I’m not sure where the notion came from, but many people are under the impression that Christian life is supposed to be void of all trouble and disappointment. There is nothing in the Bible that supports this. In fact, Jesus made it clear that Christian life is hard. Contextually, living for Jesus is compressed and constrained in comparison to the broad options the world has to offer. For example, as a Christian when you need money you work for it in a capacity that does not harm others. However, if you have no regard as to the way God wants us to live, you could steal, scheme, scam, or do any number of things to put money in your pocket. See…God’s way is a narrow choice.
In Matthew7:13-29, Jesus teaches us about Christian living. He starts by explaining that God’s way is narrow. At first, we may think of things like stealing and lying and violence. But what about something more subtle? What about the way you feel about yourself? Or others?
There is always a sweet spot – a narrow place in the road- where God meets you on every issue. On the fringes, you have the devil “prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) That devil tries to get you on both sides of the narrow road. The key is to stay aligned in the “narrow way” of the Word.
There are three sides to the issues in your life:
The Sin Side (Left)
The left side of the road is the ‘Sin Side” where you’re messed up and struggling. This is where you are before you meet Jesus or when He is maturing your faith in certain areas. You do, say, and think things that are not aligned with God’s word and His will for your life. On this side of the road, you make decisions and choices that are in direct disobedience to God. Then, you make excuses for yourself. You’re wrong and you don’t care.
The Self Side (Right)
The so-called “right” side of the road is the self side where you zipped right passed Jesus on the narrow way and believe you have it all together. Perhaps, you think you are a good person, forgetting that Jesus said no one is good but God. (Mark 10:18) On this side of the road, you judge others and justify your own actions. Sin is hidden so deep in your heart that you’re wrong and don’t know it…or at least not willing to admit to it.
The Sweet Spot (The Center)
In the middle of the road, straight through the gate is what I call “the sweet spot.” This is the place where you know that if it was not for the grace of God you would be on the sides of the road as lion meat. In the sweet spot you make tough decisions to follow God’s word even when you don’t feel like it…especially when you don’t feel like it. You are not perfect and you know it. But you also know that God crowned you with glory and honor so you are grateful to be “all that” in Christ Jesus. You’re wrong and you are repentant.
Jesus teaches that if we listen and follow His instruction, our lives will be built on a strong foundation. In Matthew 7:24-29 the rain still comes, the rivers still rise, and the wind still blows. That’s life. However, if we stay in the sweet spot, we can not only survive the rain, the floods, and winds of life but we will thrive in the SONshine.
Read Matthew 7:13-29
What areas of your life need to be “narrowed” toward Christian Living?