Late Night Reflections: Narrow

Jean-Pierre de Caussade: Perfection consists in doing the will of God, not in understanding His designs. 

Trying to figure out this life is one headache after another. I believe that there is a serious lack in understanding that revelation often times???if not most of the time???comes through our obedience to God’s will. So often we’re looking for a miracle out of thin air when the real miracle is what our life can become through obedience to what God has already said to us. 

Living out the Christian life according to Scripture and the great traditions of the Church is not something that I hear anyone bragging about these days. All the so-called ‘saints’ of today are those who have tried to re-invent the wheel in books or pull rabbits out of hats on Sunday mornings (or Saturday nights, if you’re cool). 

The real test seems to be who can take God at His Word, live-out the character of His Son (possible only through the Holy Spirit) and then lead others in this life. I heard this scripture this Sunday morning while on vacation and it turned a few wheels, For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it. ???Matthew 7.14

Yes, it is sad to think that few will enter the gate, the road, the way. But if we choose easy then we choose not to sweat. If Jesus had chosen not to sweat, then there would have been no tension, no controversy, not trial, no beating, no mocking, no burden, no agony, and no death. If there were to be none of those things then there would be no sacrifice, no payment for sin, no resurrection, no ascension, no intercession on our behalf, and no Advocate to come and be present with us. The way of suffering is not a lifestyle we seek, but it is often times a consequence of living the Christian life in a fallen world. 

We must attempt to put down the blueprints which were made for the Designer and begin taking instructions as good workers, doing the work we were asked to do. We are being gifted everyday by God and we discover new gifts as we try our best to follow instructions. You will find your instructions in life in two places: prayer and scripture. Do not see these as ‘answer books’ or crystal balls. Those are selfish attempts, where God is not at the center. 

We must remember that the Bible wasn’t written for us as individuals, it was written for us as a people. Find your sense of purpose and meaning through community, where two or more are gathered in His name. The Church is God’s chosen model for accomplishing His purposes. 

Prayer is not our own personal cell phone or email address to God. Prayer is the means by which we engage in intimate heart-to-heart, Father-daughter/-son relationship with God. God desires intimacy, not distance. It hurts to be vulnerable and close, but it is through this growing-closer process that we learn what it means to be sons and daughters of God.

Let the Christian life reveal to you God’s will. Do not focus on understanding something that wasnt designed for you to be concerned with. God has revealed to us and is revealing to us what we need to know. See Deuteronomy 29.29. May God grant you the strength to follow hard after Him, through the narrow gate to the road that leads to life. 

Written with Essay on iPad

Rev. Whit R. Martin 
Redwine UMC


Sent from Whit’s iPad 

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