Gateway Austin and 20+ other churches in Austin are teaming together for an initiative to tear down the walls that hold us back from our best. These walls pit people against each other, keep neighbors distant, keep churches from working together or from serving our city. We all face walls. We all get stuck, but we don’t have to stay stuck.
John Burke shared some of the following insights:
“Consider this: where do I get stuck. Do I get stuck feeling isolated and alone? Distrusting? Does fear hold me back? Is there an addiction that walls me in? Do I continually struggle with impatience, worry, anger—where do I get stuck?
We don’t have to live this way, but too often we just don’t see a way out.
So first, what are walls? Walls are unhealthy mindsets that keep us from the life God intended us to live, personally, relationally with each other, as neighbors, as churches and communities. Walls are spiritual, so they are unseen, but this makes them even more dangerous because we can be unaware of the harm they’re doing. Spiritual walls are unhealthy mental constructs.
Jesus claims the very reason he came was to lead us into Life—a kind of life that is full, abundant, overflowing from within. Another place in scripture defines this full spiritual life that God purchased for us as growing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control (Gal. 5).
The first wall many of us need to tear down is this false construct that God’s the cosmic bad guy wanting to get you to surrender so that he can make you obey, force you to stay home alone on Friday nights, take away all your fun and joy, make you marry someone you can’t stand, and then send you to a remote island doing something you hate. Consider: Do I believe God is good and I can trust God to produce the kind of life I’d like?
Am I experiencing love—why not? What’s holding me back? Do I experience joy? What about peace deep in my soul—if not, why not? What things do I tell myself, or hear in my head, that keep this from me—just go down the list in Galatians 5. Write down what you hear. This helps you Name your walls.
Circumstances are not your walls. Some of us think, if the economy would just straighten out, then I wouldn’t feel this anxiety, I wouldn’t have to be consumedwith fear or worry or insecurity.
Walls come from the wounds, hurts, and evils done to us and even by us in a world gone astray from God’s will and ways.
The problem is these mental walls are subconscious. I wish there were three easy steps to have a spiritual breakthrough. But In my experience of freedom, and many other’s around here, there’s a kind of breakthrough that God alone can do in you.
So what can we do?
First, you’ve got Identify and Name your wall. Because we don’t see it ourselves, this is where we need God’s help. You must be open to seeking, and asking God (Matthew 7:7-1).
Today’s the 10th anniversary of 9-11 and the terrorist attacks. We prayed earlier for the victims families, but there were not just victims that day—there were also courageous heroes. Todd Beamer was a Christ Follower, an account manager for Oracle, headed to Washington on business on flight 93. When the plane got hijacked and he watched one person get murdered, he found the courage to act—he got on his cell phone, despite the danger and got connected to a GTE operator who informed him that 3 planes had flown directly into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Realizing they were the next missile aimed at destruction, Todd quietly rallied a few men around a plan to attack the terrorists with their bare hands—and if they had to, to fly the plane into the ground before it killed many others. Summoning his courage, knowing he was ultimately safe in God’s hands, Todd prayed the Lord’s Prayer with the GTE operator. He set the phone on the seat, but she was still on the line. His last words
were, “You guys ready…let’s roll.”
It takes courage that comes from knowing you’re safe in God’s hands to die to self. It takes courage to face down patterns, addictions, habits, fears, insecurities, thoughts that not only hold us back, but are intended as destructive missiles to harm friends, spouses, even children we love. True heroes find courage to think about others, even if it costs them everything. Facing down your walls is not just for you—but those lives you will impact, the legacy you will leave. That’s the courage God wants to give you—courage from knowing you’re safe with the only One who ultimately matters in this Universe.
To watch or listen to this message, go to www.gatewaychurch.com/podcast.
For a list of small groups in Austin and small group materials, go to www.gatewaychurch.com/walls.