S: “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” – Matt 7:13-14
O: We all want the easy life. No worries, no problems, nothing holding us back. The interesting thing? God doesn’t promise that our lives will be easy with Him. In fact according to this verse He promises quite the opposite. If we choose to follow Him – the road He’ll take us on will be a difficult one. A road with a narrow gate that few ever find as opposed to the road that many DO find: the highway. The road that everyone takes. Where everything is permitted. And nothing stands in the way of finding worldly happiness. But…and this is a pretty BIG “but”… this “easy” road leads to the place no one wants to go: Hell. I have the choice… do I take the easy road? Live the easy life? Or do I take the road less traveled? The road that, difficult as it may be, will lead me to a place of eternal happiness: Heaven — to be spent with the one and only person in the world that gives true joy: Jesus. Every day, I decide which road I want to take.
A: Waking up earlier to do my devotions? That’s hard. Sleeping in? That’s easy. Staying up late to spend time with God? That’s hard. Staying up late to watch a tv show? That’s easy. Having self-control? That’s hard. Compromising my standards of purity? That’s easy. Living a life with the sole purpose of serving God? That’s hard. Living a life with an agenda to only serve myself and my desires? That’s easy. Following God’s Word and living according to its standards? That’s hard. Following the crowd or what the world considers to be cool? That’s easy. Trusting God when the road gets dark and times get tough? That’s hard. Worrying about everything? That’s easy. Being a light in a dark, lost world even if that means making yourself a target for ridicule? That’s hard. Blending in with the crowd and leading a lifestyle that does not point others to Jesus? That’s easy.
Yes, life with Jesus is an amazing journey. He provides joy even in the toughest of times. But He never said it would be easy. As I go through each day I must stay encouraged and continue to do the things that may be harder rather than easier… because at the end it will lead me to the only place I want to go: Heaven. At the end, living my temporary earthly life to bring glory to God rather than to please myself will be so worth it when I get to spend my eternity with Him!
P: Dear Jesus: Sure, I would LOVE to have the “easy” life… but if having the easy life here on earth means that at the end I will be separated from You for eternity then that’s the last thing I want to do. No, I will choose to take the road less traveled every day. And although it will be difficult at times I know that I will always be ok, because You are right beside me every step of the way. Lord – please help me live a life that glorifies You and pleases You. A life where I will stay holy and follow Your standards, not the world’s. Help me choose every day to follow You, rather than my own desires and to always remember — my life here on earth is only temporary… but the life that comes after this one is eternal, and I shouldn’t focus on having it nice and easy down here because only when I live for you, not when I live for myself will I make a difference for eternity. Tempting as the highway may be… the narrow road is the one I will choose to take with you. 🙂 Amen.