Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Yesterday was a day of celebration for my wife and I. It was our wedding anniversary. It marked a year since we stood before God and made our marriage covenant with Him and each other. It was a good day. Although it started great, it did not end that way.
I am prone to the attacks of the enemy as any other person is. However, as a believer in Christ I am without excuse to know and realize that I have a mortal enemy of my soul who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. His attacks began in the Garden of Eden upon God’s creation, and especially upon God’s beloved creation, man. (Please note that I use the biblically correct term “man” to include all human beings.) God spoke an edict at that time that His Seed would crush satan’s seed. And since that edict, satan has actively sought to destroy the seed of God in the hopes of delaying his destruction. Jesus Christ is the fulfilment and realization of the Seed of God. When Christ died, His Seed brought forth fruit and more godly seed within the life of each born-again believer. And satan continues today to try to stamp out God’s Seed from the earth. That is his mission — to steal, kill, and destroy the Seed of God!
When a man comes to Christ, he must come in the full realization that he is dead in sin. Every man, woman, and child upon this earth is born in sin, and will die in sin, unless they come to Jesus Christ and confess that He is Lord and Saviour. We must make confession with our mouth and believe in our hearts that He alone was sacrificed for our sin, died for our sins, was buried (in effect, burying our sins), and rose again, leaving our sins in the grave. We must believe this in our hearts and repent from our sins. Repent means to turn completely away from our sins and to never walk along that path again.
The path of sin is wide and broad. It has to be because it is a path upon which man’s pride and lust is the king of the road. Man’s evil and sinful imaginations are so great that they require everyone to get out of their way. It is a wide road indeed. Imagine a road so wide that 100 semi-trailers could drive on it side by side and there would still be room for a thousand more on each side. That is a wide, wide path! Our enemy, satan, has deceived many into believing that this road is a road of freedom to do whatever is pleasing. ‘If it feels good, looks good, and sounds good, then it must be good’ is the lie he tells everyone who walks this path. ‘Living for God,’ he hisses, ‘is so restrictive. Surely God wants you to enjoy everything that life has to offer. Surely God does not want you to suffer. He wants you to be happy and to enjoy life.’ The enemy, above all things, is deceitful and a liar.
Philippians 1:29 “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;“
This verse jumped out at me last week as my wife and I were reading. The words “unto you it is given” hit me like a freight train! So many times we quote John 3:16 and Romans 6:23 as the blessed gift of God being eternal life. True, this is a gift of God. But we are so quick to throw out the wrapping paper that comes with the gift. And that is suffering. God never promised us a life full of happiness. Instead He promised that we would find our happiness in Him — not in this life. True joy and true happiness come in knowing that we are partakers of His holy nature, that we are heirs of an incorruptible inheritance, and that we are only passing through this world. Our reward awaits us upon our exit from this earthly realm. Our reward is with Him and in Him. He is our reward.
But to receive that reward there is a very narrow path that must be negotiated with extreme care and diligence. It is a path that cannot be seen with the human eye. It can only be found with the supernatural light of God’s Word.
2 Samuel 22:29 “For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.”
Any man who tries to make his way in this world without the Word of God is not on this narrow path. There is only one way to walk this path, we must follow God’s Word. There is no other way. Jesus said that He was The Way. The Gospel of John describes Him as the Word of God made flesh. Jesus Christ is the living Word of God! It is Him that we must follow to attain eternal life. To follow Him means we must lay down our lives, we must lose our lives, and that we must suffer for His name’s sake. It is not an easy road. And this is the reason that so many are unable to find this road. Few are willing to lay it all down for God. Few are willing to let go of this world. It is easy to see that millions upon millions are living life their way for their own pleasure on the face of this earth. The unfortunate and horrific reality of this is that millions upon millions will suffer a horrible fate in the pits of hell. And more sadly, millions of self-proclaimed Christians will join them in an eternal lake of fire.
As my wife and I woke up the day after our anniversary we experienced an attack of the enemy upon us. Things did not go as planned and the enemy used these failed expectations to his advantage to bring division and strife into our marriage. As the day progressed the divide between us became greater and greater. At least this was what was in my heart. I tried to mask it and continue on as if nothing was wrong. But inside I knew that there was anger and bitterness rising within me. I was letting a root of bitterness grow within my heart (cf. Heb 12:13). Everything would have seemed fine to someone looking at the outward appearance. But God is a discerner of the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7 “…the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
It is out of the heart that evil grows. It starts as a seed. This is the seed of the enemy: when pride is touched and offended it is this that causes offense — the enemy’s seed — to begin taking root and growing. How does this seed grow? It is watered by the pride and lust of man.
Matthew 15:18-20 “…those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man:”
1 John 3:15 ” Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”
Matthew 5:21-22 “Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”
How narrow is the path when the Word of God tells us so plainly that what we say or harbour in our heart will bring judgment upon us? I have to believe that the path is very narrow indeed. It was this that the Lord convicted me of. I had been allowing this root of bitterness to spring up in my heart. This offense was being watered by my pride. And it is only the Seed of God that can trample out the seed of satan that brings death.
As I drove down the road, with bitterness rising and growing within me, a line from a song coming over the radio hit me right in my heart:
“See there’s a treasure at the end, Of this narrow road I’m traveling”
Immediately, the Lord touched and spoke to my heart. I knew that my foot was slipping from the narrow road. The road we travel as believers and followers of Christ is a very narrow one. We are all one step away from sliding off this path on the wide road of destruction. It wasn’t until the Lord shined the light of His Word onto my heart that I realized I was in danger of hell-fire! My pride had blinded me. The enemy had surrounded me with darkness that I could no longer see that my foot had slipped. It was only God’s love and mercy upon me that He shone His Word upon my path to show me that I was slipping from the narrow path.
Psalm 56:13 “For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?”
Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
When the Lord comes in love and mercy to show you the error of your way, our response should be to forsake our pride and sin, humble ourselves, and repent from the evil that has taken hold of us. The consequences of disobeying the Lord are clear:
Jeremiah 13: 15-16 “Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken. Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.”
The Lord’s message came to me in love and tender kindness for my soul. As the tears flowed from my eyes, I cried out to the Lord to forgive me. I went to my wife and forgave her and asked her forgiveness. When I did this, our relationship was restored and our love grew even deeper. The Lord is good.
The Lord has restored my feet to walk again on his righteous path. Though a righteous man may fall seven times, the Lord will raise him up each time. Repent and believe the Gospel. Watch your feet Beloved. Love Him. Follow Him.
Be blessed Beloved. We love you.
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