of people trying to get out of that oppressive system. Many people lost their lives to the savagery surrounding that wall trying to escape to a life of freedom. All of my life that wall in Germany stood for everything that was wrong with much of the world behind the “iron curtain”.

But then the amazing days of change began to thaw the cold war that had kept so much of the world locked in fear. Americans, once forced to practice nuclear attack drills in school by diving under their desks, now found themselves witnessing a strange phenomena, the movement of people hungry for freedom and leaders standing up to dismantle one by one the national restrictions that had kept the world locked in mutual hatred and threat of extinction. As the freedom thaw progressed across Eastern Europe it finally reached Germany where some of the most ruthless violence had been used to suppress and control people for decades.

Then there was the historic moment when our president, Ronald Reagan, stood before that German symbol of tyranny and defiantly cried out against it in protest and challenge, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” The effect was electric all over the world. I can remember again my wonder at the boldness of this popular president to take head-on this “empire of evil” as he called it. I also sensed that what was happening in the world was God-arranged, not just the coincidence of events and personalities.

As I think of all the events in various countries that riveted the world's attention during those short years of expanding freedom, the fall of the Berlin wall was possibly the most dramatic. As the events began to speed up and the political pressure intensified on the East German government to relax their suppressive control and allow their people to be reunited with their fellow Germans in the West, anticipation and excitement grew all over the world. We all wondered how this would play out, whether there would be a time of unprecedented bloodshed like the communists were known to be capable of, or would they finally admit that their ideas were inadequate and surrender to the movement of freedom that could no longer be restrained.

Even as I read the short devotional this morning reminding me of those scenes of almost unspeakable joy and delirious celebration that broke out when the German guards finally opened all the gates and allowed 100,000 Germans to surge through to West Berlin, I found my eyes filling with tears of emotion from something deep inside my own soul. Something in that scene of breakthrough for freedom resonates with the deepest longings of every human being and it is something implanted there by God Himself. Some mysterious, primeval longing for true freedom is embedded within our very psyche that cannot be ignored or forever repressed. We were designed for freedom and nothing can ever thwart that design without unavoidable, terrible consequences in the end.

This illustration was used by the author to remind us that this wonderful event from our recent past is only a tiny foretaste of the sense of release and joy and delirium that we are going to feel when we finally escape the claws of sin and enter into the gates of heaven for the first time. Right now it is difficult to even imagine that feeling because we are living under increasingly oppressive human governments that are in the process of enslaving us and stripping away our freedoms instead of leading us closer to what we were designed to enjoy.

But in God's kingdom of love there is only perfect freedom, joy and peace without any coercion. There is never any fear in God's order of things and no threat of punishment for non-compliance, for the old order of things will be passed away forever. This is very confusing for many of us because of the many mixed messages that we have about God and His ways. There are so many false teachings about how God conducts His business and how He treats His subjects that we often cannot perceive the purity and completeness of the freedom that exists in heaven.

But the closer one gets to perceiving the real truth about God's belief in total freedom, the more exciting life becomes and the more anticipation is aroused in the heart. A deep longing, far surpassing the longing of the suppressed subjects of the Eastern bloc countries under communism for freedom, is awakened in the soul and a sense of anticipation and hunger drives us to run faster and faster toward the liberators sent to deliver us from this terrible evil.

Reading a description of the New Jerusalem in which we are designed to live gives us a lot of clues as to the real nature of God's kingdom. It is a place where the gates are never closed, the light never fades into night and the walls are not designed to constrict but to decorate. If we really want to know the truth of how God feels about us we need to spend much more time studying the nature of the environment that He is preparing for us to live in for eternity.

When we live in acceptance of our condition and choose to believe that not much can change or maybe even needs to change, we will remain in the darkness and complacency that keeps us from preparing for the coming crisis that is beginning to explode on this earth. Without realizing it, almost all of us are living behind looming walls that surround our hearts from being touched by others. There are barbed wire fences around our hearts that lash out at anyone trying to peek in and see the pain contained inside. There are numerous guards in our minds on alert to attack anyone getting to close to breaching the wall, either from within or from the outside. We think that this is all designed for our protection, just as the East Germans claimed that the Berlin Wall was to protect East Germany from an attack by the West. But everyone knew that was a lie and the same is true for our own hearts as well.

We may claim to be Christian and to follow God's will in our lives, but unless we have a growing hunger for real freedom and an unquenchable passion to do whatever it takes to live in total freedom from the tyranny of sin causing us to cower inside our walls, we will remain in confusion, disappointment and enslavement. Only those who are hungry enough for freedom to release their hold on everything they own and allow God to coordinate their escape will enjoy the thrills of heaven and find a home in the new earth. For unlike communism, Satan will never open his gates to allow his slaves to escape his control. In this situation God is going to launch an all-out attack to liberate all those who have made a covenant with Him by sacrifice.

But it is necessary for our freedom for us to give God permission to tear down the very real walls that exist in each of our hearts. Until we acknowledge the restrictive nature of our walls of prejudice, pride and fear, we will be unwilling for God to dismantle them and set us free. God is very capable and eager to tear down our walls and bring us healing, freedom and real joy in the places of pain deep inside our souls. But He cannot rescue us from our own prisons until we are hungry enough for freedom to request deliverance from the only power strong enough to breach the enemy lines.

What I am sensing is the importance of becoming more hungry and thirsty for God, for real truth, and not just factual truth but far more importantly truth about what is real and what my heart was designed for so that it can thrive and mature and connect with other hearts. I am starting to pray every day specifically that God will make me and every individual in my church and family more hungry and thirsty for God and for real freedom. I am asking Him to make us dissatisfied with the status quo, disappointed with the things that used to bring us pleasure and to awaken a passion for God inside of our hearts that cannot be suppressed without finding Him and connecting with His presence.

I am praying that this hunger will intensify and that our awareness of our dire condition will become much more clear to our minds consciously. I am praying that God will do whatever it takes to wake us up and cause us to see our enormous danger in playing religion without having an intimate connection with His heart. I am praying that God will un-deceive our hearts and minds and cause us to realize that we must find freedom ourselves before we can ever lead anyone else to freedom. I am giving God permission in the supernatural war for souls to launch a rescue mission into my home and my church and snatch us out of the chains of lethargy and complacency that is strangling us. I am praying for a deep craving to seize us for a life of clean spiritual air, of pure water, real food and a longing for the true freedom that is the critical environment that love needs in order to grow and thrive.

God, tear down the walls that have kept us in oppression, darkness and ignorance of Your love all of our lives. Tear down the walls in our own hearts that we are so accustomed to that we often don't even realize they exist. Give us glimpses of the wonderful freedom and joys that are just on the other side of our walls and implant in our hearts an intense, insatiable hunger to live in total freedom. Give us the passion of our forefathers who were so hungry for liberation that they cried, “Give us freedom or give us death!”

Father, we are being killed by complacency and don't even realize it. We are being slowly boiled to death like frogs in a pan without sensing our danger. Please wake us up and cause us to unavoidably hear your warnings to get ready for the rescue teams that are sent to pluck us out right now to safety. Show us the real way to get ready for Your coming and give us a taste of Your goodness even now. Open our hearts, enlighten our minds and intensify our passions to be radical in our break with the enemy. Do this for Your name's sake and for the kingdom of heaven.