In an earlier blog last year, I described how the Lord showed me what we need to do to keep this ministry alive and vibrant (“The Narrow Road to Life“). In this article, I want to elaborate on some things I have learned in counseling about staying on the narrow road to life in our daily walk with Jesus.
The concept of the narrow road to life is pointed out by Jesus in Matt. 7:13-14:
“Enter through the narrow gate. 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.” (NIV)
How many professing Christians do you know that purposefully set out to walk away from God’s ways? That is, they willfully and consciously get involved in pornography, affairs, illegal activities, deceptions and more? Most people don’t make a sharp turn into the ditch but drift off the center line and ultimately end up in trouble. The consequences can be small or large, including ruin, disgrace, divorce or death at the extreme.
When a Christian falls, we want to know and understand the reasons. Apart from any salacious hunger, I believe we either want to be comforted by our own self-assurance that it could not happen to us or maybe we truly want to have heightened sensitivity in that same area so we can be more alert.
Just as bank tellers in days of old could detect counterfeit bills by feel because they were trained to know what the real ones felt like, I have come to believe that we can best stay on the narrow road when we know what it feels like! A list of “do’s and don’ts” isn’t particularly helpful all alone because the ways of the demonic realm are very subtle.
We need to be firm in our understanding the reality of spiritual warfare in that our untransformed flesh and the demonic realm praying on our soul will work diligently to get us off the path of life. Because there is so little teaching on the ways of the demonic realm and often so much reliance on humanist/new age psychobabble (even in the church at times), Christians are often caught unawares.
What does a person’s life look like when they are straying off the narrow road to life? How did they get to that point and how did it begin? I’ve met with many people who are off the road and frantically trying to regain control. Several common themes are typically evident in their stories:
- They have quit attending a local church (watching one’sfavorite TV preacher does not count)
- They have quit reading God’s word (which is a light unto our feet and path (Psalm 119:105)
- They have isolated themselves from family and fellow believers and seek “counsel” from worldly people who are ill-equipped to help them. In the case of adulterous affairs, the demonic kingdom always manages to introduce a person that the beleaguered one “connects” with and thus begins the spiral.
Traumatic events can drive a person away from or closer to God and that can be a factor. However, my experience is that for the vast majority of sheep who have gone astray, the drift was slow but steady.