Lord, Your Word directs me on the narrow path leading to life. I choose to stay on that path,
that I may enter through the small gate and live.
Focus of the Month: “You have heard it said…”
Most are probably familiar with the traditional story of Pooh Bear getting stuck in Rabbit’s hole after consuming too much honey. “Oh, help and bother,” Pooh exclaimed upon his tight predicament. Rabbit surmised Pooh got stuck because he ate too much. Pooh disputed, stating perhaps people needed bigger front doors.
Seems innocent enough, right? But is it?
Fast forward to Disney’s new movie. Christopher Robin, in his attempt to re-enter 100-Acre Woods, scoots and struggles and says, “It would appear that I’m stuck.” His growth from childhood to adulthood, from innocence to responsibility, from freedom to obligation has caused him to not be able to fit through the door easily anymore. The “gate” was too narrow.
Again, seems innocent. But at what cost?
Bigger doors provide solutions for both Pooh and Christopher Robin. But let’s look at a broader picture… The bigger door would accommodate the habits of Pooh to fulfill the unhealthy desires of the flesh. A bigger door would also be a solution for the adult Christopher Robin. However, that would mean he could easily enter with all of his “heffalumps and woozles” – deceptions and fears – illusions and anxieties.
Jesus, in His Sermon on the Mount, spoke about gates we could enter:
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
The narrow gate leads to life. The wide gate leads to destruction.
Pooh, in his self-indulgence, longed for a wider door. Christopher Robin, with all of his adult “growth” needed a bigger door. Jesus says a broad way leads to destruction. Many things can persuade us to walk a broader path and desire a wider gateway. And those things may not be “bad.” However, if we allow things, habits, money, pride, fleshly desires, fears, or anything else opposing the Truth to be more important to us than the Word of God, then we have broadened our path. We will get stuck trying to fit through that narrow gate of which Jesus spoke, and we will instead walk through the wide gate leading to destruction.
So how can we be sure we fit through the narrow gate?
Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6). God instructs us in Deuteronomy 30:19 to “choose life” so that we may live. Revelation 22:14 prophesies, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.”
To stay on the narrow path and enter through the small gate, we must believe Jesus is the Son of God and the only way to the Father. We must choose Jesus, for He is the Living Word of God. He is life. And, we must be accountable to wash our robes – cleanse ourselves of the affairs of everyday life, accurately handle the Word of Truth, avoid worldly talk, not indulge in lusts, refuse quarrels, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace.
So, will you fit through the narrow gate? Or, are you like Pooh – indulging in your fleshly desires and trying to squeeze through. Maybe you’re like Christopher Robin – trying to carry all the cares of the world through that small gate. Neither will work.
Surrender your desires to Christ. Lay down your burdens. Cast your cares upon Him – for He truly does care for you. The only way through the narrow gate is Jesus. Choose life. Choose Jesus. Walk in the narrow way. Enter the small gate with room to spare.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: John 1:1; 2 Timothy 2:4-22; Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:6-7