Since the fall, our brains see through law. When we ate from the wrong tree we took on a law way of thinking. We thought in terms of lists. In the original language, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a tree that made us aware of what is good or bad for us. It wasn’t a tree that taught us the difference between God stuff and satan stuff. It was really about choices based on our selfish desires for good stuff while avoiding bad stuff. With it came shame and all things of the self. We shifted our gaze from the provision of God, the tree of life, to a self-serving, self-pleasing, law based way of thinking. We came under the illusion of self-sufficiency and human reasoning that leads to human wisdom. We became so intelligent in our own estimation. Just follow the trail, it has pit stops at places like evolution. This law way of thinking brought us atheism and crusades. Add a good dose of religion-inspired fear and it gets really interesting. Jesus came to set us free from all that. His delivering power set us free from more than just the Law of Moses. It set us free from law thinking. Jesus set us free from lists. Jesus set us free from having to eat from the wrong tree. We now get to eat again from His tree. We get to be nourished by Jesus Himself. We are what we eat. We live from and become His life.
I’ve been thinking about gates. Gates and doors are transitions from one place to another. A door is a place where one thing meets another. Gates are the common thing between two potentially uncommon things. Actually I’ve been thinking about one gate, Jesus. You might have heard this verse.
Matthew 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (ESV)
Do you know how narrow that gate is? It is only wide enough for one person, Jesus. He says this:
John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life [or the one true way to have life]. The only way to the Father is through me [ No one comes to the Father except through me]. (EXB)
Jesus is the very image of God. Jesus is what God looks like as a man. Jesus is a transition from one to another. When we are in Christ we move from one condition to another. When we are in Christ we pass through the gate in Him. The cross moves us from one reality to another. The gate of the cross moves us from lost to found, from slave to free, from death to life. Jesus is the gate between our fallen way of thinking and our new way of thinking. Jesus is the gate between the world and the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus is the way to truth. This truth is the nature of God, He is love.
Freedom is realized when we learn to think differently. We have the mind of Christ and we are being transformed in the renewing of our minds to think like Christ. We are transformed in our minds when we begin to see through Grace, through the cross, through the gate. The Law has a purpose to bring people to Grace but it should no longer be our natural way of thinking. The cross was a brilliant way of transitioning our thinking from law to Grace. When we approach the world, who is trapped in law thinking, we need the cross-Rosetta to bridge the gap. To speak Grace from one side of the cross to another requires the power of the great translator and revealer, the Holy Spirit. We become co-translators by shifting gazes to the cross but the Holy Spirit, God himself, pulls them across the gap.
Psalm 118 19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. 20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. 21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (ESV)
We get to think differently. We get to give up the driver’s seat. We get to let Him provide for us. We get to step through the gate and see differently. We need to leap into His reality and leave this law thinking behind. Law thinking gives power to sin and holds us captive.
Here is another thing Jesus said:
John 10:6-10 Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. (The Message)
Gates also protect us from stuff that wants to get in.
I see us sitting in a heavenly place. I can see back to the cross as the gateway to the earth. The things of the earth are trying to get to you in the heavenlies but it can’t go through the cross. The cross is the protection from the enemies lies. They can’t get to this place where you are. You are protected by the cross from the “reason of man,” “the practical things,” the lies of the enemy. When you live on this side of the cross you have His perspective. You get to live in freedom. You see the provision of God. You are certain of His location in you while you are in Him. You are elevated above all the chatter. Discussion of logic and carnal illusions of self-control are left down below. You bring a wisdom that only comes from heaven. You are not deceived by the lies of the enemy. Discussions and arguments about law are on the other side of the gate. You are living in truth. The truth of God is superior to facts. Facts are changing and are interpreted through perspective. A heavenly perspective reveals facts for what they are and replaces them with truth, God’s nature. We never need to fear again. We never need to believe lies again. We never can be deceived again. We can never be called down to the elementary arguments of the world. We are on the other side. We are in his arms. We are in Him. We are in the place of Him. He is in us.
As we walk this earth we have that reality in us. Our safety is in our location. We are no longer in the world when we are in Him. We don’t have to hang out on the other side of the gate. We get to live on this side. We are safe. We have provision. We get to be his children and sons. When the thinking of the world comes against us like depression, negativity, sickness, want, lack, trials…we can look down on all that and see the cross as our protection. Those things actually cannot get to where you are. We are free from those things. We are safe from those things. We cannot be touched by those things. We don’t have to engage in those things. We can point the enemy to the cross, the impenetrable gate of protection.
I understand that it can be scary to surrender your mind to a new way of thinking. It requires so much trust in God. It requires so much faith. The good news is He has made it all possible. He has paid any ransoms, prices, costs, obligations, legal claims… When you surrender to Him you actually come under His infinite protection. The enemy cannot get to you or have a claim on you.
Step up to the gate and peer across. God brought you to the gate. Jesus says step in. The gap can be wide and frightening. Trust is the only power of flight. Faith is the heights we soar above the gap. His arms are inviting. His goodness and love fans the flames of the desire for flight. Our hearts race as he holds us tight. We get to leap across the gap and land precisely and gingerly in His grasp. Without the gate there is no translation. Without the gate there is no grounding. Without the gate there is no launching point. I challenge you to think differently. The gate may be narrow but it is wide open and ready to receive you.
Yay Jesus….The Gate!