Remember the magic word game? Until you said the magic word, you couldn’t get what or go where you wanted. I thought the magic word was please, but my sisters changed it constantly, so I had to guess over and over. In fact, they probably didn’t even have a specific word in their minds when they started taunting me. They just wanted me to guess, wait, and get frustrated—at least, that was my experience.
I think back to those magic word game days every time I hear the story of the Great Wall of China gatekeeper. The Great Wall was intended to protect China from barbaric neighbors. It was built too high to be scaled, too thick to be penetrated, and too long to be avoided. (Airplanes hadn’t been invented yet, so there was no flying over it either.) Despite the massive size of the Wall, China was invaded three times.
The Wall was impenetrable. The gatekeepers were not. They were bribed, and the enemies walked through the Wall. The enemy knew the magic word.
Our spiritual enemy knows the magic word. He’s most definitely not all-knowing like God, but he searches for our vulnerabilities. We must pay attention to the gates of our lives. We’re only as safe as the safeguards we put in place at our gates. We actually want them to let some things in—and other things out. We don’t want our walls so tight that no one can penetrate them in either direction. If we’re growing, which we should be, we must share with others, which means going outside our personal walls, and allow others to influence us through encouragement and accountability, which means allowing some outside influences into our personal walls. Discernment of what should travel through the walls and what shouldn’t is critical.
The time and attention we put on our gatekeepers is related to the worth of what’s inside our walls. If we believe what’s inside the walls is worthless, investing in protective walls doesn’t make much sense. If we’re arrogant enough to believe we have everything we need, building gates in the wall doesn’t make much sense, because we believe we don’t need anything or anyone else in our lives, and we certainly don’t want to lose anything we already have.
You don’t get to decide the worth of yourself or anything in your life. God determines worth, and he knows you’re worth some protection. He created you in his image, and he doesn’t make mistakes. Your relationship with him is worth protecting. However, while you’re living on this earth, you are continuing to grow, so you need to be open to the influence of others. Everything must be filtered through the gatekeepers God assigns. He has tight security. That same security will know when you need to get outside your walls. God instructs you to influence others’ lives, and that means venturing beyond the security of your walls. Your territory overlaps with many other territories. Our God-given territories combine into God’s Kingdom. He is the gatekeeper. The magic word is Jesus.