Saturday, August 23, 2014

Restoration and Recovery -7

This is part 7 of a several part devotion dedicated to the book of Nehemiah chapter 3.

Nehemiah 3:13

The Valley Gate was repaired by Hanun and the residents of Zanoah. They rebuilt it and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. They also repaired five hundred yards of the wall as far as the Dung Gate.

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 6 we talked about the restoring of The Broad Wall. The sixth step of restoration / recovery is restoring this massive wall of protection for your spiritual foundation. Preparing for battle.

The next gate repaired was the Valley Gate. The Valley Gate was the gate that lead out to the valley. Spiritual valleys are always linked to trails, sorrows, and humbling places. This is where it gets real in life. We talked about The Broad Wall being restored last session, and how long it was. There is a lot of wall in between the The Old Gate and The Valley Gate. I really feel like it is God strengthening you for The Valley Gate. Almost like a honeymoon period where He is wanting you to build your faith up and make that foundation strong. If you get to The Valley Gate and you didn't spend a lot of time at The Old Gate and The Broad Wall, hang on because it could be a tough ride.

When Nehemiah first was allowed to go to Jerusalem he got his first look at the walls and gates at night. The way he entered Jerusalem was through The Valley Gate. The Valley Gate was in the low point. He would have had a great view of all the walls and gates from there. When you enter through this gate you have a great spiritual view of yourself. The condition of your soul - mind, will, and emotions. The valleys in your life, the trails, the sorrows, the battles, those all let you know where you spiritually. This is a gate for personal growth. This is a gate for personal cleansing. 

In the valleys is where being a Christian gets hard. I'll just be honest and say it can get really really hard. Christians battle. Some might not want to talk to you about it or even admit it out loud, but we do. Everyone struggles. The enemy is always trying to get you to retreat, to get you to stop working on this city of Jerusalem. To just wave the flag of defeat. And then there are the trials. The trails that grow us spiritual. And they are all hard. And it's hard to tell them apart sometimes. And I feel like it is so easy to get stuck in the valley. If I'm honest, I get stuck there sometimes. That is exactly where the enemy wants you also. Stuck in the valley making no ground. You have two options on how to get out of the valley if you get stuck there. The first thing you could do is run back past The Broad Wall to The Old Gate and work on your faith. If you are stuck and you can't push through you need to repair your foundation again. There is no shame in that! The second thing is to march that 1,600 feet to The Dung Gate and shovel out your mess. That is the next gate The Dung Gate. 1,600 long feet from The Valley Gate. 1,600 feet can seem like a long way in the valley. It can seem impossible. You know Nehemiah's job seemed impossible to all the people around him too. But, he accomplished it through God. Any battle, any sorrow, any depression, any addiction, any life circumstance can be overcome. It might be a fight. You might stay in the valley longer than you expected. You might run from The Valley Gate back to The Old Gate more times than you would like to admit. It's ok. You are still in the city. You are still an overcomer! One day you will march on over to The Dung Gate and shovel the trash out. 

John 16:33

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

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:

1 comment:

  1. This has been so interesting and has been an eye opener! The valleys are hard, the trails are rough but we know one thing for sure.....the Bible says....THIS TO SHALL PASS!!! Pamela Britt Malone