I paused when I read Jesus’ words in John 10:9. “I am the gate.” While I meditated upon these words, I also reflected upon my childhood experiences with a gate. Two gates. Did the gate have a similar function in both instances?
A gate allows for entrances and exits.
While growing up, we lived on a farm. Our home and surrounding yard were enclosed by a fence. The fence had a gate. The purpose of the gate was to keep children in and chickens out. Children benefited from the safety of a smaller space on a big farm. While chickens needed to roam freely, we did not want them destroyubg flowerbeds near the house.
Children in and chickens out. How does this apply to Jesus?
To fully understand the function of Jesus as a gate, we need to continue reading Jesus’ words in John 10:9. “I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved.”
I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He (Jesus) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” When we are purified of unrighteousness, sin is out! In addition to forgiving our sins, Jesus also functions as a gate keeping sin out. Sin and chickens out!
Ephesians 1:13 says, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18 goes on to say, “Be filled with the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit lives within us when we enter through the gate of Christ. Holy Spirit and children in!
Let’s think about what we want to keep within our lives and what we want to throw out when Jesus is the gate to our hearts.
Out with religion and in with relationship. We experience more intimacy with Jesus when we allow Him to be the gate of our heart. Our faith is no longer simply based upon obeying religious laws.
Our soul is composed of mind, will and emotions. All three are affected when Jesus is our gate.
According to I Corinthians 2:16, we can have the mind of Christ. This is possible when Jesus is the gate protecting our minds. I Corinthians 2:14 KNJV tells us “the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him.” However, verse 10 says that God reveals things to us by His Spirit. So, out with the natural mind and in with the spiritual mind.
Our will undergoes a change from “mine” to “Thine” when Jesus is our gate. Jesus taught us to pray to our Heavenly Father in Matthew 6:10, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” We must let go of our selfish desires and yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit. This requires humility. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves.” Romans 12:16 simply warns, “Do not be proud.” Ephesians 4:2 exhorts us, “Be completely humble and gentle.” Out with pride and in with humility.
Our emotions are also affected when we allow Jesus to be our gate. Negative emotions must be replaced with positive ones. We want to kick out worry and fear. Philippians 4:6-7 NLT says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.. . . 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.” Jesus says in John 14:27 NLT, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. . . . So don’t be troubled or afraid.” Then I John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” Worry out and peace in. Fear out and love in.
As a child, I thought it was fun to swing back and forth on our farm gate. This activity defeated the gate’s purpose. Proverbs 4:23 NLT says, “Guard your heart above all else.” Make sure Jesus, the gate, is in control of what enters and exists your heart. What we allow to enter our mind, will and emotions affects our spiritual life. Let us keep Jesus in our heart and listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Bible warns us about vacillating (swinging back and forth) in our faith. Mark 11:23 encourages us not to doubt in our heart but believe.
Whether thinking about physical or spiritual structures, we always enter and exit through gates. Physical gates remind me that Jesus is our spiritual gate. A physical gate provides for children in and chickens out. A spiritual gate keeps sin out and allows the Holy Spirit in. Let’s keep our gates in place.