Friday, May 23, 2008

Matthew 7:13-14 (NKJV)

Matthew 7:13-14 (NKJV)-“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

What do you think of when you see the word
narrow? Does it conjure up images of tight, constrictive places with no room to get by? Does it make you feel claustrophobic just thinking about it? I think it’s very significant that Jesus uses this term when He is discussing the way to eternal life.

See, a lot of us are spiritually obese. We are fat in spiritual realm. We don’t do enough holy exercising by walking with God, and so we have become a lot of biblical couch potatoes.

Don’t look around at everyone else, because I’m not. I’m looking straight into the mirror at my big fat self!

If you have a personal doctor, you probably get somewhat regular check-ups and at least a yearly physical. You cringe when he asks you about your exercising, don’t you? You know you just never get around to it. You have good intentions, but somehow, it always seems to slip to the back; out of sight, out of mind.

God, the great physician, gives you check-ups also. He allows you to go through trials and tribulations. He even promised that you would in His word….oh yeah, you don’t know that do you? You haven’t really been IN His word enough to find that out.

God knows that, given the choice, we are going to become spiritually fat and lazy. He knows that we don’t exercise enough. He’s smarter than your primary care physician, so don’t think you’re getting over on either of them. God knows you’re not walking with Him, just like your PCP knows you’re not exercising 4-5 times a week as you told him.

That’s why it’s easier for us to take the broad gate, isn’t it? The broad gate doesn’t require much out of our lives. We can do that easily and just waddle along, going our merry way. Occasionally, there are food stands along the way too. They are the snares and traps of the world. These stands fill the void, but only temporarily.

See, as you get further down the broad path, the food stands become more numerous and start giving bigger portions of the things you want to partake. They have to; as you go further on the broad path, it takes more to satisfy your inner lusts and desires, and so the enemy will gladly expand his offerings to you.

Oh, you know that you’re on the wrong path alright. You know that you need to stop and drop right where you’re at and give God a spiritual 20 push-ups. But you’re kind of winded and out of shape. You’re frustrated that you can’t even give Him one push-up, so you say, “I’ll try again tomorrow morning when I’m fresh” or “Well, I give up. I can’t do this, it’s too hard.”

This path that you’re on, it only leads to one place. You can make excuses and try and fool yourself all you want, but it’s the truth. There is only one place this path leads. A deep, dark well from which there is no escape.

But, you know the wonderful thing about God? He knows this about you. And, just like the Bible says, He has made a way of escape. As a matter of fact, He has given you a personal training staff. Jesus is the head of the gym; and the Holy Spirit is your own personal trainer.

See, if you let Them, They will craft a training regimen specifically tailored to your spiritual body profile. It will push you to your limits, but it won’t be anything you can’t accomplish. And, just like any good gym personnel, They will always be available to answer your questions about any of the exercises you are performing.

They can cure the “Why should I tithe?” gut. They can help tone and define you through “small group therapy”. They can get rid of the flabby arms from “I don’t really want to serve”. They can give you the six-pack of spiritual abs you’ve been looking for in life.

You just have to walk through the doors of the gym. I’m gonna warn you though, the entryway is pretty narrow. You’ll look at it, and then down at your body, and think, “There is NO way I’m gonna fit through those doors!”

Don’t worry, you’ll fit. And, while you’re in there exercising, you’ll find that those food stands on the outside are only selling stinky garbage; not healthy, wholesome stuff. And you know what else? You can give some of your friends a guest card to come visit. When they see how fit and fabulous looking you are becoming, they are surely going to want to exercise at your gym as well.

Don’t be shy, it’s okay. We all had to start somewhere. Put down the tub of ice cream; there’s a treadmill here right next to mine. Once you get on and get started, you won’t want to get off.

Come on, step inside. Don’t worry about paying your membership fees, either. Someone else has already done it for you. He paid your dues. You’ll be current with the owner, God, forever. You just have to grab a copy of the contract and sign it (Romans 10:9-10). The wonderful thing about it is that you can sign it right where you’re at, right now. Then, all you need to go and find a gym to work-out in.

Come on, join in. It’ll be worth it.

Be blessed in the Lord today,

Bo J.

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