The Gatekeeper

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?

 

What Does A Thief Want?

It stands to reason that a thief would never attempt to rob anyone who had nothing of value.  Breaking and entering only takes place because the thief wants the something of value that you possess.  John 10:10 informs us of two things:  First, it tells us that “The theif’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.”  The Christian will know who the thief is; the thief is our arch enemy, Satan.  Since we are categorically told that his purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy, that fact is enough to let us know we need to pay attention.

When soldiers prepare for battle, a part of their training is to know the enemy.  Be aware of tactics used.  Know what they want.  It’s no different in spiritual warfare.  What does our enemy want to steal and kill and destroy?  He wants to steal your joy, kill your inner peace, and destroy your effectiveness in God’s Kingdom.  He will do whatever it takes to accomplish his purpose to steal, kill and destroy.  He lies and deceives.  He whispers words of hopelessness.

When one of God’s children blows it, our arch enemy doesn’t want you and me to dwell on the truth of God’s grace; He whispers that God’s wrath will create a living hell for us for the rest of our days.  He whispers that life’s circumstances are nothing more than God’s anger; belying the fact of God’s love and forgiveness.  The arch enemy doesn’t want you walking in the daily strength of God; he wants you wallowing in self pity.  The arch enemy doesn’t want you focused on God’s plan for your life which leads to contentment no matter life’s troubles; he wants you blaming God for your woes, leading you away from your Father rather than snuggling secure in Father’s arms of love.

Satan hates you because He hates Jesus.  He will never be anything to you and me but a thief with the sinister purpose to steal, kill, and destroy.  His constant attacks on our mind is tiring, causing us, in times of discouragement to want to throw in the towel.  I urge you, don’t dare surrender to the master thief.  Don’t give victory to his purpose; concentrate instead on God’s purpose, which is the second part of our verse.  Let’s read that verse in its entirety:  “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.  My purpose (God is saying) is to give a rich and satisfying life.”  While the arch enemy seeks to steal away all that is good; your Father seeks to give you riches of satisfaction for all the days of your life.

When we want to keep out a thief, we lock the doors.  It’s no different in our spiritual world.  Lock  the door with declaring the truth of God’s Word, with praises for His goodness, and with prayer that calls upon God’s strength.   When we lock the door to our mind and heart with God’s truth, the lies of the thief cannot enter, rendering him useless in his goals to steal, kill and destroy.  When the Christian chooses God’s truth; the arch enemy’s lies cannot take a hold on our inner peace.

Let’s lock the door to the enemy and walk in God’s purposes.