Recently my daughter and her husband came to stay with their very delightful but extremely energetic Border collie. She’s still very young and loves exploring, so it meant the garden gate, which is normally left open, had to be shut in case she escaped and decided to visit the sheep in the nearby field, something which wouldn’t have pleased the local farmer.
As we closed the gate I was shocked to see the condition it was in. Parts of it were very rusty and looked as though they might break off at any moment.
Gates are there for our protection – to keep things in or out. Paul tells us that the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds when we rest and trust in Him (Philippians 4:7). I wonder what sort of condition our ‘gates’ are in. What thoughts are we letting through?
The enemy will always be on the attack, prowling round like a roaring lion, sowing bad thoughts into our hearts, planting doubts and anxiety (1 Peter 5:8). He’s not original. He’s been using the same tactic since the Garden of Eden, when he sowed doubts into Eve’s mind about God’s love for her (Genesis 3:1).
God had told Adam that he’d die if he ate the fruit from the tree, but the serpent said it was because God didn’t want human beings to become like Him with the knowledge of good and evil. He implied that God was withholding good things from them. Sadly, Eve believed the lie, and as a consequence they did ‘die’ spiritually by becoming separated from their heavenly Father.
When we allow damaging and negative thoughts to possess our minds about who we are in God’s eyes, and how precious we are to Him, we too become separated from Him, because we’re believing lies. It’s so easy for us to focus on the negative, particularly when people around us have put us down and told us we’re no good.
But if we look in God’s Word we’ll see the truth – that we’re truly special to Him and infinitely precious, so precious in fact that He sent His Son to die for us, so we need never be separated again.
Is your gate rusty? Have you allowed negative thoughts to come in and spoil your relationship with your heavenly Father? If so, you need to make some repairs (take authority over the bad thoughts and reject them), and guard your hearts and minds with the truth.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I’ve allowed negative and anxious thoughts come into my mind and they’re disturbing my peace with You. Please forgive me. I know You love me, but I sometimes find that thought hard to hold on to. Please help me to separate out the lies from the truth and hold fast to that. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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