Last night a friend and I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning discussing the Christian life. We lamented the fact that being obedient to God’s calling and will for believers is challenging. Here are some of the questions we asked:
Why is it so hard to be obedient?
Why does God allow certain things to happen in our lives even though we’re wholeheartedly trying to follow Him?
Why do we not do the things we know are right and instead, do what we know is wrong?
We both went to bed pondering. In fact, I assumed I’d be faced with a sleepless night if I continued to think about it – fortunately I was wrong and slept like a baby.
In my quiet time this morning God gifted me with an answer through the day’s devotional reading in My Utmost For His Highest. The scripture was this: 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 is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14
The author, Oswald Chambers says, “If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all noble things are difficult. The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but the difficulty of it does not make us faint and cave in, it rouses us up to overcome.”
I often forget Jesus’ words . . . Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me (follow me), he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 emphasis mine
Jesus’ cross was heavy. In fact, it was so heavy that when he stumbled beneath the weight of it, the Roman guards called another man to help him carry it to the road leading to the place of his crucifixion.
Our crosses are heavy too. In order to carry it we have to have Jesus’ help. And with his help, we too can overcome.
Are you struggling under a heavy load right now? As Jesus frequently reminded his disciples, Take courage! He is with you.
Your Turn: My challenge for you today is to find a friend. Speak aloud your needs, confess your sin and ask for prayer as you struggle to journey through the narrow gate.