Most of us can remember a time (before GPS) when we were on an old narrow winding road and in a hurry and not sure you were going. It was dark and raining and you were sure you would never get to you destination without going off the road. We had the thought a time or 2 that why is this road so winding and treacherous and why is it not wide, straight and flat. It would be so much easier on the wide road and I would not have to struggle so hard to get to the end.
As we continue down the road of looking at our maturing in Christ, let us go to the Word to find out more about this process.
Matthew 7:13-14 (HCSB)
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it.
14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.
You may ask why so many in the church today lead us to believe that it is easy just name Christ and your life will be wonderful. I have some friends that think this way and that working hard at being a Christian is unnecessary. Let us reread the Lord’s words again in Matthew 7. Narrow road? Difficult way? Few who find it?
Yes even the True Word Jesus Christ spoke these words. There is NO wide gate and NO broad road. Not many people are able to go through this gate and stay on the road. What does He mean by this? Let’s again look at His Word
Ephesians 5:3-5 (NASB)
3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
If you have spent any time in school you know very well that it takes much time and effort to get to your set goal. Many times it seems there is more satisfaction when we had to work harder than others to achieve the same goal. Sure it is easier to just do enough to get buy but it is also much less rewarding. It is no different for the true believer in Christ. The more we spend time in His word and in prayer and meditation with Him then the more satisfying it is. Yes it takes time and effort. Yes it takes much discipline. Yes we may have to give up some of the things we normally do. Yes it will cost us something. But the reward we receive for that time and effort is worth more than gold or silver or any other precious thing. There is no way of putting a price on the many gifts we receive as they are all the things we need to live a God honoring life.
Philippians 4:4-9 (NASB)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Oh that peace we have. When the world is crumbling around us then we can stand tall. We can face anything that we have to and I truly mean anything. But we must remain on the narrow way even if it is the more difficult way and it requires more of our times and resources.
The narrow gate and the narrow way are the only way to the life and peace God gives us. How do we stay on that path? There is no secret formula. Prayer, meditation, study of scripture, fellowship of believers and a total reliance on God and not ourselves.
Yes the way is harder and requires much time and effort but we will receive many rewards in this life and many more in the life to come
In His service