In my Bible Study this morning, I was studying how cities were protected by building fortress walls around them. It reminded me of the many scriptures that tell us that God protects and hears the prayers of the righteous. Even though God does not require us to earn our salvation by being perfect and upright, He does require us to strive for holiness every day with the help of His very own spirit within us. When we choose to continue in a particular sin, over and over and over again, God will not hear our prayers until we come to Him, asking for forgiveness out of genuine sorrow and asking Him to help us overcome our sin. “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.” Hebrews 10:26
Not only are the prayers of those who choose not to follow God not heard, but He also cannot protect us from the painful consequences of stepping outside of His Will. God is referred to as our fortress many times throughout scripture. Just as fortress walls protect a city, God also is our fortress, who protects us from harm and evil as well.
We tend to think that living within the confining walls of Gods protection and fortress, just as those living within a fortified city, thinks that there is so much more freedom outside the walls of protection. However, how much freedom do you really have when there is all kinds of evil and enemies waiting to pounce, like a lion as soon as your on the outside? I have discovered, there is so much more freedom, happiness and peace within the fortress walls of Gods protection by following His ways than I ever had when I was living for my own sinful pleasures outside of His protection. The difference is literally like night and day. I used to go to bed with heaviness, darkness and fear but when I turned from seeking all kinds of ways to satisfy the emptiness within and chose to seek God instead, I found so much peace, joy, fulfillment and adventure than I ever thought possible.
Not only does Gods fortress protect you and give you true freedom, it protects your family. We are called to guard our spouse and children with integrity and heart. Believe it or not, what we do in private DOES affect our spouse and children...very much! When we create a small opening in the fortress wall to do things we know are not pleasing to God, we have given the enemy access to everyone within those walls. Then, one little crack turns into an entire section of the wall eroding & crumbling over time, hurting everyone within the walls.
So what will you choose today? Will you keep the door open for evil to enter your home, or will you slam the gates of hell shut to protect your family with honor, integrity, and love leading them by example to live a life of purity within the protective walls of God?
“But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve...But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord .” Joshua 24:15
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16
“The man replied, “This is amazing! You claim to know nothing about him, but the fact is, he opened my eyes! It’s well known that God isn’t at the beck and call of sinners but listens carefully to anyone who lives in reverence and does his will..” John 9:31
“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:12
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.” Psalm 18:2
“The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.”
“The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.” Nahum 1:7