“When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day” (Nehemiah 13:19). In the book of Nehemiah, the merchants wanted to enter the gates of the city to sell their goods. But because it was Sabbath, Nehemiah did not want them to come in. It was a day of rest. Hebrews 4 says that through Jesus we can enter God’s eternal rest, an eternal Sabbath so to speak.
What does it look like to enter that rest through Jesus? Revelation 3:7 says about Jesus: “…Him who is holy and true, Who holds the key of David. What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open.”
Gates in your life
When looking at doors or gates in your personal life, consider the following. What are you listening to? What are you looking at? What kind of words do you speak? What thoughts do you allow to enter your mind? What do you cherish in your heart?
These are all gates: your ears, your eyes, your thoughts, your heart… Through the sacrifice of Jesus, we have been given the authority to close the doors of our mind, soul and body to the enemy. Evil spirits can no longer freely enter our gates. Jesus paid the price so we could close and seal these doors with His blood. The enemy has no longer access.
So we can close our gates to the enemy. At the same time, we can open our gates to the things of God and heaven. When you take time to listen to God’s Voice and receive His love, you open your ears, eyes, thoughts and heart to heaven. You allow God to fill you with His glory. These are the doors that Jesus opened for us that no one can close. We always have access to the Father. Nothing can separate us from His love.
However, it is up to us to choose to enter into that rest. Through repentance, we make the first choice to open our gates to heaven and to close them to darkness. Through obedience to God, we can maintain peace in our lives. If we choose to allow darkness into our lives through our gates, we will also experience inner turmoil. But if we choose to close the gates of our lives to darkness and open our gates to heaven, we will experience the rest and peace of God that surpasses all understanding in an increasing measure. A peace that does not depend on circumstances. Then it will be Sabbath in your inner man. Then you can live from a place of rest – God’s rest.
To which things do you open or close your doors?