"Nestled inside a private mountain community are The Gates. The image of perpetual suburban bliss, each street is lined with perfectly manicured homes protected by the massive iron gates, but a dark and delicious secret is buried just beneath the surface of this picturesque neighborhood." (www.abc.com)
But as it turns out, one of the "dark and delicious" secrets is that behind The Gates there are vampires and werewolves…where could they get an original idea like that??? And there are other creatures that mix into the blender of drama, romance, and spells. And based on what I've seen so far, this show's title probably should have been Desperate House Witches at Twilight.
Aaannnyway…The Gates is an interesting journey into the "things are not what they seem" category, and I'm sure most of us can relate to the theory that behind the intimidating fences of the uber-rich gated communities are beastly creatures and unruly behavior like people that let their grass grow too long or leave their massive boats parked in front of their McMansions.
I can definitely see why there is an interest in The Gates, not only for people who can't get enough fang and fur fixes during the week, but also for those interested in drama and battles in the supernatural.
Personally, I don't need a television series for that, because I live it every day. No, I'm not surrounded by mythical vampires and werewolves and witches (oh my!) - but there are very real and very dangerous conditions that exist just beyond my ability to physically see. But I witness the results every day. I may not live in The Gates, but I am fighting against 'the gates' - which is why things in my life (and yours) are definitely not what they seem.
Say what? Exactly. So let me allow Jesus to explain what is going on:
When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples…Who do you say I am?"
Simon Peter said, "You're the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
Jesus came back, "God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn't get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I'm going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out (Matthew 16:13-18).
What was true 2000 years ago remains just as true today. Those who trust in Jesus Christ for salvation become part of the church that started with Peter's confession and belief, and we are in the ultimate fight with 'the gates of hell.'
What does all this mean? The phrase 'the gates of hell' refers to all the powers of the underworld who are singularly motivated to bring death to our world. Not just physical death through the addictions and violence they unleash through their wicked followers, but also spiritual death - which is eternal separation from God in the same place they will spend eternity…
Make no mistake, if you are following Jesus Christ, you are marching into a raging battle for the lives and souls of every person on the planet.
You are fighting The Gates!
Satan and his demon horde are headed for an eternity in torment, and they are hell-bent on taking everyone with them.
So here's the question I have for you…are you fully engaged in the battle? Think about it - each day you have a choice to bring victory for Jesus who gave His life for you, or you let the Enemy gain ground while you get distracted by the ultimately meaningless stuff of the world.
Now here's the challenge I have for you: each morning when you wake up, pray this prayer:
This is (your name) reporting for duty. You are the Captain of my salvation, and I will follow you into the assault on the gates of hell today. I will be strong in you, Lord, and in your mighty power. I put on all of God's armor so that I will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. I will stand my ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, I put on the peace that comes from the Good News, and I hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. I put on salvation as my helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. I will pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. I will share the gospel message at every opportunity.
In Jesus name,
Sometimes I think we watch all these supernatural oriented movies and TV shows because we long to be a part of something exciting that goes beyond the same old same old - right? Reader, if you pray this prayer and really mean it, I guarantee your life will never be the same. You won't have time to watch The Gates, because you'll be too busy fighting the real ones!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Ask your friends if they believe there are supernatural creatures that might even be living in the suburbs. Pray for an opportunity to bring up the supernatural nature of spiritual warfare and a chance to share the gospel.
Accelerant: Feed the Fire
We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything (2 Corinthians 6:3-10).
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet (1 Thessalonians 5:8).