What is a gate? There are seven definitions in the Merriam Webster Dictionary, they range from openings in fences, to guarded entry ways into castles, to electronic and logic gates, to people losing their job, and money made from entry fees. So a gate can be many things and in each of them there is an allowance or denial of access.
If the gate in a fence is closed one must either climb over the fence or open the gate to pass beyond the fence. A castle gate that is guarded and closed to persons that the dwellers do not want to gain access. The guards can call down to the person to determine who they are and what they want and perhaps open the gate and grant access. A light switch is an example of an electrical gate, in the open state no electricity is allowed through and a light will not work, when the gate is closed we have a closed circuit and electricity will flow and lights will work. Inside computers the same type of thing occurs, microcircuits are open and closed storing and manipulating information as it flows through the system. When a person is given the gate from their job, they are let go and must leave the facility (walk out the gate). Oh yeah and one more…the money made from payment for access to some type of entertainment.
In our Christian walk we have gates that we deal with as well. A Christian brother made a cool statement the other evening in a meeting, he said, “we must guard our gates as we try to be holy”. He said that he had heard this before but that it applies to our discussion on our pursuit of holiness. It sure does…our eyes, ears, and mouths are gates that we can control. We should filter what our eyes and ears take in and what comes from our mouths.
Our eyes are dangerous gates especially to those of us who are men, we are visually stimulated, whether it be for a female, the sight of competition, or the fish jumping. Our excitement level and adrenaline rush starts when we see something and open the gate for a deeper look (stare or concentration). We must keep what we see pure by not concentrating on things that can grow into sin.
The ears can also be dangerous gates if we allow vulgar and corrupt discussions through without filtering. Seeds can be planed in one’s mind as we automatically create images from the things we hear. Then these images are brought back to the fore when we are alone and we must beat off the temptation.
There is an old adage “junk in, junk out”. This little phrase is so true and the previous two gates of course are the inbound gates and the following one is an outbound gate.
Our mouths are the outbound gate that we must filter to show forth a Christian lifestyle. The Bible says:
“A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” Luke 6:45 NLT
“And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.” James 3:10-12 NLT
We know that the Holy Spirit is with us to assist us in this walk and filtering process. As Jesus was preparing his disciples for his betrayal, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension he told them this:
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.” John 14:16-17 NLT
So the Spirit leads us into all truth which means he will assist us to filter and guard our gates if we allow the work. In allowing the work of the Spirit in our lives we have a closed circuit spiritually which allows the power of God to flow through us making our light shine.
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:14-16 NLT
Finally the gate of our mind…the most influential gate we have, it directs the other gates to perform. The act of looking away from something enticing is performed by this main gate as impulses are sent to tell the head to turn or for our eyes to look away. You might say the brain is like the king of the castle who can demand the gates to be closed and no entrance allowed or perhaps he has closed the gates but will allow access to some persons. The Spirit should work with this gate as well and we should build good habits in this powerful gate using this scripture model:
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:6-8 NLT