Horses, as beasts of burden,
are just about gone from our jet-speed, space-age, nuclear energy powered, modern day existence here in America.
Even so, the name of one of the gates Nehemiah had restored (he stood in the gap in the wall of the gate and directed others) was the 8th gate in the wall around ancient Jerusalem. Even now that gate remains as a symbol of God’s love because of its common name: The Horse Gate. That gate reminds us of why God wants us to (mentally) walk with him through his very special: Horse Gate. While there, he wants to minister his wisdom to us and help us lay aside the weighty problems, needs and burdens we carry with us in our lives every day.
As I understand it, God provides his "Horse Gate ministry" to show us he did not create people to be beasts of burden. He knows many of the burdens we have are far too heavy for us to carry. So, he offers us the opportunity to give those burdens to him as we pass through the Horse Gate with him. Then, while there, he willingly lifts our burdens from us, he tells us he will: “give us rest.” He also tells us to “learn from him.” He tells us he will be:
“gentle and undemanding (humble)” as he ministers to us and lifts the burdens from our hearts. He says he will give us spiritual rest and “rest for our souls.” (Matt. 11:28-30).
Obviously, he wants us to stop acting like horses, like beasts of burden! To stop living self-centered lives. He tells us to stop trying to carry heavy loads of: worry, concern and doubt with our mere, weak and fragile human strength. He says we should let him carry those burdens. When we do that, he will be able to give us the gift of his unsurpassed spiritual strength in our very souls.
Again, you and I are not horses. We are not beasts of burden. We are men and women and we were not created by God, to carry heavy loads of any kind! We have a higher, more valuable calling: We are told our purpose is to live Christ-centered lives. Jesus says: “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17). Horses carry burdens. Men go “fishing” for and with the Lord! Therefore, it’s up to you and me to stop acting like horses or - stubborn jackasses!
Instead, we are called to go to the unsaved people all around us. We are to minister God’s love to them. We are to show them and explain to them the wise counsel available in God’s Word.
Finally, we can lead our many over-burdened friends to the place where God can change them from living like horses and other beasts of burden – into “fishers of men” as the Lord gently ministers to all as they pass through – the Horse Gate with him.
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