Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (Proverbs 4:3 NLT)

In the Old Testament, the Bible speaks a lot about gatekeepers who guarded the entrances to the city and particularly to the Temple. Today, we need gatekeepers over the entrances to our hearts to keep evil from entering.

In his book Holy War, John Bunyan likens people’s lives to cities. The city in his allegory, Mansoul, had five gates, Ear-gate, Eye-gate, Mouth-gate, Nose-gate, and Feel-gate. In other words, the five senses, where evil can enter the human heart. It might be instructive to us if we understand the need for gatekeepers to guard the entry points to our hearts.

The five senses are good and necessary gifts from God, but they are also entry points for evil. All the significant unrighteousness attacks come into the mind through the senses.

Let’s think about Adam and Eve.
The Devil deceived them by what they heard and saw. After the Lord told them they would die if they ate from the tree in the middle of the garden, the serpent said, “you won’t die” (Genesis 3:12 NLT), and they listened to him. “Eve saw that the tree was beautiful, and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her” (v. 6). Then there was King David who looked upon Bathsheba bathing (2 Samuel11:2). King Saul made the sacrifice at Gilgal that he was neither appointed nor anointed to do (1 Samuel 13:12). He had no guard over his mouth.

In today’s culture, the feel-gate is particularly vulnerable to breach. We are said to be unloving when Christians stand up against alternative lifestyles and gender fluidity. We can start to feel guilty until we understand that compassion without truth is not love but just a feelings-based morality.

What keeps the gates to our hearts? The Word of God should stand guard over all our sensory impressions. We need to be reading, meditating, and studying God’s Word. When Satan tempted Jesus through his senses in the wilderness, he said, “it is written” (Matthew 4:4 ESV). If we want to follow the example of Jesus and say, “it is written,” we must know what is written.

The image is used with permission by Microsoft.

Ken Barnes is the author of “Broken Vessels,” published in February 2021, and “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”, published by YWAM Publishing in 2011.

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