“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14
You have probably heard the term “walking the straight and narrow” as referring to the Christian life. Why straight and why narrow?
I see it as letting go of all the stuff we carry around with us. Like the huge backpack a soldier wears, we have all of our human gear with us. Tucked inside are the angers, the hurts and the disappointments we still mull over. But, aren’t the times we have puffed ourselves up tucked in there as well? All those times we have fooled ourselves into thinking we “did good” instead of acknowledging it was God working through us can weigh us down just as much. These things we carry bulge out on all sides and we slump as a result.
It is not until we take off all of that excess baggage that we can “straighten up our act” to then pass through the narrow gate into His presence, a gate made to fit us once we are stripped of our pride, our unresolved hurts, and unjustified grudges. But, it is hard to do that, isn’t it? We want to carry all that stuff in with us and whine to “Daddy” about it.
I am not saying it is wrong to bring God our problems. But, we must be willing to let go of them in the process of coming into His presence because God can’t be in the presence of sin. We can’t worship and praise Him if we are burdened by the past. Our minds and hearts will be concentrating on all we’ve placed on our back and shoulders.
Have you ever tried to kneel with a heavy load on your back? Not easy to do without toppling to one side or the other. It is just as difficult to praise God unless we have emptied ourselves before Him. I believe that is why Jesus offered to carry our burdens to the cross. It is why we must constantly lay it all at the foot of the Cross before it piles up and is too heavy a load.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
May you let Jesus unburden all you have been carrying so you can enter through the narrow gate upright and straight as the child of the King, then be free to kneel before Him.