This gate is centered on those who deal with the business of life – both physical and spiritual. Many of them fall in the five-fold ministries (apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers & evangelists), the medical profession and those who play a critical supporting role to them.
“We’re travelers here,
Only passing through,
And every breath we breathe is coming back to you.
We’re strangers here,
I know it’s true,
That death is just a door that leads us home to You.”
– Steffany Gretzinger (All That Lives Forever)
I’ve been thinking about all the things concerning life I could write about.
About those who care for our spirits and souls through ministry and those who care for our souls and bodies through medicine.
And there’s much I could say about these things. It’s likely I will someday.
But the thing we rarely talk about concerning life – the thing we need to talk about – is death.
We don’t think about it unless some misfortune makes its way past our mental comfort barriers and brings it to our attention.
We don’t talk about it unless we awkwardly must.
We don’t deal with it unless we painfully must.
We actively avoid death and all its cohorts like our lives depend on it.
We avoid it perhaps because we’re terrified of it. But our avoidance of it only serves to increase our terror of it. Yet the one guarantee we have in life – is death. Though try we may, it’s inescapable.
For death isn’t the extreme opposite of life as we often think of it.
It’s an integral part of life, more so as believers.
Upon His resurrection, Jesus emerges victorious with two sets of keys – one set is the keys to hell. But the other – is the keys to death. Keys are symbolic of access, power and authority; whoever holds the key, has dominion.
Since Jesus has the keys to death – has dominion over death – we too, His beloved commissioned ones, have the keys and dominion over death.
So why do we still cower in fear of a shadow long defeated?
Shadows abound where light fails to shine bright.
We need to shine the light of truth on the shadow of death.
“From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
– Proverbs 18:20-21 ESV
We greatly underestimate the power of our speech and our silence when in truth we have power over life and death. Consider for a moment, the words you’ve spoken/written thus far today and the impact they’ve had on the people and/or situations that received them. Consider your moments of silence and the impact of the same. You wield more power in your tongue than you give yourself credit for. Remember – you’re made in the image of a Creator who spoke the world into existence.
The most common understanding of death is physical demise. Most of us have experienced this in some measure through the loss of a loved one. All of us will experience this someday when our time on earth is done.
Our view of life on earth lends to our view of death. Do we consider our lives on earth as the highlight reel of all we’ll ever get to experience as human beings or just one of many beautiful frames of our eternal existence? If we really do believe in eternal life aka life after death, then we must ask ourselves why we treat death as though it is the utter end and has the final say on our lives.
Just as birth is the door that leads us from eternity into time (on earth), death is the door that leads us out of time back into eternity. It is nothing more than a point of transition from one form of existence to another.
The other form of death is spiritual – lack of fruitfulness and vitality in an area of our lives. This can be caused by a variety of things in the present – ignorance, choices made by you, choices made by others that affect you, etc – or in the past – it’s not just the good stuff that is passed down generations. Decisions and decrees from somewhere along your lineage can bind you in the present day.
Spiritual death is like cancer. Though it begins in one area of your life, it doesn’t remain there. Unless contained and addressed, it spreads far and wide like a ravaging wild fire. So what may have started as an issue of bitterness and anger can end up as financial ruin.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace….For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
– Romans 8:5,6,13 ESV
Sometimes death is necessary.
There are things in us that need to die.
There are things in those we love that need to die.
There are things in those and that which God has placed in our stewardship that need to die.
There are things in our collective lives that need to die.
They need to die that we might live.
We need to let them die – decree death over them and bury them if we must – that we may live.
We can’t afford to have a place in our lives for anything that causes us to not live in the abundance God desires for us.
This is a difficult trade-off for many because the choice is often not between good and bad/evil but between good and God; between what you think will work for you and what God knows for sure will work better. It comes down to a question of whether you trust yourself or God more.
Understanding death in whatever measure – big or small – doesn’t take away the reality of loss and the need to grieve. That Jesus wept for Lazarus even knowing full well he would rise again should give us pause. We need to let people grieve. We need to let ourselves grieve. Whatever shape or form it takes in the presence of God, we need to go through the journey of loss and letting go.
We need to go through it, but we cannot afford to build a permanent dwelling place in it. For it would mean that we have given death permission to define our lives in a way it was never meant to. Our grief must always be undergirded by the truth of who God still is us and who we still are in Him even in death.
As with everything under the sun, death has its time and season. It has its place.
If we are in tune with the heart and mind of God, then we will know when it is time for life and when it is time for death. We will know when to speak life and when to decree death. We will know when to lay dry bones to rest and when to command them to live again. We will know when to disregard pronouncements of life full of good intention but devoid of God’s purpose for any promise of life outside His presence can only result in ultimate death devoid of purpose; and we will know when to stop death in its tracks when it is spoken over us by broken people who don’t know any better.
“Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness….Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”
– Matthew 10: 1, 8 ESV
I believe this call is as relevant today as it was then. The same Jesus who called the twelve calls on us today. The same Spirit who found a dwelling place among men and women during the Pentecost and enabled them to do the work Christ had set for them dwells in us to help us do the same.
If you knew with every fibre of your being that you carried the power of life and death in you, how would you live your life?
Go live that way.
Because you do.
Niyi Morakinyo’s book – The 7 Professional Nations: Reconciling Them Back To God – is the genesis of the categorization of the 7 gates as I’m writing about them. I highly recommend it for anyone looking to be fruitful for the Kingdom of God. You can download it from the Joshua Generation Trust website as a free resource. Just click here. 🙂