When Jesus said, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24), there is the reminder of discipline involved in continuing to walk day after day in a committed Christian life. It is a formidable challenge to consider to not to allow the shadows and underbrush overshadowing the walk to hinder progressing toward the goal that is just ahead on the jagged road called strait.
The grim reality presented in what Jesus said, “Strive”, indicates a life of resistance against elements that are always present, which constantly oppose success toward a direction called the “strait gate”. The truth is that, unless there is a tenacious commitment to embrace the calling of the “strait” direction with total dependence on God, it is not likely that striving in human effort alone will keep you on the path. Nevertheless, what is apparent indicates that there is a ongoing struggle to live in a “strait” way, but the question remains about what the struggle is with?
Is it the struggle with the road of life chosen or a struggle with the way the road leads life?
A calming reminder from the psalmist says, “the ways (steps) of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord” (Psalms 37). Comfort and assurance are given to us living on the path of righteousness indicating that it is a ordered way – God is involved in every step taken. The confidence given from the psalmist affirms that there is not a step taken or resistance faced that He has not already prepared for in our steps. On the path, a discovery comes that there is a way that seems right, which may feel right, looks right –the path of least resistance. At this place of understanding, a decision has to be made to have trust during the struggle or to give way to the temptation to the impulse to run away from the “set path”, the ordered way, which is “strait” and characterized by “striving”.
A challenging concept in the statement comes as Jesus says, “Strive to enter” A question that arises is what exactly are we striving with, while entering the “strait gate?” Many people see this as a struggle in becoming a Christian, or the struggle in surrendering to Christ. However, what must be noted is that striving is a continual struggle on the “ordered path”. If it is believed that God gives salvation freely, it is hard to accept that this is struggling for salvation. It seems that the struggle is pointing to an important understanding about what we struggle with the most in life, surrender of control to live under control to God alone. Our striving is not with God, salvation, or receiving grace – it is a struggle with a thing called depravity that haunts the soul of man with unbelief, selfishness, and a propensity toward a disobedient and unfruitful lifestyle. It is a struggle with self to a life of surrender.
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- Idolatry (goldenbible.wordpress.com)
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- On How To Help Spiritually Abused Women. An Interview with Vyckie Garrison of No Longer Quivering (freethoughtblogs.com)
- Do you know someone with an Orphan Spirit? CUP KKIM/DDC (deweymoede.wordpress.com)