“You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping” (II Samuel 22:35a, NLT).
How does this passage line up with Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:13-14? “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. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it” (HCSB).
Honey, when you’re standing on the Rock of Ages, you’re safe. Secure. You may feel like you’re on a banana peel-covered tightrope, but you can’t always trust your feelings. In Jesus your eternal destiny is as secure as the Rock you’re standing on.
This, my friends, leads us to the topic of narrowing. For years now a friend and I have discussed this. What am I talking about? As we grow in faith and in our walk with Christ, our focus narrows; therefore, our interests narrow. That big house or car or boat doesn’t seem important any more. That expensive jewelry or furniture or club membership no longer makes us go “Wow!” The closer we get to the image of Christ, the more we cast aside all these things.
You’ve heard the derogatory expression “narrow-minded.” When it comes to the Christian life, we could use a lot more narrowing and a whole lot less narrow-mindedness. While we are to maintain a consistent commitment to Christ, we aren’t to do so at the expense of shutting ourselves away from the lost. And we aren’t to stand in condemnation of them, either.
What are we to do? Show them Jesus. I read a comment on Facebook this morning about the number of professing Christians illegally taking welfare and other government handouts. All I can say is, the operative word there is “professing.” Let’s face it: we all know a lot of “professing” Christians who have cheated on their spouses; stolen from their churches; taken advantage of the poor; and on and on it goes.
Only a true believer’s focus becomes more and more Christ alone; and when that happens, he experiences narrowing. And in that process, we no longer see the gate as “narrow.” Why? We’re looking ahead, not behind.
Another thing about being inside that “narrow gate:” it gives us an entirely different perspective. A microbe in a drop of water doesn’t see his world as narrow – it sees it as a veritable ocean. Likewise, when we are inside the “narrow gate” of faith in Christ, we see the endless possibilities and, yes, challenges, on the road inside the “gate.”
Folks, He’s worth it all. How much of your life can you honestly say is devoted to Jesus Christ? Whatever percentage you answered with, that’s the depth of your commitment.
“I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep” (Jesus speaking, John 10:7b).
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31, NLT).
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates