Living At The Wrong Gate

   

     Too often I have seen in my life, and the lives around me, that the future is defined by our past.  What has been, whether conscious of it or not, is what we expect to be.  We're held captive by what has gone before, and so we spend our lives living in the same place, repeating the same mistakes, bad choices, failures, and yes, sins, because of it. 
     2 Kings 7 tells of the time when Samaria in the northern kingdom of Israel was under siege by the kingdom of Syria.  Famine was rampant in the city and the people were starving.  Elisha the prophet had announced to a cynical king and his advisors that God was about to lift the siege and provide food for the city by the next day.  At this same time, sitting at the gate of the city were four lepers, who were the most despised of people, indeed, were seen more as non-people.  They knew nothing of the prophecy, but said among themselves, "Why do we sit here until we die?"  They saw their options as remaining there as good as dead, while they waited for death, or going into the city, where they most likely would be killed out of fear of their leprosy, or going to the Syrian camp and perhaps being allowed to live, and more, to find food.  Reading on in the chapter tells of the rest of the story.  God did indeed deliver the people.  The siege was miraculously lifted, and food was abundantly available to all, including the lepers.  In the midst of all of this though is a question for each of us; why do we continue to sit at our various "gates" waiting to die?  Why do we continue to live in the same place, in the midst of the same woundedness, failures, wrong choices, and sins, doing nothing more than waiting to die?  What gate, and behind what bars do we continue to "sit" instead of entering into the wholeness that can only be found in Christ?  What "bars" keep us there?
     I recently heard Australian speaker and writer Christine Caine speak on this passage, and she said that the bars of our gates may be constructed of most anything, fear, bitterness, unforgiveness, a "victim" mentality, an abusive past, gender hatred, dysfunctional family background, the list is really endless.  What matters is that while sitting at these gates, behind these bars, we see all of life through those bars, and everything is colored and affected by that.   Caine says we continue to sit at these gates and behind these bars for what we consider "justifiable reasons."  God's word may come to us, but we insist that it do so through these bars, and so the power of it is greatly lessened if not altogether lost.  So, we go on sitting at our own particular gate, behind our own particular bars.  And we'll continue to do so until we too, like the lepers, ask ourselves, "Why do we sit here until we die?"
    If we will finally ask ourselves that question, finally receive His Word and life to crush the bars we've placed there, we will find life.  we will discover wholeness.  We will experience He who calls Himself the Gate of Life.  When this happens, we find the words of Christ in John 10:10 to be true, "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly."  Through Him who is the Gate of Life, we have life.  We no longer live at the wrong gate, but with and in Him who is the Gateway to all that true life is.
   In John 10, Jesus spoke of the thief who comes only to steal and destroy, the enemy of our souls, satan.  It is at his gate that so many sit today, mostly unknowingly, held captive by the one whose only desire is to steal, kill, and destroy.  It's he who built the gate and constructed the bars.  Those bars may keep us in, but they can never keep Christ out.  Will you come out?  Will you leave the gate and bars behind as they fall before the power of His life?  Why sit there any longer?  He has come to you.  Now, will you come to Him?

Blessings,
Pastor O
   

 

 

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