Several years ago, during a trip to China, I had the privilege of standing on the Great Wall. It was a fantastic sight and experience that I will never forget. The majority of the existing wall was built during the almost 300-year reign of the Ming Dynasty. For over 2000 years (beginning nearly 800 years before Christ) the wall would be repaired, rebuilt, and improved. Though it was not constructed using the same means as the Great Wall of China, the wall around Jerusalem that was restored under the guidance of Nehemiah was erected for the same reasons: protection and security.
What was so crucial that Nehemiah felt the need to construct such a wall? We see a glimpse of this in Nehemiah 1:3. Without the wall, the city was vulnerable to the outside world and all of its influences; this was shameful not only to the people of God but the way it represented the only true and living God. There was no protection from the outside world. What had placed them in this situation? They allowed the sinful decay of the world to penetrate the hearts and souls of God’s people. The lack of a wall protecting the city was a representation of their lack of spiritual defense.
People have always desired to keep certain things out of their lives. Things that would or could harm them were held away by some form of defense. They were concerned for the welfare of themselves, their friends, and their family. I share these two accounts with you to ask you this: If you have been redeemed by Jesus Christ, what are you doing to keep the sinful decay of the world out of your life? Or, is it important to you? Satan paints sin in virtues colors to make it seem acceptable. So, how do you recognize it?
I am not suggesting that you become a monk or a nun and hide from the world. We are to be in the world, but we must make sure we are taking steps to stand firm in what is righteous and holy. This is what Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:22, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” Do you have an awareness and defense that allows you to pursue the purity of God? We should continually evaluate our actions by determining if they represent the purity of God and help us in the pursuit of displaying his glory. Asking this question may be a stone in your wall of defense.