The Narrow Path :: By Candy Austin

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.”

Even though we have not been in a while, we love to visit local State Parks and go hiking at least once in the Spring and once in the Fall. Most hiking trails are narrow; sometimes they are so narrow that only one person can fit on the trail while the other person walks in front or behind. We have even seen trails that were so narrow and concave from previous hikers that your feet could not fit walking side by side; only by putting one foot in front of the other could you get down the path. Good thing we use hiking sticks to help stabilize us on our hiking adventures.

This is what a born-again Christian’s life is like – a very Straight and Narrow Path, so narrow that you walk by Faith, letting Jesus lead, guide, and direct you with one foot in front of the other, one by one, one day at a time.

The Bible (God’s Word) is like our ‘hiking sticks’ to help stabilize us on our Journey; it helps us to put on the full armor of God. It is our sword of the spirit; it is our comfort and guide; it is everything we need to endure in this life!

Because those who are truly born-again are so few in number, the Narrow Path is a somewhat lonely path, and one that gets lonelier with each passing day. It is also a very difficult path to take, one that is rife with affliction, hardship, and rejection. Remember, Jesus promises He will never leave us or forsake us. He is with us every step of the way! Only those who truly love Christ will continue on this Journey with the indwelling Holy Spirit’s help. Many claim Christianity but deny Him by the way they live their lives. It is easy for one to give ‘lip service,’ but true believers show ‘genuine service’ by their submission and obedience to God’s Word.

To find oneself on this Narrow Path, one must deny ‘self and pick up their cross,’ whatever that may be (persecution, rejection, hardship, suffering, sickness, loss, and pain) and follow Jesus. Once again, Christ told us to ‘count the cost,’ which means it will not be easy and that only a few would find the Narrow Path that leads to Him.

Excerpt from “Why did God make salvation such a narrow path?”

However, the gate to heaven is “narrow” in the sense of having a particular requirement for entrance—faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is found only in the Person of Jesus Christ; He is the only way (John 14:6). The “wide” gate is non-exclusive; it allows for human effort and all other of the world’s religions.

Jesus says that the narrow gate leads to a “hard” road, one that will take us through hardships and difficult decisions. Following Jesus requires crucifying our flesh (Galatians 2:20; 5:24; Romans 6:2), living by faith (Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 10:38), enduring trials with Christlike patience (James 1:2–3, 12; 1 Peter 1:6), and living a lifestyle separate from the world (James 1:27; Romans 12:1–2). When faced with the choice between a narrow, bumpy road and a wide, paved highway, most of us choose the easier road. Human nature gravitates toward comfort and pleasure. When faced with the reality of denying themselves to follow Jesus, most people turn away (John 6:66). Jesus never sugar-coated the truth, and the truth is that not many people are willing to pay the price to follow Him.

Satan has paved the highway to hell with fleshly temptations, worldly attractions, and moral compromises. Most people allow their passions and desires to dictate the course of their lives. They choose temporary, earthly pleasure over the self-sacrifice required in following Jesus (Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; Matthew 10:37). The narrow gate is ignored. Most people would rather create their own religions and design their own gods. So it was with sorrow, not discrimination, that Jesus declared that the road to eternal life is “narrow, and only a few find it.” Source

Think about all of the people that were ever created, that ever lived and died, and that ever walked this Earth. To try and wrap one’s mind around this many souls is ‘mind boggling’ to say the least!  Nonetheless, try to imagine them all as countless as the grains of sand on the seashore, basically an innumerable amount of people. Now, try to wrap your mind around the fact that most – and by most, I mean imagine a pie chart of like 90% of it compared to only like 10% of it – choose the Wide, Easy, Broad Way to Destruction!

Literally, that many souls choose to reject the Difficult, Straight, and Narrow Path to Eternal Life! It is beyond mortifying to envision that many souls unexpectedly falling off the cliff of the end of this Wide Road into (Eternal Torment) Hell on a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute basis!

How can one tell that someone is on the Wide Road to Destruction? Just look at their life: their words, thoughts, actions, and deeds. Are they living for Christ or are they living for ‘self’? Do they care about the things of God or do they care more about the things of the world? Do they live to obey God’s Word or do they live to please the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life? Do they live to tell others about Jesus or not? All of these things are ‘telltale signs’ whether someone is on the Wide Road to Destruction or on the Narrow Path to Eternal Life!

1 John 3:8-10 “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Excerpt from “Wide and Narrow Roads”

Throughout the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has been describing external obedience. It is the proof that you are a real Christian. You might agree with the crowd in the following passage, but it will not be enough.

“When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29, NASB).

God is looking for more. He is looking for your heart to say, “I believe in you. I yield myself to you. I give myself to you. I am ready to serve you. What shall I do?” Is this you?

If you say, “Yes,” you are on the narrow road. It is marked with trouble as you seek to do His will and live a holy life. If you do, you will be building your spiritual house on Jesus Christ, and this narrow road leads to God. Source

For example, in order for a Diamond to be made, there has to be extreme circumstances that involve an enormous amount of heat and pressure, which ultimately emerges one of the hardest natural substances in nature! Diamonds are bright, shiny, dazzling, brilliant, and oh so beautiful to behold! In Heaven, the Bible says those who are truly born-again (those who find the Narrow Path to Eternal Life) will shine like the stars in the sky for ever and ever!

Daniel 12:3 “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”

Philippians 2:15-16 “That you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.”

Matthew 13:43 “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

***For what it is worth… just know that the Difficult, Straight, and Narrow Path to Eternal Life will definitely not be easy or even pleasant at times; but once we are on the other side and the veil is lifted, we will find that it was all more than well-worth every minute of it just to finally arrive and be in the Most Precious Radiant Presence of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!***

Until next time… Maranatha!