““Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace—and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with untempered mortar— say to those who plaster it with untempered mortar, that it will fall. There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down. Surely, when the wall has fallen, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the mortar with which you plastered it?’ ” Therefore thus says the Lord God: “I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in My fury; and there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and great hailstones in fury to consume it. So I will break down the wall you have plastered with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be uncovered; it will fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”
Ezekiel 13:10-14 NKJV
Back in my university days, those who lived in the dorms had a tradition at the end of the year, where we would go about filling in all the holes in the walls of our room with toothpaste. It gave the appearance of solidity, but in reality it was just a cover so that those who occupied the room could get their deposit back.
In spiritual life, there can be a temptation to apply superficial fixes to our ecclesiastical structures, that they look good. In reality, those efforts are in vain, for the first sign of storm and the weakness is revealed.
In a biblical sense, we look for easy means of getting some the truth of God, without doing the work of sanctification.
As I read Ezekiel chapter thirteen, the efforts of modern day followers of Jesus came to mind. In the chapter God spoke of the untempered mortar used in the building of walls. Untempered mortar is mortar made of clay rather than the durable slaked lime. As a result, the storms came and the mortar washed away.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
Genesis 2:7 NKJV
“When He had said these things, He (Jesus) spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.”
John 9:6-7 NKJV
In the passage in Ezekiel, the LORD seems to be implying that those who have built walls have done some based on their own power. From a spiritual standpoint, many of us seek to spiritual things, to by the power of the Holy Spirit, by our own strength and following our own values.
We live in a world that is buffeted by supernatural forces, that can test the best efforts of mere men. Like the walls built with clay mortar, those efforts are bound to fail. It is on pastors and leaders to make sure that the faith they are communicating is protected by strong walls, rightly constructed.
Brothers and sisters, we are about to enter a time of extreme testing, where the walls we have relied on for stability, will be tested. If those walls are made of clay, infused with our best efforts, they will fail. Strong winds are coming at us even now, as the devil sends gusts and hails stones made of flesh and blood at us.
We must recognize that we need to rely on the Lord, who builds walls of slaked lime, built to endure and buttressed by the Holy Spirit. What He has erected will stand. We must also remember that those being sent against us being used by a malevolent god with no regard for the souls of those he has weaponized. The temptation is to strike back, to defeat the enemy, but we have been called to bring the Gospel.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 NKJV
Great hailstones are coming, my people, and we will need to find shelter in the Lord. We are in the time of preparation, where the Lord has granted us time to replace the clay with the lime. Let us take this time to seek the Lord, being built up in His word.
Let us make the most of fellowship, not neglecting the time with the saints, seeking every opportunity to edify, correct with gentleness, to instruct with humility, for none of us is immune to the potential of failure.
The judgement of God is coming, and I tell you the truth, He will begin in the the church house. Persecution has an uncanny ability to clarify the faith of followers of Jesus, for all spare and needed things are swept away, and what is truly important remains.
Let us us be purified by the Holy Spirit via the word, that when we do suffer, we suffer for doing good, and not doing evil.
“But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?”
I Peter 4:15-17 NKJV
God is going to make us a spectacle, a shining example of the power of His grace. As we suffer, He will be glorified, and many will be drawn into repentance and salvation. Let us demonstrate the solidity of life held together in Christ, and not merely the best efforts of man.
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