Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV) “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.”
There have been many crossroads in my spiritual life when the edge of Heaven and reality of life come so close it causes goosebumps to rise on my arm and neck hair to stand at attention but today is one of those days. In a month given to the slightly spooky, sometimes the spiritual realm can be a bit scary though it shouldn’t be. In all fairness, sometimes it can be made into something that it is not. Overly emotional and exaggerated stories make people avoid it altogether. The truth is that God wants to communicate with us. The Lord lives in us to commune and communicate with us. He will speak to others to confirm what He is doing in our life. This has happened many times in the course of my spiritual life. Sometimes it is for the immediate situation, but most often it is for a future time and makes little sense.
A well-respected and dedicated Christian man had a dream about my husband and I not too long ago. It was of a spiritual nature and his heart would not relent until he shared it with us. I wrote it down and prayed that the Lord would have His Way. Well, the dream has come to pass. Not exactly as detailed but specifically as recorded. The dream was about the narrow road. Although we were on it, my husband and I would be “bitten” along the way by the enemy. It has happened. The good news is that in the end – we win and make a full recovery. I wish that I could say this is comforting but who welcomes trials or pain for that matter? No one really. The better news that fills me with hope is that it indicated us to be on the “narrow road” going in the right direction.
Sometimes in our Christian life, though we are trying to “do” all the right things, it is sometimes unclear if we are going through the right gate and on the narrow road. Wrapped up in church, religion, doctrine and spiritual social acceptability, it is difficult to see the forest for the trees, the gate for the fences, and the road in the midst of pavement. The Word of God is clearly defined. The Holy Spirit will lead us in all truth. We must become dedicated to the narrow road and finding the gate – Jesus Christ. Religion must give way to relationship because this path to the Kingdom of God is not the popular way but a very particular lifestyle.
Psalm 100:3-5 (NIV) Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Today I know that the Lord is God. Do I believe it? If so, I must trust Him enough that when I am not sure where He is leading that I will still go. When the road gets so small and not so clearly defined that I am willing to stand on faith. I must enter His Gates with thanksgiving and His Courts with praise even when the next step seems overwhelming. The farther I go in my Christian walk the less I understand and the more trust is required. I know that God is good. I know that His Love endures. I believe that His Faithfulness continues even when mine is a bit weak.
Psalm 107:15-16 (NIV) Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.
Reading this today, I am reminded that when I enter His Gates with thanksgiving and praise not dependent on my condition or circumstances that the Lord will break down the natural barriers, gates and bars of life. He will fight for me if I fight to maintain my faith in Him. It is all about faith. It will always be about faith in Jesus Christ. He is the Gate. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Him.
John 10:7-10 (NIV) Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
The road is narrow. The gate is small. There are not a variety of ways to the Kingdom or even into the Presence of God. Jesus Christ is the Only Way. He is our Righteousness. It is His Faithfulness that allows us to have faith. Everything in our life must be channeled through Him. Especially our wait times, chaotic episodes and those days when nothing makes sense.
It’s funny that I believe this may be for a lot of people today because I have been stopped from continuing about thirty times. So I hope if you are where I am today, on the narrow road at a definite standstill and trying to pass through the gate that just seems too small to pass that you will be encouraged to keep trying. Keep pressing. Keep pushing. You cannot give up because what is on the other side of the gate and the end of this road is worth it. Jesus is totally worth every pain, hardship, trial and trouble endured to be with Him.
Isaiah 35:3-4 (NIV) Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
Mama said that there would be days like this…okay maybe it is our Father who said it too! On those days when you have done all to stand and are standing, it is our belief that God is good and He is faithful that will keep us on the right track until the gate swings open allowing us to pass to the next pasture or the next step in the road rises up to meet our feet. The Lord is fighting for us. He is with us. He will never let the righteous fall. Those who choose the narrow path will not be forsaken even when they fall. The ones who decide the Highway of Holiness is for them will never lose their way. Be strong, friend. Do not fear. We win. Our victory has a name – Jesus. It is for an appointed time which means that it will come. Sometimes dreams seem like nightmares until the hero comes. We have a hero. His Name is Jesus.
Isaiah 35: 8-10 (NIV) And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.