Building our character is like building a house. First the foundation is established, then the walls are built, and finally the roof is put on.
What are the walls? They are the part of the building that holds the entire structure together, and also they keep out the bad elements.
In Scripture, walls are called the walls of salvation (Isaiah 26:1; 60:18). Building the walls of our character is a part of our overall salvation experience. It is the walls of our character that help to provide us security and protection.
Walls need to be built and maintained in order to function properly. Our character is strengthen and our maturity increases from our earnest efforts to build and maintain the walls of our character.
But we can ruin and break down the walls of our character, by neglecting our character walls, which is like neglecting our salvation! We must hold firmly to the truths of our salvation, and NOT neglect the great salvation provided for us through our Saviour, Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ] (Hebrews 2:1-3)!
The Right Tools
In order to build the walls of our character properly, we need the right tools.
Self-control is one proper, and very necessary, tool needed to edify or ‘build-up’ our spiritual house! As a Believer, building our self-discipline and our self-control strengthens our spiritual house, and greatly enhances the walls of our character.
On the other hand, when one lives in an atmosphere of repeated self-indulgence, then that person’s character walls are greatly weakened, because of lack of self-control. Self-indulgence hinders our maturity, and weakens the ‘rafters and beams’ of our spiritual house.
Are we aware of this truth? That each of us has, not only an earthly house [our body], but we also have a Spiritual House:
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked (2Corinthians 5:1-3)
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1Peter 2:5)
As these verses teach, if the earthly house of this tabernacle [our body] were dissolved [when our body dies], we will then have a spiritual, eternal house awaiting us. Paul continues to explain that we who are Believers in Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ], earnestly desire to be clothed upon with our Spiritual House.
On The Great and Final Day
Do we know what kind of ‘spiritual house’ we are building?
Our spiritual house is being built every day — beginning with the foundation, and then being built by the things we do and the things we say in the natural realm.
- If you are not sure if you have established the essential and vital ‘foundation’ of your Spiritual House, please see the brief article: Good News!
As we saw in First the Natural, Then the Spiritual, the things we do and say in the natural realm, have a huge and profound effect on our eternal spiritual condition! There will come a Day when we will all discover how the things we did in the natural realm greatly affected the condition of our spiritual house:
Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1Corinthians 3:13-15)
As these verses teach us, on the great and final Day, it will be revealed what sort of work each one of us has done on our spiritual building. On that Day, we will see and know the condition of our spiritual house. And we will have one thing with us — the one thing we will take with us into eternity — our character!
Let us therefore, ask ourselves . . .
Are we constructing a spiritual house that is growing strong, steady, and firm?
Are we constructing a spiritual house that can resist the pressures from our spiritual enemy?
Or, are we building a house that is weak, loose, and crumbling?
As mentioned above, self-indulgence hinders maturity and weakens the ‘rafters and beams’ of our spiritual house.
On the other hand, self-control is a building tool, a securing tool! Self-control is a building up tool for strengthening our spiritual house!
Acquiring Good Character Qualities
The tools for building the walls of our spiritual house are known as good character qualities.
Acquiring good character qualities takes time and determination to build into our lives. Good character qualities are obtained only by daily attention to little, seemingly insignificant details such as going to bed early and getting up early, or saying “no” to ice cream and saying “yes” to an apple.
To gain good character qualities requires a ‘matter-of-fact’ approach. What may seem like ‘mechanics’ is exactly what is needed to begin to build and develop the good character traits of dicipline, diligence, patience, gentleness, and self-control.
Poor character qualities, on the other hand, are easily obtained, because they are the natural outflow of our neglect, slothfulness, impatience, and self-indulgence. Poor charcter qualities are the natural features of our carnal, selfish nature.
When one neglects building good character qualities, and only nurtures a predominately self-indulgent life-style, then that person is more likely to become enslaved to demonic forces. As a result, the inner walls of their spiritual house are broken down.
But, if we cultivate good character qualities, the walls of our spiritual house become strong, and these character qualities offer us protection from spiritual attacks. To cultivate good character qualities we must begin to be responsible for our behaviour in the very little details of our daily life.
One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:22,23). This fruit is essential for growth and maturity for anyone who desires to become valiant and useful to Yahuwah Elohim [the Hebrew name for the LORD God]. This good character quality is something we need to exercise and practice every day.
With self-control, we can learn patience and discipline and diligence for building a spiritual house that is strong, and able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). When our spiritual walls become stronger, then others can trust us to be responsible and mature. We will discover that there are many rewards for maintaining a life-style of obedience to God, for maintaining our self-denial of carnal passions and appetites (1Corinthians 2:9).
Every Bit of Prayer and Determination
But we must be prepared for the enemy’s tactics to try to defeat us. The enemy of our soul does not want us to learn and acquire self-control! However, we surely can not learn and acquire it without Yahuwah’s help!!
If we have been in the habit of a self-indulgent life-style, then growth in maturity and good character qualities will require every bit of prayer, determination, and self-discipline we can muster.
If we desire to have a spiritual house that will withstand the testings of tribulation, then we must begin now to build the protecting walls of our character. To do this, we must be teachable, and humble enough to ask Father’s help in learning the simple, basic, and practical things of self-discipline and endurance.
What may seem like children’s instruction is actually Father’s wisdom, given to those in the school of the Holy Spirit. It is in His classroom that we learn to be self-controlled, patient, and self-disciplined.
In order to succeed in the school of the Holy Spirit, we need to be willing to un-learn any bad habits that hinder the stability of our spiritual house. Then, we can begin to learn all over again what we should have learned as a child.
The building up of our spiritual house needs to be as a ‘line upon line’ issue — a ‘little by little’ work on one area, steadily mastering that one thing before moving on to something else.
Building the walls is “doing a great work!” as the prophet Nehemiah declared! (See Nehemiah 6:3) It is an honourable work! But it will require a commitment — a commitment to endure, and a commitment to NOT indulge.
Our commitment begins when we understand that building character is just like building a house in the natural — one step at a time. There will be plenty of moments of pain, agony, and revisions! Building our spiritual house is costly — costing us the pain and agony of self-denial. It will mean a determination to say, “No!” to the things that weaken our good character, saying “No!” to bad attitudes or moody emotions.
Our commitment to becoming self-disciplined needs to be a daily, steady, ‘Never give up!’ commitment.
Seeking Father’s Help
Dear Reader, we all have the need to build up our character — to build up and strengthen our spiritual house. But each one of us must seek Yahuwah’s help!
Cry out to Father daily for His help to work on building up the spiritual walls of our spiritual house!
Ask Yah to strengthen your commitment to resist self-indulgence, to resist the things that weaken good character.
Ask for His help to read/study the Bible everyday because it is His Word that is food for our spirit and soul. His Word is the spiritual food that nourishes us and energizes us (John 6:63b).
In the book of Nehemiah, we find great encouragement for building the walls of our character. Nehemiah persisted through the enemy’s constant attempts to hinder his work. Yet there came a time when Nehemiah was victorious, and the protecting walls were completed!
So let us consider ourselves as being a ‘Nehemiah’ — someone who is doing a ‘great work’ each day, as we build up the walls of our character!
Let us remain sober-minded, holding onto every bit of encouragement we can find, so that we may Endure and Not Indulge! (2Timothy 2:3) — so that we may learn how to ‘Resist the devil and he will flee!‘ (James 4:7)
Let us recognize that Father has His enabling and sufficient grace waiting for us every day, if we will only ask Him!
Though we may feel like a failure, though we may feel weak many times, feeling hopeless over the building up of the walls of our spiritual house, let us remember Yahushua’s comforting Word to us — His strength is made perfect in weakness! (2Corinthians 12:9) It is in our moments of weakness when we must cry out for Yah’s help!
Our failures and weaknesses are the moments to acknowledge Yah, confessing our sins and failures, and beg Him for HIS strength to come to us and help us BE strong!
Let us also maintain a good confession by speaking the promises of God’s Word, found in the Bible. This is another excellent spiritual tool for building up and developing the walls of our spiritual house!
Building Our Character – A Good and Noble Goal
Building up the walls of our character is a wonderful and noble goal!
Everyone needs to work on their spiritual house! There is always room for improvement! And Father promises us a blessing for our persistent endurance:
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (James 1:12)
It is a ‘great work’ to be buidling up the walls of our character!
But we must humble ourselves daily, and seek the simplicity of Father’s direction, guidance, and grace! We need to acknowledge Yah in every thing we do, seeking His help in the smallest of details. We are in the process of building a most precious building — our spiritual house, eternal and waiting for us in heaven!
Messiah lives within us by His Holy Spirit, and He desires to help us. At times, the work may seem painful and grievous, but do not become weary! Endurance is vital to this building process, and to our walking by faith! Our patient prayers and efforts will eventually yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness (Hebrews 12:1-11).
May you and I patiently endure and cooperate with Him as He teaches us how to strengthen and build up the walls of our character!
- Growing Up In Messiah
- Ten Blessings For Good Character
- To This One Will I Look– three keys for pleasing God
- Faithful in Little Things – learning the importance of faithfulness in the little things
- Bringing Forth Fruit With Patience
- Faith Comes! – three steps for increasing our faith
- Acquiring A Teachable Heart
- Is Your Child Living In Unreality?
- Defense Against Discouragement
- For information regarding demonic forces and deliverance, see: Great Bible Study
- Whom Father Loves, He Corrects
- Prize of the Ironman – a personal story about one man’s character training in endurance and perseverance
- Cultivating Endurance – a brief devotional by Derek Prince