The LORD loves the gates of Zion…. (Psalm 87:2).
A gate represents entrance into a new place. Inside the gate is something different than what we’ve experienced. If we pay the entrance fee, know the code or the gatekeeper, we can enter into what lies behind.
Sometimes my heart swims around in anger, keeping me from entering into the gates of God’s love, mercy, joy, peace, and hope. Jesus, as the Good Shepherd guards the gate. He keeps thieves and robbers out. He only lets those good things for us into the gate. Jesus loves His sheep. He feeds, protects and provides for them there in His sheepfold.
Some Christians never enter into the place of God’s joy, abundance and rest, because they spend all their time dwelling on past and present hurts. They cannot receive the Father’s peace and joy for their heart, because the troubles of this world have weighed them down in a place of desolation.
Left to our own negative thoughts we cannot experience God’s freedom for His sheep who have learned to walk by faith. The ones who have learned to run back to the Good Shepherd, releasing the injustice done to them and the pain in their hearts over their present and past seasons.
Sometimes the Good Shepherd wants to make us new, but our hearts want to keep us stuck in bitterness, anger, and hatred. I feel my own heart constantly being drawn towards bitterness in this present season of life. Then, I am reminded of the Good Shepherd and His love for me. I am reminded that I can entrust my whole life to God, even the parts that feel painful and unfair. I can give him my hurts so that a root of bitterness does not shoot up in my heart.
I keep having this thought in my mind-“God saw that.” This gives me hope that He is working to redeem every injustice brought upon my life that the enemy tried to use against me for my destruction. The enemy wants to destroy my faith, grow a root of bitterness in my heart and make me believe that God is unfair. The enemy is a liar.
Therefore, we must take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. When we do, His grace awaits us there as He opens the gate and ushers us into the place of His lasting peace, joy, and victory.
Lord, I trust and believe. You see everything. You are redeeming all of it. I believe it. Today I guard my heart against anything that would try to set itself up to destroy my faith. I claim my victory in Christ. Thank you for Shepherding my soul. Thank you that your plans for me are good, in Jesus name, Amen.
Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a helpless people…..(Proverbs 28:15).
As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart….(Proverbs 27:19).
he will surely take me to himself….(Psalm 49:15).
and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”….(1 Kings 17:4).
It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth…..(Mark 4:31).
It is easy to feel small and insignificant to God. Like our life doesn’t matter or that our role in God’s kingdom work is without purpose. If there is one thing the enemy loves to do its distract us from the work of God in the season and place the Lord has called us to.
As Jesus is teaching, He describes the kingdom of God as a mustard seed. It is the smallest seed, but once planted, it grows and flourishes into a beautiful plant.
Wherever Jesus plants us we must water our lives with His love. His thoughts must be our thoughts. If the devil is directing our hearts and minds what takes precedence is not the will of God, but our own attempts to soothe our worry and pain.
Sometimes I want to be a full spreading plant without having to go through the growing process. God is placing me in a season of growing. A place of nourishing my faith for the growth of my own heart. If we ever want to be effective ministers for the gospel, we must always be planted in the Father’s love, seeking growth from His enduring love.
I cannot, nor will I ever be fruitful for the Kingdom without first being planted in the Father’s love. His joy and delight grow my heart. The result is that I have a beautiful place for others to come and find comfort in the Father’s shade. My life no longer lacks significance, because God takes even the smallest of things and produces a great work in me as I submit myself to the Father’s growing process.
I’m thankful that Jesus takes small things and people like me to grow into a place for others to come and rest in the Father’s shade. You see, our life isn’t about what we can do for God, it’s really about who we become. As we become something brand new for God, we become a place where others find His grace and love for their lives, in Jesus name.
Lord, thank you that no season in life is wasted. Thank you that in the Kingdom I have great purpose. Thank you, Father, that you are growing new life in me. Let me be like a mustard seed. Let it be for your glory, in Jesus name, Amen.