A few days back my husband and I were talking about the Bible verse in Mathew 7:13-14. In this particular verse Jesus predicts that many will hear His message but only a few will obey and follow Him. It’s the very familiar Bible verse you will probably know about the wide gate and the narrow gate.
So, in actuality if we imagine going through a gate which is small and a road which is narrow, the journey will seem difficult but at the same time the wide gate and the broad road is easy to get through and walk on. However, here comes the real test. Jesus calls us to enter through the narrow gate as it leads to life, which He has come to give us and not through the wide gate because it leads to destruction.
Dr. Myles Munroe’s book “Understanding your potential” which I read recently, discusses this verse and sheds light on its significance. It says that most of us will hear the message but will never fulfill the deepest desires of God’s heart. Only a few percent of those who hear the message about who they are will ever become all they could be. Many people will never fulfill their purpose in life. They will not become who they were designed to be because they won’t receive and practice what God is telling them. God can only do His part if we are willing to cooperate with his purpose for our lives. Dr. Myles Munroe goes on to encourage the readers to be in the category of the few who are willing to fulfill their God-given potential to its fullest as He has planted within us a treasure to be used for His glory.
As I was sharing with my husband about this particular passage of the book, my 8 years old son overheard our conversation and wanted to know what were the narrow and the wide gates that we were talking about. It was his study time but seeing the curiosity in his eyes to know about these two gates, I thought I should tell him the meaning of the verse by drawing a sketch of a narrow gate and a wide gate for his better understanding.
I indicated the difference between these two gates mentioning them as narrow gate activities and wide gate activities. I explained to him that multitudes of people are choosing the wide gate because it has the easy life, the comfortable path which has no goals, no purpose, no relationship with God and no discipline required but in the end it leads them nowhere but into troubles. But very few people will choose the narrow gate which requires relationship with God, courage to use their potential, hard work, integrity, purpose, determination and self-discipline which seem hard to stick with. But this gate will lead them to a great life Jesus wants to offer.
Wondering how much his young mind could grasp of the meaning, I gently asked him which gate he wanted to choose. Without thinking a single thought, he happily pointed to the picture of narrow gate. I was able to help him learn this profound lesson through a simple activity. However, back in my mind I wondered if I was really choosing the narrow gate in my life, if I was truly obeying and following Jesus, if I was among the few, if I was knowing deeply the purpose God has for me, if I was trusting Him enough to give Him full control of my life….
Walking through the narrow path can be hard at a time, as the life of faith is a constant exchange of the known with the unknown. It’s a journey of complete reliance on God and denial of oneself; it’s all about His plans and not ours; it’s about being willing to wait for His timing; it’s about keeping on trusting His promises despite the circumstances we find ourselves in; it’s about having courage & audacity to follow the dreams He placed in our hearts; it’s not about how the past was or how the present looks; it’s about how the future will be.
In the world where everything is instant, where affluence is considered the only blessing of God, where perfection is applauded, where instant gratification is desired by all, where giving up feels better than perseverance, where doing easy and entertaining things feels easier than doing hard and necessary things, where comparison is the most played game, where quick fixes are in demand for the tough problems, where impressive social status is acknowledged, where integral principles are closed in books, where choosing our own ways feels much better than waiting on the invisible God, we might just get tempted to go on with the multitudes.
But Jesus invites us to choose the opposite; He wants us to trust the path of the narrow gate which seems hard but is the only way to life; it’s the only way to know who we are in Him; it’s the only way to know the rich potential God has knitted in us; it’s the only way to find the courage to make our dreams a reality; it’s the only way to know our true worth; it’s the only way to know that our sufferings are temporary; it’s the only way to know that our life is given to us to make a great contribution to the kingdom of God.
Every single day is a choice for us to choose either of these two gates by our actions, thoughts and determination.
Which category should we stand in?
Let’s be among the few, who walk through the narrow gate, who choose the life of faith in action, who despite their weaknesses find courage to believe in His strength, who follow Jesus with all their hearts, who know their true identity, worth, purpose and potential in Him alone, who are willing hard enough to let their lives count for Jesus and who are striving to fulfill the deepest desires of God’s heart through their lives!
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Mathew 7:13-14