Monday, July 25, 2011

The path of most resistence

Strive to enter by the narrow door [force yourselves through it], for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. Luke 13:24
But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. Matthew 7:14

I love reading the Amplified version because it gives such depth to the words we have read for years. Yea, yea, you may say, I know all about the narrow door, but did you realize that the word strive in the greek means contest? It is also used in other Scriptures to mean a fight, struggle, a wrestling
That would indicate to me that the door is not an easy one to enter. Apparently, it takes an effort, a struggle, even a fight to get in. That seems rather contrary to our present Christian "say a prayer, believe in Jesus," and you're in, mentality.

But what really struck me was that after you get in, the path is straitened and compressed. In the greek the term can mean: hard, crushed, persecuted, tormented, suffering.  Hmm. Doesn't sound like a great altar call to me! 

Let's face it, we humans much perfer the path of least resistance, the easy road, the happy road. Sign up for a fight, for suffering? No way! Life is hard enough without adding extra problems. Yet, that is exactly what Jesus tells us we will face.  He told us we would have trouble in this world. He told His disciples they shouldn't be surprised when they were persecuted like He was.

Then why do we complain and whine when life doesn't go our way? Why do we think God is after us, or mad at us, has abandoned us, or worse, think God isn't good? He warned us!  Yes, bad things will happen. We will feel pressured, crushed, persecuted. Yes, we will suffer. But I've lived long enough with the Lord now to know that along with the problems and the burdens come great blessings! 

Just a couple of big examples from my own life:
I grew up without a father. Even worse, he was alive but wanted nothing to do with me. It caused me to have  deep-seated insecurities that caused other problems. But it was that longing for unconditional love that brought me to God!

My husband lost his job and our income was sliced to less than half. But God used my husband's unemployment to open his eyes to the truth of the gospel.

I spent fifteen years in a job I hated. It was pure drugery for me. Yet without it, when my husband got laid off, we would have lost our house. Also, it was during those 15 years that God taught me perserverence and discipline which greatly aid me now as a writer. At the time, however, I thought God must hate me to keep me here in this job!

But the greatest blessing of all was that I felt. . .no, I knew that God was with me. And the faith and intimacy that grew out of that tender walk with Him was well worth all the problems!

Feeling pressured today? Got a truckload of problems? Persecuted? Weary? Feeling crushed? Congratulations, you may just be on the right path!!


  1. Well, you hit the nail right on the head with this one, MaryLu. You know what I've been going through lately and these words really spoke to me. Sharing your personal experience helps me to know that my problems aren't any more unique than the next person. We are all going through things in our lives that really test our trust in God. Thanks for sharing this with us. It truly helps. *hugs*

  2. Hey! Where is everyone? Brenda, where are you? You usually post here first. Hmm..........I feel so all alone. lol

  3. Hi Debbie, it is quite lonely here today!! I heard Brenda had computer problems.. so it's just you and me, I guess. Well, I do happen to know there are some lurkers out there! Glad you liked the post.

  4. What a timely post - I've been thinking a lot lately about how as we get closer and closer to the End of Days, it will get a lot worse for the church, "even" here in America...I keep thinking back to 2 Timothy 3:12, "Indeed, ALL who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus WILL be persecuted." Your post reminds me of a quote I heard by Wendell Phillips: "Christianity is a battle, not a dream." Ah, but what a wondrous battle to be a part of. :-)

  5. I'm writing this comment with tears in my eyes. Thank you for the encouragement, MaryLu. I really needed this today.

  6. *hugs* to Sheri

  7. Indeed, Sapphire.. what a wondrous battle to be in! I wouldn't have it any other way.
    Sheri, I'm so sorry for whatever you are going through. :-( But I'm so glad God used me to bless you through this post. If you need prayer for anything.. please let us know.

  8. Tuesday, July 26th,
    "Afternoon, MaryLu !"
    I'm back !!! Thanks so much Debbie, for 'noticing me missing' ... it definitely brought a smile to my face ... with you 'wondering' ... 'where' I had disappeared to ! That's too cute !!! And MaryLu .... thank-you, for explaining what had happened. My computer-tower was actually in for a diagnostic testing, and a "major" cleaning ... and gone for "three whole days" !!! I really missed it !!! And, I truly missed writing on your blog !
    Thank-you for yet 'another timely Word in due season' ! You know that statement that says: "God IS good, ALL the time, NO matter what" ??? Well, it is totally, absolutely, 100% true !!!!!
    I tell you ... just 'maybe' this aging-thing isn't all so bad. For, it has taken me "this many years" ... to -- 'finally' accept God's discipline and chastening ... knowing full well, that as His child .... He cares for me, loves me ... and furthermore .... He totally KNOWS what is best for me ... to help me live a more fruitful and productive life !!! Throughout 'all' of the difficult, stressful, and hard/rough times .... I realize that there is "always" something to be learned, and I can grow from it's lesson ! Giving Him "all" the situations/circumstances, etc ... and asking for "His Will" to be done ... has made a huge difference. It has changed my attitude, and even the amount of complaining I do. Also, when someone has wronged me ... I now -- pray for them to be blessed, and, 'ask' for God -- to work it all out (not me). As soon as I hand over the controls/rebellion/self-centredness, and 'allow' God to be God ... things go far better, for everyone involved. I trust "Him" !
    Thanks again, MaryLu .... for all of these precious reminders !!!
    Hope all is well. Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  9. Brenda, Welcome back!! We missed you! You're always so faithful to comment and always with such enthusiasm! Yea! Glad your computer is fixed. And you're right about getting older and having walked with the Lord for awhile.. eventually you get to know HIm so well, you learn to rest in His arms and let go of self. I'm not there yet.. but I'm on my way!

  10. Yes, you DID hit the nail on the head......great post, and I needed it today! God knows my needs, and I rely on Him......would appreciate others' prayers though!!
    I'm keeping this article!!

  11. Jackie, I'm lifting you up in prayer right now... Whatever it is, God is witih you!

  12. Yea! More people! Welcome back Brenda! You are a regular staple here, so of course we miss you when you're gone. *hugs*

  13. Thanks, Mary Lu, for another beautiful and encouraging blog. May God bless you richly as He uses you to encourage us all. Blessings to you---
    DeVon S.

  14. Thanks for dropping by, DeVon, nice to see you here!