|Walking on the Narrow Way|
Straight is God's Divine Order
As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.'" (Lk 3:4-5)
"They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness." (2 Pe 2:15)
"Who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways," (Prov 2:13)
"I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths." (Prov 4:11).
"He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle." (Ps 107:7).
"In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." (Prov 3:6).
"Whoever has understanding keeps a straight course." (Prov 15:21b).
"Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil." (Prov 4:27; cf., Josh 1:7).
The apostle Paul said the ways of the Lord are straight (Acts 13:10).
The Scripture says, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight." (Pro 3:5-6).
Also see the following Scriptures in the NASB version: Deu. 32:5; Psa. 18:26; 125:5; Pro. 2:15; 3:5-6; 8:8; 17:20; 21:8; 28:6, 18; Isa. 59:8; Eze 1:9,12; 10:22; 46:9; Php. 2:15.
Narrow is God's Divine Order
The Lord Jesus said, "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." (Mt 7:13-14). He said this at the end of His sermon on the mount, which summarizes the content of that sermon recorded in Matthew 5-7. In that sermon, He taught that something you say can put you in danger of the fire of hell (Mt 5:22). The sin of adultery can be committed in your heart without even having physical contact with the other person (Mt 5:28). He taught the need for radical obedience to God at all costs (Mt 5:29-30). Indeed, it is not only our outward actions that must be perfect, but also our thoughts, motives, and words (Mt 5:48).
Self must be denied, the body kept under subjection, corruptions put to death; temptations must be resisted on a daily basis; duties must be carried out that are against our natural tendencies. We must wrestle, must go through extreme physical and mental suffering, must watch in everything, and walk with care and prudence, wary of that which would endanger our souls.* We must pass through many trials and tribulations (Joh 16:33; 1 Pe 4:12-19). We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God (Ac 14:22). This is not the way that the majority of the people go. Most people go through the wide gate and take the broad road that leads to destruction. But only a few find the small gate and the narrow road that leads to life. Many are going to hell, but only a few are going to heaven.
He also said, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to." (Lk 13:24). If many try and are unable to enter through this narrow door, then it must be very narrow. It's difficult to find and difficult to get through, so every effort must be made to do so. It's hard but not impossible by God's grace if we strive. You will not be able to enter if you are complacent or half-hearted, because there are many Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven. The devil has set many traps for you to try and capture you into hell.
Putting it All Together
The Scriptures clearly teach that in everything the straight way is God’s way. Indeed, the way to heaven is both straight and narrow. In fact, it is more so than you think it is. But one hour in heaven will make it all worthwhile.
Therefore, we must Strive to Enter the Kingdom of God on the way of righteousness, holiness, and truth. It's time we cease from standing in the broad and crooked path of sinners, and going along with the crowd. It's high time we consecrate ourselves to the Lord Jesus, and follow Him with pure and simple devotion (2 Cor 11:3). Seek Him earnestly (Ps 63:1) and stay close to Him (Ps 63:8). Cling to God! All you His people, let's Ask for the Ancient Paths once again.
Attribution notice: Most Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, unless otherwise noted. "Walking on the Narrow Way" was illustrated by my sixteen-year-old daughter, Charity Lacroix. You can find more of her fine artwork at A Brush with Life. *The preceding sentences in this particular paragraph were adapted from Matthew Henry's commentary on Matthew 7:12-14.
Author's note: You are invited to read Michael Shigaba's Encounter with Jesus, The Ways of Life, The Way, Will, and Word of God, Strive to Enter the Kingdom of God, Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, Aim for Perfection, Eudoxia Varga Testimony of Heaven and Hell, A Warning for Married Christian Couples, Godly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, Carrying Your Cross or Cross Dressing?, Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations, Messages from the Lord for Catholics Worshipping Idols, Keeping Sundays Holy - Part I, Keeping Sundays Holy - Part II, Rock, Rap, and Reggae Music -- Three Divine Revelations, Separation from the World, and Ask for the Ancient Paths. You may access the Main Directory for this Seeking the Lord blog for more articles like this, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."
Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus. Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15). He preached that we must repent and believe.
Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.