Saturday, August 16, 2014

Restoration and Recovery - 3

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

Part 1
Part 2

Nehemiah 3:3
The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place.

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.

Just a little pre-blurb about Nehemiah. He was cupbearer to a King in a place far away from Jerusalem. His brother came to visit. Nehemiah asked about Jerusalem. His brother gave him the horrible news that the walls were broken down and the gates had been burned. Nehemiah sat down, wept, mourned, fasted, prayed, and then spoke to God. He waited some more. Nehemiah looked sad in front of the king. The king asked him what was wrong. Nehemiah stopped and prayed. Nehemiah told the king what was wrong. The king asked him what he wanted. Nehemiah laid out his vision. Nehemiah went to Jerusalem. They start rebuilding the walls and repairing the gates.

In part 2 we talked about the rebuilding of the wall as far as the Tower of the Hundred and the Tower of Hananel. The second step in this circle process of restoration and recovery (security / promise / knowledge). God wants us to know that He is going to show us His mercy. He also wants us to be secure in the fact that if we exit the Sheep Gate He is going to go after us. The security of our salvation rest in that knowledge. That knowledge alone should help motivate us to stay in the gate.

 The next step in the circle was the Fish Gate. They rebuilt it. Laid its beams and put its doors and bolt and bars in place. Spiritually the Fish Gate represents witnessing, sharing the Gospel. The Fish Gate was like the fisherman's wharf. It was one of the main gates into Jerusalem and was heavily traveled. The gate saw lots of visitors from foreign countries and outsiders. It is where they brought their fish in to sell.
Matthew 4:19
Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

I think it's interesting that this door isn't always "open" like the Sheep Gate. When the scriptures talk about rebuilding this gate it says they put it's bolts and bars on. Not everyone is going to freely walk through the Sheep Gate of salvation to start off with. Eventually everyone has to go through that gate, but sometimes we have to open that Fish Gate and go do some work on the outside. It is a huge part of this whole restoration and recovery process. Do you believe in God enough, do you have enough faith in what you are learning, to witness to someone else? Is this gate functioning in your life. That's the whole purpose of this step by step process. We are rebuilding the gates, we are repairing the walls. We are restoring. Is this gate functioning in your life. It's not our job to clean the fish (that is what the rest of the gates are for), but it is our job to open up that Fish Gate and go get the ones who won't walk through the Sheep Gate alone.

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:

Sit Down. Weep. Mourn, Pray, and Fast - How to Handle Horrible News
Interceding Prayer
I Was Cupbearer to the King