Not long ago a friend said she wanted to show me a beautiful lake. As we walked along we passed by a children’s fun park. We could see over the walls that there was a maze, a petting zoo, and stalls for winning prizes. There was one entrance which was guarded by the gatekeeper. This gatekeeper would take money for the entrance fee and also be aware of anyone trying to sneak past the gate or climb over the wall without his knowledge.
That’s when I thought of the temple in the Old Testament. There were four gates, each located at the east, west, north, and south. Gatekeepers were assigned duties to guard illegal access from enemies of God who would seek to steal, kill, or destroy. As the notion formed in my mind I felt myself shudder with the thought, that’s exactly what Satan, the enemy of God, still does today! Jesus said in John 10:9-10, “I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. Wherever they go, they will find green pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.” Isn’t that amazing, although not surprising, that the tactics of the enemy has not changed?
Today, there is no temple made with human hands as there was in the Old Testament. Today, all those who have the Holy Spirit residing within them become the living temple of God. Therefore, we must take caution. We must be always on the ready to guard the gates! How do we do that? Proverbs 4:23 instructs us to, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.” Isn’t that an extraordinary statement? Whatever enters the gates of our heart affects everything we do.
Our best weapon against the thief gaining illegal access to our minds is prayer. Some may consider prayer to be such an easy thing that it can’t be that effective. Oh, no! It’s not to be regarded as some simple pastime; it’s to be held in high esteem for its power! Why do you think we can be so easily distracted, putting off talking to God and listening to Him? Because the thief understands the power of prayer. He slips by the gate to our mind and climbs over the wall of our heart, whispering his lies that prayer is ineffective, so why bother? Heeding his advice from his illegal entrance, our minds are immediately affected. We lose peace and joy. We become afraid and despondent. All that negativity because we became negligent gatekeepers. The enemy’s entire mission is to kill and steal and destroy. Why let him in?