“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” – Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV)
Today our passage has a rather different promise than we are most used to considering. It is a promise about the effect and outcome of choices we make. This passage is part of the Sermon on the Mount which was the first recorded extensive discourse Jesus gave his disciples and those following Him. If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, it is important to remember that all moral things are difficult. Our lives as Christians are gloriously difficult, by the grace of God the difficulty doesn’t make us faint. Rather the difficulty strengthens us and gives us what is necessary to overcome. The promise we have is that facing the way that is hard takes practice. Our strength comes through the practice of doing what is right, that is righteous. If once we start on the basis of His Redemption to do what He commands, we find that we can do it. When we fail, it is because we have not practiced. Oswald Chambers said about this; “Thank God He does give us difficult things to do! His salvation is a glad thing, but it is also a heroic, holy thing.”*
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year, (Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering, 1986).