Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ – Jesus Christ (Luke 13:24-27 ESV)
My in-laws have an awesome cabin a few hours from Denver, Colorado. When you’re driving near Denver, the roads are pretty straight, wide, and easy to drive. But as you get closer to the cabin (further from Denver, and more into the mountains), the roads become more narrow and difficult to drive.
As you get closer to the destination, the path becomes more difficult.
Our walk with Jesus Christ is very similar. I find that the closer I get to Jesus, the more narrow and difficult the path becomes.
Loving people who annoy and irritate me (Mt. 22:39). Not grumbling or complaining (Phil 2:14). Loving our enemies, praying for them, and doing good to them (Matthew 5;43-48; Romans 12:17-21). Blessing those who persecute us (Lk. 6:27-28). All of this can be extremely hard to do, and feel foreign to our natural way of living.
But that struggle we feel while seeking to follow Jesus is good, because it’s proof that we are truly on the narrow path – that we are truly following Jesus.
No, we don’t try to follow the narrow way to earn God’s love and acceptance. We do it because we love Him, and because it is what truth faith does.
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.” – Jesus Christ (John 14: 23-24 ESV)
Embrace the difficult struggle you feel inside while trying to obey Jesus. Let it encourage you, because it’s proof that you’re getting closer to your destination, and that you’re truly following King Jesus.
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” – Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:14 ESV)
Keep following the Lord Jesus on the narrow way to paradise.