Oh, boy did I wrestle with this blog. For those of you who are regular followers of my blog, you may have noticed that I got a little out of order on the alphabet. My blog got hacked and it took me out of the game for a few days and by the time it was all cleaned up it was almost Valentine’s day and I had already planned to post How’s Your Marriage? (If you are married and missed that post – I highly recommend you don’t miss that one!)
…Back to today’s post. So I asked the Lord – what do you have in mind for the letter G? Surely I cannot just pass over the letter G. The word gatekeeper came to mind and immediately I knew that was it…I like the sound of the word gatekeeper. But what exactly does it mean?
In the Old Testament, gatekeepers were trusted officials who’s job was protect the Lord’s house. They were stationed at all four gates – north, south, east, and west – and they were to make sure that nothing unholy entered God’s house. Oh yes…I like that. Gatekeeper…
When the great wall of China was breached several times, Genghis Kahn has been quoted to say;
‘The strength of the wall depends on the courage of those who defend it.
Lately I have felt the Lord whispering in my ear urging me as a gatekeeper. As I researched a little further about what it means to be a gatekeeper I found myself back peddling…ahhhh…who would actually want to sign up for that job? Maybe I don’t want to talk about gatekeepers after all…
Jonah was commissioned by God to be a gatekeeper and he was to tell the people of Ninevah that they were living outside of God’s will and that they were all going to die unless they changed their ways. Jonah did what I would probably do. Instead of facing the crowd and being the most unpopular guy to ever live in the town of Ninevah, he ran away to hide and wound up swallowed by a giant whale.
It’s much easier to stay on the sidelines and keep quiet…don’t you think? Who would want to be a gatekeeper of the house and get spit on and criticized? I think I would prefer to just hide inside the house….or in the belly of a whale.
In the New Testament, Peter was another gatekeeper who protected the Lord’s house by cautioning people against the false teaching and preaching in his day.
“But there were also lying prophets among the people then, just as there will be lying religious teachers among you. They’ll smuggle in destructive divisions, pitting you against each other—biting the hand of the One who gave them a chance to have their lives back. They’ve put themselves on a fast downhill slide to destruction, but not before they recruit a crowd of mixed-up followers who can’t tell right from wrong. – 2 Peter 2:1-2
My dear friends, this is exactly what is happening today. There is division in our world and there is division in the church. There are some prominent teachers of the Christian faith who are teaching things that twist and deny the truth that is written in God’s word. People are constantly arguing about different ideas, philosophies, opinions, and theological and political stances. I find it to be completely exhausting and it makes me want to hide quietly in my own house and keep my opinions to myself. But I hear the Lord whispering…be my gatekeeper.
So I prayed to the Lord and He didn’t seem to let me off the hook. These are the things that were written on my heart. These are the things that I learned about being a gatekeeper.
#1 – Gatekeepers need to live a holy life.
A.W. Tozer writes –
Without holiness no one will see the Lord.
Yep. First I need to get the ole’ log out of my own eye. If I am to be a gatekeeper I must devote myself to holiness. That means watching my own life and guarding against pride, being critical, judgmental, or having a hard heart. I am to stop looking at the other guy and refrain from the “I’m right and YOU ARE WRONG”…wah wah.. kind of attitude.
If I am to be a gatekeeper I need to be a true follower of Jesus. I must submit my will to the Lord’s so that He can lead me to a place of higher ground. Following Jesus results in a changed life.
#2 – Gatekeepers need to be crystal clear about what they are defending.
Gatekeepers need to immerse themselves in scripture. There is confusion in the church and that is because some are getting away from scripture. The Holy Scripture is one of the key vehicles through which God speaks to his people.
Many people today are deciding their “spirituality” based on their own point of view – or Oprah’s view – or Jen Hatmaker’s – or Beth Moore’s – or their Pastor – or me. ..oh, please don’t decide anything based on me. (I must take a moment to confess that Beth Moore is my sort of personal idol/hero and my tendency is to think that whatever she says is THE GOSPEL TRUTH) But that’s a lot of pressure to put on sweet little Beth Moore, don’t you think?
All of these people have a lot to offer, I am sure. But we cannot fully rely on anyone but the Lord. We need to familiarize ourself with scripture so that we do not follow someone who might be very sincere – but sincerely wrong. Ask yourself – and the Lord – do they speak truth? Or do they speak some truth – but not the entire truth according to the scriptures.
Go to the scriptures and investigate for yourself.
Abortion – what does the Lord say about that? Sex outside of marriage – what does the Lord say about that? Caring for the poor – treatment of refugees – standing with Israel – criticizing elected officials – what does the Lord have to say about that? What does the Lord tell us about securing our borders? What does the Lord have to say about greed? About gluttony? About drunkenness? About gossip? About homosexuality? Or about grace? All of the answers lie in scripture. Dig deep and see what the Lord has to say.
Effective gatekeepers can defend their position with scripture.
#3 A gatekeeper is different than a warrior.
Gatekeepers are a little bit different from the warriors… (- oh, those warriors…how I admire those brave souls) Gatekeepers don’t rush to the front lines of the battle – they are called to hold their position, to stand firm and strong, and guard their post.
Gatekeepers aren’t born to fight, but they are willing to speak. They stand at their posts and they stand on the word of God. They are always prepared to speak to anything that threatens the house.
Gatekeepers stand at the doors of God’s house saying things like, “NO, I reject that.” “I will not be influenced by that.” “I love you, but I cannot support what you are doing.” “I am not going to become immune to that.” I will not buy into your logic that goes against God’s word.” “I am sorry you are angry with me, but I am committed to the word of God.” “I am not in agreement with that.” “Can you tell me where you find that in scripture? – May I show you the scripture I have found regarding that issue?” “I love you too much to just sit quiet and let you drift away from Jesus.” “I am here to help you open the door into God’s house.”
Gatekeepers don’t budge from God’s truth…no matter what it costs them. They are solid, loyal, and unbending.
#3 – A wise gatekeeper has backups.
Gatekeepers rely heavily on like-minded followers of Christ. Sometimes it hard to stand at the gates while the warriors are in the heat of the battle and everyone else is busy in the house. It’s important for gatekeepers to stay closely connected with trustworthy believers who remind them of the truth, who empathize, support, encourage and who will stand alongside them.
A strong support system helps them to keep their resolve when we they become discouraged and tired.
#4 – A gatekeeper’s greatest weapon is the power of prayer.
The power of prayer keeps away the hosts of hell and the influences of Satan, and opens the door of blessing for those who are hurting. If we are true gatekeepers we will swing the gates wide open for others so that they may receive grace and blessings from the Lord.
#5 Gatekeepers guard their own homes.
Gatekeepers realize the importance of placing God in the center of their marriage and their family.
“Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.” – Deuteronomy 6:6-8
Gatekeepers guard their homes by making faith a part of their everyday life. They know from experience that Christ has the best plan for their lives – a life that is satisfying and abundant. If you have children- you are the watchman over them and their hearts. Stand at the door and pray for them – offer them the door wide open. If you are married, pray for your spouse and invite God into your relationship.
Do you know someone who has drifted from the faith? Stand at the door and speak a warning in love. Do you know someone who is following the wrong gospel? Oh, please…come out of the belly of the whale and love them enough to speak truth. Do you know someone who needs the healing power of Jesus?
Swing the door wide open and show them the way to God’s house.