by Macy Johnson
“They and their descendants were in charge of guarding the gates
of the house of the Lord – the house called the Tent.”
(1 Chronicles 9:23 NIV)
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
(Proverbs 4:23 NIV)
There is a lot of discussion these days about gates, borders and boundaries. It takes me back to biblical times. Old Jerusalem’s gates were named for their specific functions: the Fish Gate, the Fountain Gate, and the Horse Gate, just to name a few. Upon their return, after decades in captivity, the Jews posted guards around the clock at each gate during the rebuilding of the city wall. There were four gates opening into the temple courtyard in Ezekiel’s vision: North, South, East and West.
The main gate to God’s temple in my heart is my mind, my brain. As the gate keeper I must be diligent, thinking only about good, pure, holy things. Careless thoughts could easily slip through my mind into my heart, if I don’t halt them at the gate. Whatever settles in my heart will be spewed out when I am squeezed. So, I have to ask myself, “What is appropriate to allow into my life?” Everything that crosses my thought threshold must be monitored.
I must also guard the smaller gates, keep them secure, in good working order. I have a driving gate, a talking gate, a sleeping gate, an eating and drinking gate, a gate for everything God leads me to do. He reaches in to me and out to others through the gates, swinging both ways.
New gates, old gates, large and small, all require diligent maintenance. Squeaky floors and creaky doors continually alert us to dangerous creatures prowling around.