Through the Narrow Gate

For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:14)

I was blessed that day that God reached down and grabbed me, shook me until I trembled. My pride was finally broken, my confidence in myself and in the world shattered, my hope in my ability to be master of my own life forever dissolved. I yielded decisively and totally to Christ, repented of my sins, put all my trust in Him as Saviour and as Lord of my life. I was a new creation.

Now that I have passed through the narrow gate of salvation, I want nothing other than to follow Him. But He said the way would be hard. Somehow I thought the hard part was getting to the gate and entering in. I hadn’t realized that it was God who had shown me the gate and had guided me through. I couldn’t have done it myself. Now where is that hard way along which I must tread? How do I take even a single step? Where is my map?

Of course the road map is the Word of God, the Bible. And there is prayer, my universal GPS system. But how can I actually make specific decisions about my life in Christ? I am moved and commanded to love the Lord, but how?  How did He love us? By coming and being an obedient servant. That is what I must learn–to become a faithful servant. Not easy for someone like me who has felt the urge to lead and control all his life! How can I know how I can best serve? This is my question and my challenge as I stand at the beginning of the narrow path of my new life in Christ.

 I am certain His will is not some mystery only God can fathom and we will accidentally stumble upon it and shout “Eureka!” How can we know that God has a plan for us and discern the outlines of where to place our feet as we take our next steps in our walk with God? I see three clear signs that God is working in me and that indicate my way ahead.

1. Life. God gave us life. Before the world began He knew our names, and created us to give Him glory. We are not the product of some cosmic accident.

“I was appointed from eternity,
from the beginning, before the world began.” (Psalm 8:23)

Not only that, but God has a plan in place for us.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

The purpose of our God-given life is to glorify God.

“Everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.” (Isaiah 43:7)

2. We are each given attributes, talents, skills, experiences that equip us for giving glory to God.

“To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. “(Matthew 25:15)

Each of us is expected to use what we are given to glorify God. Some give glory by His strength through service; others give glory through their weakness, even through suffering. In any case, it is God who is glorified in all that we do in His name, whether mighty works, or humble sufferings.

3. Our circumstances. All that we have is from God. Where we live. Where we work. Whatever resources we have He has given us and He expects us to use them for His work and His glory. He has placed us exactly where we are and looks out for us, just as He guides the littlest of His creatures.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6)

These then are the signposts for our road ahead. Our existence , our very lives, are a gift from God. Our purpose is to use that life to reflect back to God the Father, our creator, the glory that is His and His alone. We can discern our path by studying the trail of our lives and how God has steadied us along the way, the talents He has given us , and the circumstances that presently surround us. These of course change over the course of our lives, through mountain top experiences  and valleys of despair, but our purpose remains the same. We are to take up our cross and follow Christ– follow Him as obedient servants. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit within us to convict us when we stray from the path and to strengthen us in times of need.

Our way ahead may seem unclear in worldy terms. How do we use our talents in the world to serve God? How do we develop our resources to generate a return that our master will deem praiseworthy? How will we know when we need to go in a different direction? The answer lies in the trust we place in Jesus. He tells us that He not only shows us our way; He is our way.

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)

And that our first step in the world is to seek what is treasured in heaven– righteousness.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

The will of God in our lives is not a secret. By analyzing where God has placed us and how he has equipped us, by prayer and reflection, and through meditation upon the Word of God, we can confidently put our best foot forward and follow Christ along the hard way. I pray that we all meet along that way to Heaven marching confidently and joyously behind Jesus!

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Published in: on November 16, 2009 at 11:22 am  Comments (2)