Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4 (NIV)
One of my brothers moved to a community where you need a gate code to get in. It does not matter who I am, or the reason for my visit, to get into his neighborhood, I need to know the code. Since I visit him quite often, my brother shared his gate code with me, and now I can get in no matter what time I visit.
Recently I visited a church where the worship leader invited the congregation to enter the presence of God. The worship team had done a wonderful job leading us in worship and the presence of God was so incredibly sweet but I noticed that not everyone was enjoying it. Suddenly, it hit me. Just as any person can get to my brother’s gate but not everyone who gets to the gate can enter his neighborhood, not everyone who is in God's presence benefits from it.
God is everywhere, but not everyone can enter His gates. The Bible tells us that we enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts. Anyone can go to church and sing. Who knows if even the devil does it, but going to church does not automatically bring us into God’s presence. In the same way that we do not let every stranger who knocks at our door come into our house, God does not open His gates to just anybody.
Some people may not understand why it is important to enter God’s presence, but those people might not have ever experienced it. For many years I thought that to gain ground for the Kingdom of God I needed to wrestle with Satan, but I was wrong. There is no need in God's presence, not even for warfare. Where God's glory (presence) is, there is peace. Fear runs from God. Death does it too. Everything dead resurrects in His presence.
The code to go into Heaven’s gates is thanksgiving. A grateful heart praises God before asking Him for anything. Gratitude acknowledges God’s goodness before she sits at His table. Child of God, the person that comes to God giving thanks (praising) will always find the gates of His house wide open, and God’s riches will always be available to him.
LIVING YOUR FAITH
Before the end of the day today, use your code. Enter through God’s gates and enjoy the goodness of God in His presence.