All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Before Jesus left this earth, He told his disciples that He would send His Holy Spirit to instruct them and to remind them of all that He had taught them. He told them that they would be at peace knowing the Holy Spirit would be their constant companion and guide into truth. The Holy Spirit also searches our hearts to see if there is any damage that is hindering our spiritual growth. Nehemiah, like the Holy Spirit, searched out the damaged walls in Jerusalem in order to repair them. Repairing the walls would protect the city from their enemies. The walls had been nearly destroyed by the conquering Babylonians, and now his task was to assess the damage and plan a strategy to rebuild. As he set out at night to view the damage, he went through the Valley Gate. Likewise, the Holy Spirit “inspects” our walls. The Lord says that our walls are ever before Him: See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. (Isaiah 49:16) The Holy Spirit often works in the times that we are in the “valley,” those times of despair, frustration, and hopelessness. He examines the dark places, assessing the damage, and sets out to repair and restore the broken-down places. Paul understood that the difficult times are opportunities for the Lord to work “good” in us, growing in us the character of Christ. (Romans 5:1-5) Nehemiah understood that when examining the damage to the walls, it was necessary to first examine the gates. The gates are the entry points for the enemy. If the gates are broken down, the enemy has access to the city. If our gates are broken, the enemy has access to our thought life, and this will be reflected in our actions. Nehemiah represents the Holy Spirit, systematically seeking to build and repair any place where the enemy could potentially enter our lives.
Ask the Holy Spirit to inspect your heart and identify areas that may be broken – in need of forgiveness or in need of giving forgiveness – any area where you harbor bitterness, anger, lack of self-control, or hurt. Invite Him into those areas to repair the brokenness, and He will deliver you out of the hands of the enemy and into the loving arms of God.
Repair the broken-down gates of my life where the enemy has had access. Where I lack love for others, forgive me; where I am bitter, forgive me; where I seek revenge, forgive me.
I invite You into any area of my life to repair the brokenness so that I can be free to love You and others.
In Jesus’ name, Amen