Through the Gates of Righteousness
The gates of righteousness will open when we’ve been chastised enough to run through them. Until then, we’re in the world, doing whatever we think is right at the time, and usually making a lot of mistakes along the way.
Some of us are slow learners. We think we can just turn our backs on God, and everything’s going to be okay. And then, one day, it isn’t. And the heat is continually turned up until we’re so distressed and traumatized by what’s happening, that we run toward the Lord for safety.
Suddenly the world has been completely changed for us. We’ve emerged from the horrible disaster that our lives became due to our own bad choices, and now our eyes are opened. Gradually we adjust to the light in the room. At first our eyes may hurt momentarily, but we blink a few times, and slowly, slowly, we’re able to see the beauty surrounding us on all sides. There are angels to greet us, and the Holy Spirit which has been placed inside our hearts comforts and consoles us, while at the same time it teaches us the things we need to know to acclimate ourselves to these improved conditions.
The Holy Spirit shows us the paths of righteousness, and transforms our desires and motivations until we’re able to walk securely, serenely on those paths, knowing Jesus is at our side smiling, cheering us on, and taking pleasure in our companionship. It seems unbelievable that such a great Being as Jesus would really care, but He does. He wants us there. He’s willing for us to be there with Him.
If you haven’t been through those gates of righteousness yet, it may seem incomprehensible. Until the heat of chastisement destroys your world, perhaps you won’t know what blessings God is willing to give you as you are drawn ever closer to the gates. Then your heart overflows with gratitude for the blessed changes in your life, and you’re ready to give your life as a sacrifice to Jesus, who gave His life as a sacrifice to you.
I don’t know if anyone gets through the gates of righteousness without suffering first. I only know that I was severely chastised by my own bad choices. I let people into my life that were harmful to me. In the end I could blame only myself for what I went through.
What I did to extricate myself from that situation: I prayed with sincerity to be released from the situation. I became willing to sell or give away almost everything I owned that was of any value at all. I trusted God to take care of me. I moved forward with the plan, and when He altered what I thought was the plan, I went with it, allowing Him to take hold of me.
Then I experienced blessings. From blessings I experienced gratitude. I wanted to thank Him, so I went into a church to be with others who wanted to worship Him… and I was saved.
All ships that land at the shore of grace weigh anchor from the port of sin. – Max Lucado, Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine, pg.35