Breaking Down the Houses to Fortify the Wall
July 23, 2016
“And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall.” Isaiah 22:10
Throughout the Bible, we are taught that we should focus on the inside before the outside. People have a tendency to do the opposite and work on their exterior as opposed their interior. We all have an exterior wall that others see, but we should not be working on the outside at the expense of the inside. This important principle can be applied to many areas of life.
“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1 Peter 3:3-4
This particular passage is speaking to ladies, but this principle can be applied to men as well. We ought to look presentable, but we shouldn’t spend more time on getting physically ready for the day than we do on preparing ourselves spiritually. Whether you’re a man or a woman, who you are on the inside is more important to God than the way you look on the outside.
“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Being overly concerned about the way that you appear to others often has nothing to do with looks or clothing. Some people’s metaphorical wall involves doing only that which will get them public recognition. When we do things for the Lord, we shouldn’t be doing them for the praise of men. Yes, we do want to be an encouragement and an example to others, but the primary reason we serve in the church should be for the Lord. People won’t know how much you pray or read your Bible at home, so there can be a tendency to neglect those areas. Are you spending more time debating doctrine on Facebook than actually reading the Bible? Social media might be an exterior wall, which is causing you to neglect the inside.
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10
To be truly saved, one has to believe the gospel in his or her heart. Other religions teach a works salvation which focuses on the external. Baptism, repenting of sins, communion, etc., are all outward works that cannot save. People need to get saved first, and then hopefully, they will love the Lord enough to start building the wall of good works.
“Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.” Matthew 23:26
It is important to “let your light so shine before men,” but let’s make sure that we have the interior to match. A city is built first before adding the exterior wall. The exterior should be an outflow of the interior.
Here is a sermon to go with this article.
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