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Amazing Grace Ministries

Newsletter Archive


June 99


The Gates of the City

Pastor John Doonan

The Valley Gate #5

God has established your feet and transformed you into what the unbeliever cannot be. He has exalted you above your fellows. To me, it’s a simple choice, a real no-brainer.
One can either:

#1 Do it by your own hand, your power and might, which will make you very unhappy or
#2 Humble yourself and let God promote you.

There can be two people in this earth with identical talents, intellect, and ability. One will be exalted and the other not. Does God hate one and love the other? Not at all. It has everything to do with the humbling of the heart, which allows God to exalt you. It is unwise to continue pressing, forcing, and striving to make a way for yourself. It is wisdom to honor God first and believe that He’ll bless everything you put your hands to. You honor God by being a witness, by going to church, by attending Bible Studies, through praise and thanksgiving, by seeking after Him (in His presence and in His Word.)

The valley gate is difficult to explain unless you’ve been there yourself. One has to experience it as God is dealing with you in a specific area of your life. The problem is that our pride continues to say, "I know how to do it better than God." So, we take up all our troubles into our own hands, and by our own power attempt to fix it. One always misses the doorway, as well as the blessing, without the miracle working power of God to guide you through.

For example, a person who seeks riches is like a person who tries to catch a bird sitting on a windowsill. No bird will just sit there and let you grab it; it will fly away. If you are trying to seek prosperity by your own power and wits, you’re always going to miss it. The prize will always be just a hand’s reach away from you.

You see you don’t have control over prosperity, which is a blessing, nor do you have control over poverty, which is a curse. Blessing and cursing are bigger than we are. They are thoroughly overwhelming forces definitely beyond our control. The foolishness of man is really a root sin called pride. Man didn’t originally start it but rather, it began in Heaven.

Lucifer looked at God one day and said, "I am as God". The Bible doesn’t say that he hated or despised God, but simply that in his own eyes he became equal to God. If God is the creator and source of all things and one "becomes equal" to Him, then one’s need for Him is critically diminished.

Romans 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Men took the creation and made gods out of it. They took earthly things and elevated them to be God-like and worshipped them more than the creator. It is not about hating God. It is about other things pushing God out of the way. Pride says, "who needs God? I’m in control." Pride isn’t about hatred but is about truly being ignorant of what’s going on around you. It’s a lack of understanding our helplessness in the face of a curse; whether it is sickness, sin, death, or poverty. It’s a deficiency in understanding our need for God to care for us.

You can choose to stand in either one of two positions:

1. A misguided idolization of yourself and what you’re able to do, or,
2. Stand humbly before God knowing that when the curse touches your life, you cannot cure or repair it.

We need to make a decision anytime we arrive at a trial or valley in our lives. If it is made with understanding, we realize that we cannot escape the failure in and of ourselves. When something threatens our stability, such as trouble in a marriage, disruption with our children, financial tribulations, fear, or emotional desires, we’ve hit a trial. Immediately, our senses warn us that we are about to give out and we begin to tremble inside because we know there’s nothing we can do about it. We have to choose course. We die, we attempt to fight our way out, or we give in and take whatever comes.

The root sin of pride c omes from the devil, our former father, who trained us quite well when we were in the world. He taught us pride, telling us, "You can do it. You just need to work really, really hard and you can make it." He fills our minds with these thoughts until we become so filled with ourselves that we act as if we have entirely no need for God in our lives. Unfortunately, with this mindset when something goes wrong, we don’t know what to do because we feel we’re not good enough or accomplished enough to doing anything.

To continue to walk in pride means you will die. The stress on your life will become so severe and out of proportion, you will become powerless and paralyzed, rendered incapable of altering anything. It is difficult to try "bearing up" and looking like you’re handling it because, no one wants to admit they can’t. No one wants to be judged and scorned by those who are "making it" when they can’t. No one wants others to think of them as: Wow, he’s really screwed up. He’s gotten lazy. He ought to get his life together. As if you could?

So there you are, standing at the gateway, and you don’t even realize it because you are so worried about what everyone is thinking and saying about you. You are so worried about being accepted and like other men. The most important question here is: Who wants to be like men when you can be like God? Who needs to have the securities and things of this world that men have when you could have the securities that belong to God?

To get through this valley gate you must humble yourself. Yet remember God promises in due season He will exalt you. This doorway is not opened to the strong and mighty but to those who lower themselves, admitting they cannot put things together sufficiently saying, "I just need to come in and take a breath. I need a moment here just to be in your Presence. I know just to be where you are will make all the difference in my life."

Going through this gate does not immediately make all of your struggles disappear but, it does mean a time of refreshing and being strengthened with faith. You will receive the power to stand until the things in your life change. God promised that we would not be ashamed.

I’ve gone through difficult times in my life and the only thing I had to go on was the knowledge I was going to outlive it. That’s all that I knew for sure and that wisdom came from God’s Spirit. I knew I would survive, whatever it took, because I humbled myself and entered into God’s presence through this gracious gate.

This gate is not about you and what you can do. It is Jesus that is in control of your life, and that He will finish what He started in you. God’s word says to do all things as unto the Lord, not by your pride and ability. As you do all things as an offering unto Him, your works will become purified by your faith. Your life is not separated from Jesus Christ, rather it is the doorway that is Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Tremble. This is the same word as was used for the curtain outside of the tabernacle. A curtain is a flexible, trembling wall. To tremble can mean to be flexible. All who tremble are ones who submit themselves humbly before the Word of God being flexible to the Word so that it can have control of their life. Pride is about saying "Well, God that was good word but this situation requires me to do something about it." Obviously, this is neither flexibility nor dependency on God. It doesn’t allow one to be lead by God’s word. Flexibility allows the word to perform in you exactly what it was designed to do.

Many people don’t like to believe God for healing, prosperity or miracles in their lives for fear that He won’t perform it. They fear He’ll say no to their prayers. The first necessary point to understand is that "God never says no."

The only thing that can cause a prayer to go unanswered is if people in their own pride become rigid and inflexible toward the Word. When this happens, they walk away from the answer, not allowing the Word to prove it can work in their life.

For example, God says He will prosper you if you tithe. Having an inflexible attitude speaks this way, "Yes God, it’s a good idea but I’m not able to do it today but maybe another time." Flexibility says, "Praise God, I’m going to give to the work of the gospel." When you hit the valley, it’s important to remember that God gives His Word to the man with a humble and contrite spirit. If he becomes flexible at that time, God will save him. If he becomes inflexible at this point, the doorway will be hidden from him. For all Word is given by the inspiration of the Spirit. Unless God reveals the entrance you will not enter, for God resists the proud.

The doorway is real. It is a doorway that has written upon it the name of everyone who has humbled themselves and built upon it by entering in. Each time you do a work of faith allowing the Word time to work, you place another block upon the gate. Every time you back off and let go, stop trying to press in by your own effort and make something happen, you are building by faith; personally engineering your entry to the Valley Gate. Take time, find patience, settle back in the Spirit, and make this decision. Decide not to defend, or try to protect yourself. Either God’s Word is going to do it or you are going to die. There is nowhere lower to go than when you stand at the entrance of the Valley Gate.

You won’t die. I guarantee it. However to do this takes faith, and the Word must always have preeminence in your life. You must not draw back, hooked by pride, or the Word working in your life will cease. If you humble yourself in realization, that you cannot force anything to happen, and that you cannot survive without His Word working in your life, you will rewarded with the fulfillment of His promise. You must surrender your pride and believe, trusting the Word, for in due season you will be exalted. You will not be ashamed.

You won’t be humiliated because the Word of God flows through His body. The Word can accomplish anything in this earth it was sent to do, yet God requires our frail flesh to work through. His Word is inside of us because we are born of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God. That Word is Spirit and life. The Spirit of God in you quickens, or brings to life, your mortal body so that it can fulfill what He wants it to do. It’s not about you; it’s about Jesus. Jesus didn’t come to live inside of you because you’re extra special, better than others are. Although some, in error, do believe that. He came to you because you humbled yourself, entering through the Valley Gate. Jesus picks the lowly and elevates them by His power, for He is moved by our infirmity not our great strength. As these simple and humble hearts attach themselves together, they become the body of Christ. His Word lives in His body, which is His church, and we must not disrupt His plan just because we think we can accomplish everything by our flesh. No! The Word of God is using our flesh… and as He manifests through us, our hands are then purified and blessed. If we continue to stand in our pride and power, we will bungle His purpose for our lives.

When you find the door, you have found the most important thing in your life because, then you find that it just doesn’t matter anymore. Whether you’re up, down, in or out, abased or abounding it doesn’t matter. You learn to be content in all things because you’ve found the doorway to where it’s not about you or what you can do, but rather, a place you can enter before the presence of God. Jesus then begins to reveal Himself in all of His glory and we become as He is, even while we are in this earth. You then find it doesn’t matter what you touch. The hand of God will purify it. God can give you great quantities of money that is tarnished and tainted by this world yet, in His presence appoint you as one of the greatest givers ever. He can take what is common and impure and make it holy when it is done by him and unto Him. If done by the Spirit of God you will have prosperity and the miracles of God in your life. If you do the things by your wisdom, pride, and power, they will remain unclean.

You must understand that this world will never want to be a part of you and obediently follow God’s way. They just don’t believe. However, it doesn’t matter what the world thinks, it matters what you do. When it’s your body in pain, you can either try to be tough and endure or you can humble yourself and admit to God that you can’t do it and you need Him to heal you. This doesn’t mean that you don’t do everything possible on this earth to care for your body because you must. The things of the world are here for you, and you’re to put your hands to them. However as you use doctors and medicines remember that they do not take away or hinder the promise of God. His Word says, "I am Jehovah Rapha. I am the God that healeth thee." Therefore you find the doorway and become flexible to the Word of God, knowing He sent His Word to heal you. Your body is His flesh, and how can He be sick? If you’re compliant to this Word, you will be healed.

Other opinions whether they be from doctors, preachers, or family mean nothing. All that matters is that you stay humble and flexible to the Word and you continue to say, "By His strips I am healed." God will then turn the curse of sickness into the blessing of healing. Your job is to continue to enter in and out of His presence and be strengthened until such time as He quickens your mortal body. The Word works. When the Word becomes flesh, you are healed. If you are the body of Christ then His Word has to work in your flesh, doesn’t it? God can’t lie.

When you come before this Valley doorway, know that God wants to finish what He started in you. Whether it to be healing, holiness, prosperity, peace, virtue, or victory He will fulfill every one of His promises to the man that He finds with humble and contrite spirit.

We have had such a tremedous response to this series that we want to let you know it is a 12 part series and will take some time to get it all into print. However, it is available on audio cassette tape for $70.00. Call us today!

A Perspective on Healing

by Mike Willey

Since birth, I have suffered a common childhood affliction. I have grown up with severe asthma up until my mid-twenties. It brings me great joy to let you know that God has miraculously healed me of this disease. Although, there was no special healing service with visions of angels flying around and God’s healing hand reaching through an illuminated mist to touch me, it is a healing nonetheless miraculous. One single event that happened approximately two thousand years ago to a man named Jesus that allowed me to be healed is most certainly miraculous.

Since childhood, taking an ambulance ride to the hospital in the middle of the night after being wakened by an asthma attack came about more frequently than the annual family vacation, and had sometimes replaced the family vacation. Home remedies, like sitting in a steamy bathroom, never worked. I would usually have to be hospitalized for a week or so, until the lungs relaxed and cleared of mucous. Sometimes, after getting well, I would have to stay a little longer to take tests that measured my lungs and heart’s ability to function. Then, I would be sent home with my prescriptions. I typically had three different medications that I would have to take on a daily basis. In between hospital visits, I also went for weekly allergy shots for the numerous things that could trigger my asthma.

The worst of these times happened in my later teens. One night, it felt as though chains were wrapped tightly around my chest while I was trying to breathe through a coffee straw. To walk to the phone or to call out for help would have taken too much energy away from efforts to breathe. Fortunately, the wheezing sounds in my lungs were loud enough to wake my family up so that they could call the ambulance. At the hospital, my typical emergency treatments were administered. I have been in the emergency room so frequently that everyone knew which medicines worked best. Many times, they would just ask me what I needed. Though, this night was quite different. My body just wasn’t responding to any of the medicines, and I was beginning to waver in and out of consciousness. I was tired in every sense of the word, in body, in mind, and in spirit. There wasn’t anything else left to do but just lay back and give up the ghost, so I released my grips from the bed railing and sat back and prayed. Immediately, the asthma broke. I could breathe again, though, not until several episodes of coughing up mucous was I able to regain my strength. But, let me tell you, that ugly mucous was a lovely sight to see at that point in time! Praise God!

Ever since that ugly night, different aspects of my asthmatic condition have improved over the years. I am completely off of two of the medicines that I was taking, and the dosage of the one remaining tablet has significantly been decreased over time, and I also take medicine through an inhaler once in a while. However, I no longer need weekly allergy shots, and now, at the age of thirty-six, I can’t even remember the last time I was at the hospital. I have heard some people say that God does not miraculously heal any more. I say, when did He ever quit?

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   O The Valley Gate

Dianne Doonan

O Valley Gate what you do require
For me to enter in.
The world must have no longing
To everything I’ve been.

I’ve tried by strength and power
To further my plans and dreams.
Yet all my best endeavors
Overwhelm me in their schemes.

I approach the gate in readiness
Having done all that I could do.
I long to enter into your presence
And be refreshed anew.

Humbling myself before my Lord
I am yours abide in me.
Your portion is my pleasure
For all the world to see.

Let others know that in my heart
I have entered to end this strife,
For only through the Valley Gate
Is the Way, the Truth, the Life.

 Entering into the Valley Gate to me was an experience much like the eye of the needle Jesus talks about. Laying down your earthly treasurers, knowledge, humanism, and pride is not a natural thing for anyone to do. For me it was a matter of trusting God with my life. Being a person who likes things familiar and without surprise, change his hard for me to adapt to. As we all have experienced living by faith knowing that means you have come to the place in that you trust God for your daily sustenance. My attitude was to rely on God when I was in trouble and when things calmed down, I would say, "Okay God, thanks a lot, but I can handle it from here." The only problem was it always ended in disaster.

Through the ensuing years I have learned what it means to lay down my life for the gospel sake, and in doing so I have found peace and rest knowing that I am being cared for by the Lover of my soul. The price Jesus paid for me is a cost that cannot be taken lightly. I love him because He first loved me. I have no life but His life in me. I am now complete in the reality of my salvation.

As the Psalmist says "One thing have I desired of the Lord that I will seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of my King, to inquire in His temple." Psalm 2

Published by Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Distributed by Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Unless otherwise indicated all Scripture quotations are from the Authorized / King James Version (KJV)  No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission except for brief quotation in books and critical reviews. For information write Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Inc.--198 Burnett St.--Yorkville, IL 60560--708/223-0070

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