Last Saturday I took part in the Anniversary Conference of my church. Pastor Tim Bagwell talked about how we can use our faith to “push on the gates” that hinder our lives from achieving everything God has for us. I´ll try to summarize what I learned from this great message.
Jesus said: “…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18)
I learned five keys to be an effective “gate pusher”: remember, rejoice, renew, focus and react.
“Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.” (Psalm 103:2, emphasis mine)
The psalmist is reminding himself of all the blessings the Lord has already bestowed on him. Unfortunately, we, as humans, tend to remember our pains and failures and forget our blessings. We’re ready to remember the calamities of life: bad things people did or said to us, slander, misfortunes and tragedies; and we’re late to remember how good God has been to us, how He has poured out His abundant blessings upon us, be it a family, a good job, a lovely friend, a tender mother. What’s more, God gave his only Son to die for us so that we could have eternal life! That’s some blessing, isn´t it?! Therefore, let’s have a greatful heart and do like the psalmist by never forgetting all his benefits.
“Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.”
“Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.” (Psalm 103:1,2, emphasis mine)
The second key to being a gate pusher is to rejoice. The psalmist was not only remembering all the benefits the Lord had brought to him, but he was rejoicing over them, he was praising God. We need to rejoice and offer God the sacrifice of praise, regardless of the circumstances. This is so important that the Apostle Paul stated it emphatically: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)
“…who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. ” (Psalm 103:5, emphasis mine)
In our Christian walk, there will be times when we will feel worn out. That´s why it is so important to be constantly renewed by God. We have already learned one of the secrets to be renewed, it´s the equation: Remember + Rejoice = Renew. Think a minute about this! When we remeber what God has already done in our lives and we rejoice and praise him for that, we are renewed by the Holy Spirit, like the eagle, because we recall that He is able to do anything.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.” (Proverbs 4:25)
Gate pushers look ahead. They know God has great things in store and that God´s best is yet to come. There´s no more time left to look behind, being accused by the past (my pastor always says the following: “if the enemy shows you your past, then you should show him his future.”). There’s no time to look to the left nor to the right and be distracted from the goal.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)
“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17)
There´s no point in learning all these keys, enjoying them, but not putting them into practice. We need to correspond to the Word of God, being a real practitioner.
I finish this post with a sentence the pastor said at the conference that really spoke to my heart :
“Faith is a natural reaction to a supernatural word.”
Are you willing to be a gate pusher? I am.