Toward the end of Jesus’ most famous message he tells people there are two roads to choose from in this life. The road most people choose is wide and broad and it leads to destruction. But there is a road to life – to God. It is narrow and few people find it.
If it’s difficult to find the narrow gate that reveals the narrow road, then it must be easy for us to remain on the road to destruction without even realizing we’re on it. In the words of Jesus, this narrow road is “vigorous and requires total attention!” Attention to what?
Attention to him!
- Distraction is for Real We have opportunities every day to turn our attention away from Jesus and focus on the troubles and challenges of life. They can fester inside us and turn into anger, fear, bitterness, sorrow or disappointment. When this happens, who we are in Jesus gives way to destruction. We become miserable people with little hope.
- Jesus Is Still Alive When we turn to Jesus and ask him to help us with the struggles that threaten to destroy us, we die to our feelings and he comes alive in us! The same Jesus that challenged and directed the crowd on the mountain can live IN US to challenge and direct us through our lives.
- Jesus is Joy When we allow Jesus to fully live in us, his spirit can produce the “fruit” Paul told us about in Galatians 5. This fruit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, replaces our pain, anger, bitterness, disappointment and fear and sets us free to live the abundant life Jesus came to give.
How great it would be to have Jesus right here to help you sort through everything you will face today? Recognize that he is here! Just ask him for help. We don’t need to be nicer, or happier. We need to be closer to him! He is the answer and he is calling us through the narrow gate to walk on the narrow way.
Matthew 7:13-14 MSG “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.