Whenever God begins to work, He always builds a temple first. God desires a temple that He can design, work in, and move in.
But take note, a temple is unlikely to stand for long unless we build walls. No, this does not sound as romantic as altar building. Wall building is a separating business. And our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit.
“And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them; and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 6:16-17
To realise this in another way, we may ask: Why do people lose the message when they let down on their holiness standards?
What is the temple? It is the truth we hold dearly – the doctrine which saves. There weren’t two temples with two temple plans. The temple was not only a salvation experience; it was the dwelling place of God. It’s where God works in you, walks in you, talks with you. We’ve got to love this truth. We’ve got to have the temple experience, and we’ve got to be careful with our temple.
Our temple is not going to make it without a wall. It’s time to build (and rebuild) walls. Walls are not prisons; they are protections. They are the holiness standards we live by.
When we talk about building a temple, we will get resistance. People will try to frustrate and weaken the process… But it is not the kind of resistance we get when we begin to build walls.
When we get to the walls, that’s where the fight really happens. Some folks may allow you to go ahead with repentance, water baptism and the infilling of the Holy Ghost. They’ll let you worship a little bit even though they might not like it. However, when it comes to the walls, it is a knock-down fight. Fellow believer, we’ve got to fight for some things. We’ve got to decide to build our walls with a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other. No one said it would be an easy life but I don’t feel sorry for myself. When all is said and done, I may lose friends and people may not like me but I will be holy for He is holy (1 Peter 1:15) and without holiness, no man shall see God (Hebrews 12:14).
When Nehemiah saw walls lying in waste, it impacted him so much that he sat down and wept. For days, he mourned and fasted and prayed before God (Nehemiah 1:4). Do we have the same attitude? A cupbearer became a wall-builder because we need walls!
Better hold on to what you have — the walls you’ve built in courage — with your fight.
The last fight is always at the wall and it is a fight of compromise. They will ask us to come down from our walls. Friend, you can’t compromise enough. If you give something up today, they will ask you to give something up tomorrow. Don’t compromise! Fret not! God has posted watchmen on the walls (Isaiah 62:6). Do not let anything tear down the wall. If the wall is being torn down, how can the watchmen watch? Salvation is in our walls (Isaiah 60:18).
The law commanded the priests to examine the walls for the disease of leprosy (Leviticus 14:37). Even if it appears to be deeper than the surface — where sin has corrupted the wall, it is just a matter of time before the infection spreads. Preacher, inspect the walls!
We can’t simply stop at the temple experience (justification) — removing the guilt when there is sin in the house. If so, we could end the New Testament at the book of Acts! We need to move on to sanctification! Two-thirds of the New Testament contains instructions from the apostles admonishing, exhorting and encouraging us to build our walls! Giving us instructions on how to live a holy life pleasing to God starting from right where we are.
“And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” Nehemiah 4:14
We have something worth fighting for. Fight at the wall!