A well designed gate will draw you to it. It will invite you to pull the latch for entrance into the space behind it. This is especially true of a garden gate, for it gives access to the treasures that lie within the enclosure. Gates are attached to immovable structures like a fence or wall that is meant to keep something or someone in or out. They provide a way through the barrier to the other side. A gate may blend into the wall around it, making it difficult to find, or it may stand in contrast to the wall, leading the way to a new environment. A gate is a place of transition.
In Old Testament days cities were surrounded by walls. City gates were defensive structures that protected the entrance to the city. They were also the place where people gathered. The marketplace was often located just inside a gate. It was common for a spring or well to be found just outside the city gate since easy access to the water supply was so important. The business of the city was conducted in the gate area. We see in Scripture how Abraham met the landowner and elders of the town of Hebron at the city gate when he was purchasing a burial plot for Sarah. (Genesis 23:10, 18) Likewise, Boaz went to the city gate so that he could negotiate the purchase of Elimelech's property and marry Ruth. (Ruth 4:1, 11) The city gate was also the place where decisions were made concerning justice and judgment.
There are over 280 Scriptures that use the word gate in them. I think the most fascinating one is found in Genesis 28:17. Jacob had an open heaven experience. He comes to an astounding conclusion: "...How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven." In his devotional Hosting the Presence Every Day, Bill Johnson comments about Jacob's revelation. He writes, "Did you catch it? The house of God is the gate of Heaven on the earth. You are God's house, which suggests that you are the gate of Heaven on earth." Wrap your brain around this one!
From the beginning, God's plan was to dwell with His people. "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands." (Acts 17:24) A physical structure could not contain the Lord. A transition was made when God sent Jesus to earth to shed His blood for all humankind. He sanctified us and made provision for the Spirit of the Living God to dwell in "the frame of redeemed humankind." (Bill Johnson) As the "Spirit-anointed body of Christ" we have become "the gate" through which Heaven's resources are brought to earth.
What a responsibility! What a privilege! Think about the kind of gate that you are. Are you inviting and attractive, drawing others to pass through the earthly realm to the heavenly one? How wide do you open? Are your hinges well-oiled or do you need a fresh supply of anointing from the Holy Spirit?
Every gate has a unique design. The same is true of us. God designed us to operate in a unique way to draw others to Himself. When we do this we are opening the Way to the resources of Heaven. Heaven is a garden of beauty, provision, peace, love and life everlasting. Swing open, dear ones! You hold the key for bringing heaven to earth. Your life is the gate to transform the world. I pray that God will show you how to live as His gate on earth that releases His Presence, power, provision and peace for a very needy world. May God bless you as you bring heaven to earth.
Joan E. Mathias