• Sanyade Okoli

Get Them Walls Down

When we find ourselves in toxic situations, we often build walls around our hearts to protect ourselves. Essentially, we self-protect. The challenge, however, with these walls is that they not only provide some sort of barrier against people who could hurt us, they also act as a fence against those who could love us. Not just people around us but also God.

This wouldn’t be so bad if the heart around which we have built a wall was healthy. Alas! Invariably, the reason one would choose to build a wall around their heart is because they have been hurt and the wound has not been healed enough to trust others with their heart again.

With the erected barrier, the wound remains festering – seemingly out of sight but very much affecting one’s life. In much need of the healing touch of God but sadly out of reach. Not because God isn’t able to get to that area of your heart, but because He is a gentleman and will generally not go where He is not wanted.

In addition, walls stop the goodness within our hearts from flowing out to those around us. In short, nothing comes in and nothing goes out.

That’s not how God created us to effectively function. Amongst our soul’s key basic needs are love and acceptance. Therefore, if we have built a wall around our hearts, we are stopping our souls from receiving all the love and acceptance it requires for us to be our best selves. And because the soul is the seat of our lives (Proverbs 4:23 - Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life), an unhealthy soul means an unhealthy life.

God is our Father and He is a good father. One of the key roles of fathers is to protect (in addition to giving us our sense of identity and to provide). Therefore, like any good father, God desires to protect us. The challenge is that He often feels distant to us so instead of trusting Him to protect us - body, soul, and spirit - we often try to do it ourselves. Self-protection of our hearts is the antithesis of trusting God.

Now don’t get me wrong; I am not for one minute suggesting that you be unwise and just leave yourself open to be hurt by any and everyone. It’s just that our very attempt to try to protect ourselves from being hurt causes us to remain in a place of pain – conscious or subconscious.

How then can we tell if we are wisely taking care of ourselves in a wise healthy manner or we are self-protecting in a negative way? Look at the root of your action (or reaction). Is it rooted in love? Wisdom? Fear? Anger? Bitterness? The root will always determine the fruit. Bad root, bad fruit.

So, what to do? First and foremost, acknowledge the issue. Often enough, these walls are not things we are conscious of. We didn’t consciously build them, so we are not aware they are there. I have been through the process of identifying areas of my heart where I had built walls and bringing them down several times. Yet, a couple of months ago the Holy Spirit showed me an area of my heart that I had sealed away “nicely” – a painful experience that I had chosen to wall off instead of “process” and deal with. I was really blown away by the revelation as I had no idea that “it” was an issue.

With this in mind, I encourage you to spend time asking the Holy Spirit to show you areas of your heart where there may be walls. Be really open to what He may reveal.

When He does, ask Him who you need to forgive for having had to erect the wall. If you silence yourself before Him you may recall a memory, a person’s face may pop up, a negative emotion may arise, something will happen. Just still yourself and pay attention.

Then, forgive whoever it is you think may have led you to build the wall.

Ask the Holy Spirit if there is anyone else that you need to forgive and do so if led accordingly.

Once you have forgiven, ask Father God to remove the wall. Then ask Him to send His angels to protect your heart.

If you really want to go deeper and have fun with the Lord, you can ask Him to give you a picture to represent His protection. If whatever comes to you doesn’t make immediate sense, ask Him to explain.

Here’s hoping that you didn’t just rush through the article, but you took time to do the exercise 🙂.

I wish I could say that this is a one-off exercise; it isn’t. It’s not something you have to do every day but going forward, be conscious of the concept of walls around your heart and check in with the Lord periodically to see whether there may be walls that need to be brought down.


As I finished this article I was reminded of the lyrics of the old worship song, “Lord I give you my heart, I give you my soul, I live for you alone.” The truth is that for as long as we are in charge of our hearts, the Lord isn’t. Suffice to say, the Lord has got to be a much better heart-keeper than we could ever be 🙂. Trust Him with your precious heart completely!

If this has blessed you, please do share with others. Thanks!


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