Matthew 7:13-14 The Narrow and Wide Gates
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
True believers in Christ, the chosen are all on the same narrow path. There is little room for error in our walk, not because we don’t fail God many times, but because God never fails us. The road is narrow, yet not congested as one might expect. There is ample room for error, but God’s mercies are new everyday.
Lamentations 3:22-23 “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”
The narrow path, praise God has a definite end, a wonderful end. But the narrow road is a road that leads you through a process of transformation. When you enter in, you enter in with your own world view that seems to resemble that of God, and you take with you your ideas of what God wants from you, but once you’re on the road, the Lord begins to unravel His will for your life. And the struggle to surrender begins. As carnal minded beings we are not quick at giving up those things that satisfy our innate physical, psychological and emotional needs. It’s not an easy road, there are bumps on the road, twists and turns, potholes, hills and valleys you must traverse and all all sorts of storms that you must endure, but the Lord is gracious in guiding you through the rough terrain. I guarantee you by the time you are half way through your journey, you will not be the same person.
Psalm 66:10 “For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs. You have caused men to ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water; But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.
You will have a divine perspective on life. You will have the Spirit of God reassuring you to fear not, for the Lord is with you. Nevertheless, you have moments of doubt and fear, but the Lord is quick to comfort. The journey is long and arduous depending on how much baggage you brought along.
We are all dying, not just in the flesh, the true believer is also slowly putting to death the fleshly desires that so easily ensnare and draw the children of God away from the things of Him. Only God can transform, but only if we accept His Son. The narrow road is otherwise blocked. We cannot change ourselves, we cannot renew our mind, or change our heart in our own power to gain access to God, or by doing a 12 step program that addresses only the carnality of man. God must first call you, then you must go through the blood of the Lamb if you want to know God.
And when you have started this process of spiritual transformation, the Lord will reveal Himself, and He will reveal many things in His word. The Lord will use people to reach you, but their messages will only lead you back to His word. And during this process, you will be more attuned to the state of the spirit man and you will judge, but it’s OK. That’s part of our humanity to judge, even Jonah the prophet, dealt with this issue. As true believers we know full well that the Lord is gracious and forgiving when we repent of our sinful ways. But we would rather God to slay the wicked…to destroy the abominations that pervert His name. Yes, we think this way, because we get fed up with the evil in this world and we just want it to go away, but God has a plan. And we cannot understand His ways. It is easier for us, as believers to judge one another, to rely on our own self-righteousness than to trust God that He is working all things according to His perfect will.
We must all have the last word. We must all be right and everyone else is just wrong. We must act on the side of caution rather than to trust in God’s sovereignty. On the narrow road, you learn to surrender your will, your thoughts, your carnality, your world view, for God’s sovereignty. And when the Lord gets you to where He can use you, you realize the narrow path is longer than you could have imagined. And then the Lord gives you understanding as to why the narrow road is not always a popular road and why many Christians prefer the wider road. They have no vision for the things of God.
These believers live for the here and now. They want to be like Martha, busy, busy, busy, judging others for not doing. They want their treasures on earth. Their desire is for the accolades of man and God. See all I do for you Lord? Is there anything wrong with that?
If, as Christians we are to be united in the Christ, why is there a narrow road and a wide road? The two with totally different destinations.
All I hear is…
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Then as Paul said, we too shall be able to say…”I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”