Friday, August 29, 2014

Restoration and Recovery - 10

This is part 10 of a several part devotion dedicated to the book of Nehemiah chapter 3.

Nehemiah 3:26

And the temple servants living on hill of Ophel made repairs up to a point opposite the Water Gate toward the East and the projecting tower. 
Do you ever skip over chapters in the Bible like this? Go read it, Nehemiah 3, it just lists people's names and what they worked on and in what order they did. I almost skipped it, I almost just zipped right through it. I was riding in the car after doing a half good job of reading the chapter when I heard, "the gates, study the gates," in my Spirit. So I went back and I studied the gates. They mean something alright. It's a blue print laid out for us. If you need restoration in your life (who doesn't?!?!?!) or if you are needing to go through recovery (gaining back something that was lost, returning to a normal healthy place!!!!!!), here is your plan.

In part 9 we talked about the repairing of The Fountain Gate. The ninth step of restoration / recovery is repairing The Fountain Gate. This is the gate right after the Dung Gate where you throw all your trash away and then jump into the waters through the fountain gate and rest in the protection of the roof! The cleansing, restoring, protective Holy Spirit. Our comforter.

Now we move over to the Water Gate. The text doesn't mention the Water Gate needed repair. It just mentions it. Could it have been that this gate didn't need repairs? Did it preserve in the destruction of Jerusalem? The Water Gate spiritually is associated with living a Spirit filled life. God doesn't just want us to receive the Holy Spirit at The Fountain Gate, he wants us to live the life.

The Water Gate is also mentioned in one of my favorite chapters of Nehemiah. Chapter 8.

Nehemiah 8: 1
All the people came together as one in the square before The Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out The Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel.
Nehemiah 8:3
He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before The Water Gate in the presence of the men, women, and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
Nehemiah 8: 9
The Nehemiah the Governor, Ezra the Priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them, "This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep." For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
Nehemiah 8:12
Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.
That was a lot of scripture. Whew. This is seriously one of my favorite chapters of Nehemiah. I can just picture this taking place in my mind. You have these people that have been working so hard on rebuilding this wall and these gates. Going through so much work / processes. Giving it all they have. Spiritually you have been learning so much about yourself. Changing so many things as we go through all the gates. Giving it all you have. Now we all gather at the Water Gate. Ezra presents the Law in a way all of them could understand. They all hear the Law. I am sure they all reflect. Reflect on all the things they didn't measure up to. All the things they wish they had of done differently. Realizing in that moment that even though they have done so much work - there is a long journey left ahead. They mourned. They grieved. Their eyes had been opened. They understood.
Man. How many times has this happened in my own life. We don't have the Law of Moses to follow. We are under a new covenant now. A better covenant with better promises. Grace is our teacher now. Just like Ezra was their teacher. If you have been going through this restoration / recovery process with us your eyes have been opened. By now God has shown you all kinds of things. Maybe things you need to change. Maybe past mistakes. Maybe areas you need to grow in. You understand now. I think the most natural response to realization in these circumstances is to grief. To just sit back and have a pity party for all the things you really messed up. But, that is not what God wants. He doesn't want the devil to bind you up in that condemnation, that guilt, that I'm not good enough to even work for God attitude. It's a trap, and you need to be aware of it. In Nehemiah he tells them, do not mourn or weep, go enjoy, and send some to those who have nothing prepared, this day is Holy, do not grieve, the joy of the Lord is your strength!
The Water Gate is a way of life. A spirit filled, grace teaching life style. Your eyes have been opened. You understand now. Now go enjoy. Don't mourn for past sins or mistakes. Take this Gospel to someone that isn't prepared. Let this be motivation.
Thanks so much for reading!
I would love to connect with you on a personal level!

This is a devotion that will be written in several parts as we discover the different gates and parts of the wall and what that means for us in the process of restoration and recovery. When a new devotion is written I will link here:

I have written several other devotions from the book of Nehemiah  that occur before or after chapter 3. They are linked here: