In my past two blogs I have looked at several gates in the reconstruction of the city under the direction of Nehemiah. I have likened those gates to different aspects of health and ministry in a community expression of the body of Christ. As leaders we have a responsibility to develop and maintain healthy kingdom culture of life with those we lead.
The culture of God’s kingdom releases a pastoral grace of hearing God and the ability for people to present their lives as living sacrifices to God. It is an environment that induces the transformation of people’s minds through hearing God and living in His way. God’s kingdom culture includes outreach and connection to those who are being drawn into the net of the kingdom. God’s people must be empowered to do works of faith that exhibit a testimony of God’s life to the world around them. Leaders must seek to develop a culture that facilitates the inherited truths of God and the inheritances of former father’s in the faith, whereby the foundations of the growing community of God are established upon the inheritances of the past. As leaders in the body of Christ we must serve to facilitate a culture among God’s people whereby they know how to live in brokenness before Him. Members of God’s community must be mentored in making decisions that are led by the Spirit and not by the flesh. We must seek to have active ministries of healing and deliverance. Believers need to know how to get rid of things in their lives that are the lifeless things of the past and embrace the things of God in Christ. These are the testimonies of the ‘Sheep Gate’, ‘Fish Gate’, ‘Old Gate’, ‘Valley Gate’, and ‘Dung Gate’.
Another essential area of ministry is that of the ‘Fountain Gate’ (Neh. 3:15). I believe that this gate testifies of the Holy Spirit’s ability build the living walls of the community of God that reveal the life of God in the Church to the world (Neh. 3:1-32). This gate was near the Pool of Siloam also known as the King’s Pool within the city that led directly to the “stairs of the city of David” (Neh. 12:37). The fountain gate reveals the ability to see the refreshing and fresh life of God Spirit in the house. Surely the presence of the Holy Spirit and the testimony of the living water within are essential for every believer and ministry (Jn. 7:37-39). Equipping the saints to flow in the life of the Spirit is essential for the health and the testimony of the Christian community (Eph. 5:17-21). In being spiritual, full of the Spirit life and power, we must not be ignorant (1 Cor. 12:1). A community expression of the kingdom of God must contain an element of the fresh life of the Holy Spirit.
The ‘Water Gate’ is next in the wall (Neh. 3:26). This gate symbolically speaks of the living word. Leaders must seek to connect the people to the word of God and the grace of His word. From this gate a path descended to the spring Gihon at the foot of the hill. Water was brought to the city through this gate. We must train and activate all believers to be seekers of truth and to know the life that comes from God’s word. A face-to-face encounter with the word of God is essential to draw the life of God’s refreshing spirit into the heart of every believer (Heb. 4:14). We live on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Mt. 4:4). We must study to show ourselves approved workmen who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing God’s word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15). It is the water of God’s word that washes the believer (Eph. 5:25-27). Every local church must have a strong focus on God’s word and know how to connect the people to the source of the water of God’s word. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17). Leaders cannot just present the word to those they lead. They must exhort those they lead to become students of God’s word.
The ‘Horse Gate’ (Neh. 3:28), relates to joy, strength and the joy of the Lord (Neh. 8:10). I believe that this gate depicts the strength found in prayer and carrying the burden of the Lord. The horse is seen in Scripture as the strength of men and the power for battle. It is prayer and the presence of the Lord that gives us the strength for the battle and in the presence of the Lord there is fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11). How is the ministry of prayer in the church? We must train and equip God’s people to know the presence of the Lord. It is the effective, fervent prayer of the righteous that avails much (Jam. 5:16). We must carry the burden of the Spirit, but not the heavy yoke of the flesh. Prayer and praise must be a part of the culture of the Church. Keeping steadfast in prayer is an essential part of every ministry and every believer (Acts 2:42; Rom. 12:12). Prayer brings us to the presence of the Lord where we find joy and strength (Eph. 6:18; Phil. 1:4). Prayer and thanksgiving go hand-in-hand and should be a part of the life of every believer (Phil. 4:6; Col. 4:2). We must pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17). Prayer is an essential part of any expression of the community of God.
As leaders we must seek to develop and maintain healthy ministries filled with the fresh life of God Spirit. We must seek a strong focus on God’s word and know how to connect the people to the source of the water of God’s word. A healthy community of God knows the power of kingdom prayer. Leaders must seek an active prayer life among those they lead.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson