Matthew 7:13,14 “Enter through the narrow gate.<sup class="crossreference" value="(T)”> 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 the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

     A few days ago a young man who is a recovering addict gave his life to Jesus.  I was with him and after we prayed.  The Holy Spirit led me to warn my young brother to expect trouble.   I said;  “It comes with the territory you just entered but one thing for sure – if you ask God to support you through it all, He will be there for you.  Pray all the time!  You need Him!”  And sure enough his troubles came.

     The Forerunner Commentary says; “True Christianity is not an easy way of life. Yet many of this world’s religious groups that call themselves Christian would have us believe that accepting the blood of Jesus Christis the end of all of our problems.”  No it isn’t because Jesus said; “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)  It is at the point of troubles that many back away and wander off the path marked by the narrow gate.

     The young man’s story of his wrecked life was similar to many that I’ve listened to over the years.  His wife had struggled so long on her own that she had no faith in him and his children were going without a father because he wasn’t there.  He was in jail and now he was in a drug and alcohol rehab residence.  We prayed that Jesus would restore his family and his marriage.  My advice to the young man was to stay out of God’s way in the shaping of the miracles to come.   It’s so easy to decide for yourself how to best make God’s promises come true and then cause all kinds of havoc.  Sarai, Abram and Hagar attest to that.  Sarai thought that God wasn’t moving fast enough on His promise to give Abram an heir so she would ‘get it done’ for Him  through Hagar, her maidservant (Genesis 16:1-12).  What a mess that caused.

    If the narrow gate had a sign it would have to say; ‘Trust God’! That’s how you start on the road of His will and that’s how you stay on the narrow road of His will.  Trust, belief and faith are all rolled up into one for a practising Christian.  My young friend who just gave his life to Jesus could start doubting God’s promises or become impatient with God’s timing and decide to leave the program, get a job and provide for his family.  There are so  many ways off the narrow way of trusting God. 

     When addicts who have been off drugs for a few months regain their physical health they start to think they are OK now.  They start trusting in their own ideas and strength and leave recovery because they think they can ‘do it now’. I’ve seen this tried so many times and it tends to end badly.  The insanity of addiction is that at some point when an addict has  regained his physical health and has started to reconnect with his family, he feels he’s OK to return to ‘real’ life.  This is the very point that God’s Holy Spirit would start teaching the person about themselves and start the painful inner cleanup process that is the true preparation for living the ‘real’ life.

     This is also the very point that Satan whispers:  “You’re OK now, you can make sure your wife and kids are OK.  You can provide for them.  You have lots of contacts and can always make money.  You don’t need recovery any more.   You’ll be OK. You’re wife and kids need you.  Trust yourself.”  As always Satan puts in a little truth around all the lies.  The little truth is ‘your wife and kids need you’.  Of course they do but a family needs a ‘clean and sober’ God fearing father not an ex junkie who thinks he knows ‘how to provide’.   

      The lies are all centered on: ‘You’re OK now – you don’t need this ‘God stuff’ anymore’.  My young friend isn’t OK.  The wreckage of his life points to the truth of his condition.  His behaviour patterns, thought patterns and coping mechanisms are all sick and twisted being formed by years of living as an addict.  Only God can make his path straight.  And God will if the fellow stays on the narrow road of working His program of obedience and transformation. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  (Romans 12:2)

    Jesus’ promise to all,  is to make our lives abundant not only in heaven but here on earth as well;  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)  Will we trust Him and walk in His way- the narrow hard way?  Will we wait on God as His plan for us unfolds; ” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” (Jeremiah 29:11)  Or will a person take the ‘easy way’ back to the street where you know ‘the ropes’ and how to ‘make a buck’.  Back to the old and ‘easy’ ways that lead to the gutter and jail.

     The insanity of the broad and easy way is that it always turns out to be the hard empty way in the end. The ‘on ramp sign’ for the narrow way is “Trust God”.  The numerous ‘off ramp signs’ on the narrow way is “You’re OK – trust yourself”.  Yet so many refuse to trust God and instead rely on their own faulty opinions. “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” (Proverbs 14:12)  The book of Judges describes our morally mixed up society perfectly; “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”  (Judges 21:25)

      An Old Testament prophet said; “All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.” (Micah 4:5)  Jesus, my King says; “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)  Choose this day, who you will follow.

     Praise the Lord!

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