The Beautiful Gate
6Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon. 2Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
6Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
The beautiful gate and the beautiful feet. The word in the Greek for beautiful in both these verses is h˘raios "ho-ray-yos". Beautiful is one definition but it is the figurative one. Strong's concordance says the literal definition is...belonging to the right hour or season. Let me say that again...belonging to the right hour or season. This is very significant.
Now if we read those verses and we inject our new definition, how timely and in the right season are the feet of those who bring the good news, that makes much more sense to me. Does that make more sense to you?
Using the literal definition of the original word it's not really the beautiful gate, it's the right time gate. The Beautiful Gate is the Eastern gate. The temple faces East so it is really the front door. It was the gate that was used more than the other 5. Every day for years they had put this crippled man at the right time gate so he could beg for money while he waited for the right time to come. No doubt Jesus walked this way to go to the temple hundreds of times and never healed him. Why? It wasn't the right time. It wasn't the right season. You know He had to ask the Father every time He walked that way, "Now Dad, today? Do you want me to take care of this now?" You know that all He would have had to do is just say so for the man to be healed but it wasn't the right time. This man's healing was being held up for the right time and the right person. Interesting that the right time was at the ninth hour. The hour of prayer. I'm sure that's just a coincidence that they were coming at the hour of prayer. How many times is the hour of prayer the right time? How many times do we miss the right time because we don't pray?
Why was it that Peter was able to heal the crippled man? Peter had seen God and he understood what God looked like and how God worked. Peter had obviously seen Jesus heal many people over the 3 plus years he walked with Him so he knew what Jesus had done. God saved this man's healing for the followers of Christ instead of letting him be just another one healed by Christ himself. A sign for those that saw it that just because Jesus had gone, His healing, His miracles, His great signs and wonders had not gone with Him. They were available to anyone that could look enough like God to have the power to do it. They were available to anyone that was filled with God's power and had faith in Him and the awareness of His presence in them.
12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
To me, that is pretty clear. We are to do what Jesus did and even greater. We aren't doing it because we don't believe that is true. We aren't doing it because we are not close enough to God to really feel like we have His power. We do not have God inside of us in the way we need to to be able to live out what Jesus tells us we should be doing.
But it's really more than that. Peter had to know not just that he had access to God's power to heal the man but that he was doing the will of God by healing the man. Remember Romans 12:1-2 ? If you make your bodies a living sacrifice then you will know the will of God. There is no difference in today. If we have ever seen God and stayed in His presence long enough to know what He looks like and we know what His will is then we are capable of doing the same things as Jesus did if we are in the right place at the right time and we are right with the One that provides the miracle power.
1 "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.
Then suddenly the Lord will come to His temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire will come. That is what Peter had. The messenger had come to the temple. Remember the Living Water lesson? We learned that we are without a doubt that temple of the Holy Spirit. We are the temple of God and when God comes and takes up residence in His temple, all things are possible. The right time for Him to come to this temple is now. This the right time. Are any of you in the place that you can hear from God? It's time for us to be what God intended us to be. God is not looking for people that look good. God is not looking for people that look like they go to church. God is looking for people that look like Him. God is looking for the ones that are willing to change their lives and their lifestyles to fit His original plans.
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
God is not trying to make us look good. God is not trying to make us look better. God is not trying to get us to clean up our act. God is not trying to make us into something we are not. God is trying to make us into what we were designed to be. God is trying to make us look like Him. God is trying to make us look like the one He made in His own image. God is trying to change us into Adam. When we can finally get to that point, we will have that revival that we keep on talking about. We keep praying and asking God to send revival and I believe what God is saying back to us is "you do it". Revival is not God's gift to us. Revival is our gift to God.
True revival is us being sold out so deep and so complete that we start to look like God. Revival is us giving all that is in us to God so we can know His will and then to carry it out on the earth. When we do that we start to look like Adams and Eves, the ones before the fall. The ones that nothing stood in the way of them having perfect communion with God and God having perfect communion with them. Anyone want God to talk to them in such a way that there is no doubt that it is Him? Letting the Holy Spirit form Christ Himself inside every one of you is what I'm talking about. Understanding what God wants not only from us but of us and then making it happen. Revival begins when we get serious and now is the time. Now is the beautiful, right, perfectly in God's will time for us to seek Him with all we are. For us to get close to the Father.
There are those that say that miracles have left the church. That we don't need that kind of stuff anymore. That God doesn't work that way any more. I believe what left the church was people living close enough to God to have access to the poser and to know His will. What left the church was prayer, fasting and holiness, not miracles.
Nothing has brought me closer to God than fasting and prayer. Living a life of prayer is not easy. I'm, not talking about praying in the morning for 5 minutes I'm talking about living a life of prayer. Luke 18:1 Jesus tells the disciples to always pray. In Luke 21:36 He says to always be on watch and pray. In Eph 6:18 Paul says to pray on all occasions. Live a life of prayer. It takes practice and determination to pray for the periods of time that God is requiring of me right now. Fasting is another level all together. It is one of the most awesome things I have ever done for God. That's right, for God not for me. Everyone thinks that you fast, you fast for something. That you are asking for something to happen for yourself or those around you and you hope to get it by humbling yourself with a fast but I am here to tell you that fasting for God's glory alone is the most awesome thing I have ever been involved with. Miracles certainly can happen when you fast for specific things that you are asking God for. Miracles will happen when you fast for God's honor instead of your wish list. Fasting is not an option it is expected. In Matt 6:16 Jesus says when you fast not if you fast. Fasting has become the lost command. If you are going to find God and be where He really wants you to be you are going to have to learn to fast. You don't have to start off with 40 days or 21 days but you are going to have to start somewhere.
Revival is about us letting the Holy Spirit truly form Christ within us. Revival begins when we get serious...I should say that revival began when we started getting serious. I know God is working in and working on some of us right now. I have seen it in your faces. I see it every time I see my kid. I see it every time our Masterlife group meets. What a glorious thing to be living in the right time. Making us into His likeness is what this is all about and I believe now is the time He has chosen to do it. Now is the beautiful just right time. 1 John 4:17 says
17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him.
The King James says...
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
God expects us to be like He is. God is blessing us with an awesome opportunity right now. We are going to have to start looking more like God. We are going to have to put our differences and our doctrine aside and become children of God. Not just church members. We have to be part of the body of Christ in the way that Jesus intended for us to be. It's easy to stop being a member of the church. It's more difficult to stop being a member of a body. All I have to do to stop being a member of the church is move to a different church. If I want to stop being a member of a body I have to be cut off. That will kill the part that got cut off and has the potential to kill the entire body. We have to start having that same mentality. We have to be part of the body of Christ. We have to seek Him now.
6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
The words "seek the Lord while He can be found" tell me that there may be a time that He won't be found. I believe that God is telling us that we need to seek Him right now more than any other time in our lives. You look most like Him, you are most like him when you are seeking Him with all your heart and soul. You will never seek God the way He has in mind for you to seek Him if you are afraid of what people might think and you won't even see the need unless you've been in His presence once. Once is all it takes to hunger for more.
If that hunger is inside you, you really don't need me to tell you to seek God. He has already told you Himself. Just seek Him while He can be found. One of these days that may not be an option. He is near right now. Can you feel Him? Is He speaking to you? Are you really seeking Him? I truly believe that is why He wants us to go through Experiencing God and we will begin that next week. We will go step by step through what it takes to see and hear Him.
Like I said before, the church in revival is not the church that God picked, it's the church that picked God. I want us to pick God. I want us to be the reflection of God. The people that God is looking for are the ones that can reflect Him not just represent Him. One of the preachers I like to listen to said it this way. In order to represent God you must have stood in His presence at one time but in order to reflect God you must be standing in His presence currently. Are you in His presence right now? Do you want to be? Are you ready to make standing in His presence more important than anything? I don't know exactly where all this is going other that closer to His throne. That is where I want to go. That is where I have to go. God will not settle for anything else from me. I hope that you are willing to let Him have all of you so we can see Him together. So we can be like Him together.