Over the course of human history, man has devised many things to keep out that which might do harm. In early cultures it was a pile of brush around a campsite, or circled wagons in hostile territory. Log forts were raised up to protect soldiers, and stone-walled castles with motes were constructed to keep nobility and peasants safe. But, the picture above is perhaps the greatest endeavor of all, to protect an entire country. This is the Great Wall of China, which was designed and built to keep out uncivilized, hostile, invading forces.
This amazing feat of engineering is 13,170.7 miles long. It took 2300 years to build using hundreds of millions of slave laborers. The Ming Dynasty was the last to work on it in 1644. It has a height that runs between 24 to 40 feet tall, and is wider enough to drive a truck on. It is made up of hundreds of millions of tons of stone, brick, sand and soil, all of which were transported by hand, to the build site. The stones and brick were all held together by glutenous rice flour. Large sections of this wall are now gone, because many homes, buildings and reservoirs in China were constructed using the material during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Today, 70,000 people a day visit the Great Wall, which is now considered a national treasure, and one of the great wonders of the ancient world.
The thing about any wall, is that it’s purpose for being put in place is usually a very good thing. However, over time, it’s function can be transformed into something entirely different. What I mean is, the Great Wall of China was built to protect the Chinese people, and keep them safe from any outside invasion. But, over time, that same wall became a barrier of isolation that kept the people from healthy interaction with the outside world. Once the attitude of the leaders changed, it no longer served it’s original purpose. Instead of protecting the people from evil, it became a self imposed barrier that held them all captive.
I say this because I see the same thing happen in the lives of many who name the Name of Christ. They start their walk in God with joy and enthusiasm, and in time, learn how important it is to put on the whole armor of God. That armor is an impenetrable barrier against every attack the enemy mounts against them. As they use, and trust that armor, they learn the benefit of keeping it in place. However, after being hurt, wounded, disappointed and disillusioned by the flaws of others, that armor inadvertently takes on a different role within us. In most cases, the wearer does not even recognize that such a transformation of vision has taken place.
Once this unhealthy mental metamorphosis happens, just like what happened with the Great wall of China, people will use and armor of their own making as a barrier to prevent others from ever hurting them again. Rather than using God’s armor for it’s intended purpose of fighting off attacks of the enemy, their own armor is now worn by the wounded, to protect them from being hurt by others. We actually isolate ourselves inside that armor, from the very ones we are supposed to be standing with, helping and in some cases, liberating.
The great tragedy of all this is a powerful truth God spoke to my heart several years ago. He showed me a picture of the Bride dressed in full armor. She was standing outside the Groom’s personal chamber, with an invitation to enter in. When she entered the room, the Groom said “drop your armor”, but because she felt safe within that armor, she just could not do it. Then He said to His Bride, “unless you drop your sword and banner, and remove the gauntlets, I can’t hold your hand. Unless you remove the helmet, you can’t place you head on My chest, and hear My heartbeat. Unless you remove the breast plate, I can’t see your beautiful form. Unless you set your shield aside, we can’t get close to each other. As long as your armor is on, you protect yourself from everyone, including Me. If you wear it in here, there can be no intimacy, no fresh revelation and no birthing will ever take place in your life as I intended.”
When God spoke this to me I was completely undone. In that moment I realized what I, and so many others, have been doing. Those of us who have been hurt, betrayed, lied to and lied about by fellow Christians, have allowed those things to redirect our concept of the Armor of God. Instead of it protecting us from the fiery darts of the enemy, we use our idea of God’s armor to wall us off, and isolate us from the hurt other believers have caused us. Rather than forgive, release and pray for those who hurt us, we hold on to it, protect and preserve it behind the armor we created. In other words, we are using our image of God’s armor for something that was never His intention.
Who is the biggest looser in all of this? Well, to begin with, it is God! Any armor we put on that builds a wall between us and other Christians, even those who have hurt us, is also a barrier between us and the Lord. He wants us near Him, with nothing blocking His touch, or His view. “Whatsoever you do to even the least of these My brothers, you have done it unto Me”. The armor you put on between you and others, goes on between you and the Lord as well. Secondly, we also become big loosers in this scenario. Wearing our armor in His inner chamber only serves to keep us from the place of intimacy with God. There will be no vulnerability, no humility, no hearing of His heartbeat or touch of His hand. There will be no revelation of His word and no surrender to His will, if we are not willing to drop our armor in His Presence.
So, let me ask you the day’s big question. What are you wearing when He draws you into His presence? Do you feel the heaviness of a suit of armor? Do you hear the voices of past hurts clanking around behind it, in your moments of quietness with the Lord? If you do, then you will never be able to answer His call to come into the place of His inner chamber. You will forever be left standing and protecting yourself from everything, including him. Let me suggest that you do what the Chinese did. Why don’t you start to dismantle that wall, and use it build something good. Then, when you hear His voice to come, you will gladly shed your armor and enter the place He is longing for you to be. Come my beloved. He is climbing over your wall. He is calling!! Now is the time to drop your armor, and enter in.