“But when the people of the land come before the Lord on the appointed feast days, whoever enters by way of the north gate to worship shall go out by way of the south gate; and whoever enters by way of the south gate shall go out by way of the north gate. He shall not return by way of the gate through which he came, but shall go out through the opposite gate.”
Ezekiel is establishing some rules that will guide the people as they worship at the Temple. Some of these guidelines were clearly spelled out by Moses hundreds of years earlier, while others seem to be brand new. One such regulation required the people to leave the city from the opposite gate from which they had entered. If they came in from the south, they had to leave from the north, and vice-versa. No clear explanation is given, but it is not too difficult to draw some application for the believer today. Simply put, we should leave worship different than how we arrived.
True worship is drawing near to God, and getting our eyes on the Lord. When this happens, we will begin to see ourself in light of who God is. The brightness of His glory will illuminate our lives and expose those things He desires to change. If I come into worship angry, bitter, or filled with unforgiveness, the glory of who God is will shine upon my heart. His glory will expose those things, and lead me to the cross, where I can lay them down and leave free of their burden. If we leave worship the same as we came into worship, it is likely we were involved in more of a concert or a sing along, than a time spent in the presence of the God of Glory.
It is valuable to prepare your heart to seek the Lord. To take a few moments before you begin singing to simply ask God to search your heart, and give Him license to make any changes He determines necessary. One of the great benefits of worship is that we are in the presence of the only one with the actual power to change us.