Blog, blogs, Influencers Devotionals

Tear Down the Wall by Bryan Craig

May 14, 2024


Do you remember Ronald Reagan’s famous words as he gave a speech at the Berlin Wall:

"Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. . . . Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar. . . . As long as this gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind. . . .
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate.
    Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate!
    Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

~Ronald Reagan, address at the Brandenburg Gate, June 12, 1987

It was a powerful moment in history, and I was reminded of it as I was reading Ephesians 2:11-22.  Paul is addressing Gentiles and the “dividing wall of hostility” that existed between Jews and Gentiles.  He says:

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.  Ephesians 2:13-16 ESV

Paul encourages the early believers to put aside these old grudges and judgments and divisions and recognize that all of us in Christ, including the Messianic Jews at the time, are all part of one family, with God as our Father.  This is a message for our time, as well.  There is so much division in our world, even in the body of Christ.  Christians don’t often act like a loving family, but rather, like a dysfunctional family with unforgiveness, competition, hatred.  This should not be so. 

But as I was reading this passage, I was picturing this big dividing wall between individuals and Jesus.  Until a person surrenders to Christ, there is hostility toward Jesus and division, even unknowingly.  It is much like how Jesus visited Saul on the road to Damascus and said, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”  Saul seemed surprised at the accusation.  But as the “prophet” Bob Dylan says, “You gotta serve somebody.  It may be the Devil or it may be the Lord, but you gotta serve somebody.”

But when someone is brought near through the blood of Jesus, the wall comes down and then, we find:

  • Peace instead of hostility.
  • No more bondage from the Law.
  • We are new.
  • Reconciliation with other believers.
  • Access in ONE Spirit to ONE Father.
  • Citizenship in the household of God- ADOPTION!
  • We are being built into a dwelling place for God.

Is this your experience?  Is your Wall torn down so that Jesus and His Spirit can rush into your life and give you new life and love and adoption into the family of God?  Is it helping you love others?

Unfortunately, I think some of us have partially destroyed walls, with some major blocks still standing.  There is a powerful account of King Asa in 2 Chronicles 15, where he was told:

“The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, but when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. They were broken in pieces. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress. But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”  2 Chronicles 15:2-7 ESV

King Asa was moved by this word and proceeded to destroy all the idols in the land, he gathered the people and they offered sacrifices of repentance, they swore an oath to seek the Lord with all their hearts and with all their souls.  He even removed his own mother from being Queen Mother because she had made a detestable idol.  In the midst of this repentance and seeking which was tearing down the dividing wall of hostility between the people and God, there is a curious verse.

“But all the high places were not taken out of Israel.  Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true all his days.”  2 Chronicles . 15:17 ESV

It is a strange thing that King Asa was cleaning house and destroying the idols, but he did not destroy the places where the idols were worshiped.  You could make the case that he left them there as a reminder of their past sins.  Or you could make the case that there was a remnant of the old life left, or at least a desire to please the people more than God.

Isn’t that true of us believers?  We can give our lives to Jesus and have a heart that is truly for Him.  We can even clean house and make many changes in our lives out of obedience and reverence for Him.  BUT we leave a few “high places”.  We leave a remnant of our past life, when we worshipped the world or things of the world over God. 

I believe God wants it ALL.  He wants ALL of us.  He wants us to experience our full adoption and the full access to the Father and the fullness of living in the Holy Spirit.  As you read this, is the Spirit speaking to you.  Any “high places” remaining?  Any blocks?

Maybe the Spirit is saying, “Tear down this Wall!”