What does it mean to be a part of the gate of heaven in the earth? What does it mean to be a part of the house of God in the earth? We are each called by God to be a part of a corporate expression of God’s will in the earth. We are not our own, we belong to Jesus and to one another. Whatever promise God gives to each of us, He gives to the corporate expression of us. Whatever promise He gives us as the corporate expression of His house, belongs to each one of us as a part of the house. It is the testimony of a family name, a family inheritance, and a family destiny. The promises of God are given to the corporate house, not just the individuals in the house. Together we are the people of God. This is the gate of heaven and the gate of heaven is not a person, it is a people. Jacob was a God-seeker, but he had to be transformed to Israel to become a people. Jacob is a person, but the gate of heaven is Zion. The gate of heaven is a city. The church is a city. The church is Zion. Who lives on Zion?
Psalms 87:2 The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. 3 Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God! Selah
Before David took Zion, the Jebusites lived there. It wasn’t holy ground. It was everything but holy ground. The word Jebusite means, to trample or to tread upon. It could be a place of disappointment, destroyed dreams, or disillusioned expectations. This was the deadest rock in Jerusalem. David said, Let’s put the presence of God there. Let’s kick out the Jebusites and put God’s presence on Zion. Let’s storm the gates of hell! Let’s take the stronghold! The Jebusites were in Zion. It was a stronghold. It was a place that could not be taken. David said, I am going to take that place and make it the stronghold of God. It will be a place of corporate connection; the city of God, Selah!
Psalms 87: 5 And of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her; and the Most High Himself shall establish her.” 6 The Lord will record, when He registers the peoples: “This one was born there.” Selah 7 Both the singers and the players on instruments say, “All my springs are in you.”
What is this place where God registers the peoples? What is this place of heart connection, heart expression, and training of the Spirit? It is a place of springs, a place of God’s life expressed in plural realities.
Humans are normally given nine months to develop in a womb of water. If you weren’t blessed to have nine months you likely needed some extra help. I was born early and I had to have extra help. I was in an incubator for some time after I was born. Human beings are supposed to get nine months in a water womb to develop to transition to this natural world of air. I used to think that being born again was enough to give us the testimony of Christ, but what if being born again is really about entering into an environment of the Spirit? What if this life is really a womb? What if it is a womb of the Spirit? What if the church is really a womb? What if being born again is not just a moment, but an entrance into a spiritual environment? What if we are supposed to live a lifetime in the environment of a womb of the Spirit that is a city, a community of life? In the water womb we were each formed naturally, in a Spirit womb we are also formed. It is not just us and Jesus. It is each of us being formed into the body of Christ. It is about Christ being formed in us and us becoming one as a bodily expression of Christ in His fullness. What if the corporate body is about each of us being formed into Christ? For the purpose of Christ, for the will of Christ, and for the inheritance of Christ and the power of Christ.
I believe that many people leave the environment of the womb of the Spirit and then they are in constant need of spiritual interventions and God desires to put them back into a womb environment where they can find the development of the Spirit. I believe the church is a place of development and a place of formation. It is a womb of the Spirit. If you don’t live in the womb of the Spirit you can end up as an abortion.
I am happy for the womb of the Spirit. I am part of a local body. In my local body, I have a pastor and I am joined to other members for the development of who I am and who we are as a corporate expression of Christ in a unique and special way. I am a spiritual father to my son, but I am also in a relationship with my son as a spiritual pastor in my life. It is a place of relationship. It is a constant and increasing mystery of life. It is always a place of relationship. I tithe to the place of my connection. I tithe my money, my heart, my attitude, my time, and the charisma and fruit of the Spirit in my life. I respond to Christ in the place of my planting and I live for the body. I respond to who Christ is for the sake of who we are called to be in Him. It is about the calling of Christ, the inheritance of Christ and the power of Christ to exercise subduing and dominion in unique and specific ways over unique and specific principalities, powers, thrones, dominions, and names. God loves the gates of Zion more than He loves the dwelling places of Jacob. He loves each of us as God seekers, but He loves us more than He loves each of us. We are the gate of heaven. We are the body of Christ, the place of heaven’s influence in the earth.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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