“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate, and broad is the road which 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. Matthew 7:13-14
This is exactly how so many people live and how the world encourages you to live. “Go with the flow is the acquiescent response to whatever the world has apparently dealt into your hand. There is little if any thought that this “flow has an evil and tragic end. There is minimal concern that this is a precipitous path, especially, when you are not alone in it; your age group, your peers, your friends around you on the same path are seemingly as unconcerned as you are. There are blips, bumps and turns, where one here and there meet with a disaster of some kind; but they are but one or two at a time, and never so many at once to cause you to consider or radically change course. The majority continues with you, and there is comfort in their numbers; the few who have fallen by the wayside are just an aberration, you think. So you continue to play out the hand you have been dealt. The current of life is going your direction or you are going with it, and you are fine with this. It is easier “to go with the flow, is it not, than try to swim up-stream.
The Bible has always expressed the existence of two paths of life; one is attuned to your birth nature and comes to you naturally; it is always your first instinct. The other is a radical departure; a whole new instinct in making choices; a transformed nature which introduces a new soul-grid of feeling, seeing, and processing your world. Still the former instinct even after a transformation in you will still present itself in your decision making. In a transformed state you really have a choice between these two instincts, a place of freedom. In the first state you are truly bound by your nature to continue with “go with the flow in the moments of decision; the statement made long, long ago to our first parents has never stopped speaking incessantly into our ears, “Surely, you will not die if you “go with the flow. Satan’s words embolden you to act as your own god; a promise from the father of lies, an impressive deceiver, who will easily fool you without your trusting in the One who has already defeated him.
The text today verifies the existence of only two paths of life. Notice that one is broad and inviting with many like companions, indeed a large crowd of them, on this chosen life journey with you. All your human instincts say this is what you want. The one massive problem is it is a path that leads to one and only one end: destruction. But who believes that? Sometimes, God places a personal IED along the broad road to get your attention and cause you to reconsider your choice. You view these “IEDs as accidents, a tragedy, a fall or failure in your life, a sickness, a divorce, a stint in jail; but if it doesn’t cause you to seriously reconsider your chosen path, and make a sea change in your way of life, then God says to you, “I will not strive with you forever (Genesis 6:3, Romans 1:28), and eventually your choice will be to cling to your road without further spiritual obstacle to its sad end. The further and longer you go the more obstinate you become in staying this course you have chosen, more oblivious than ever to where it’s going. What a miserable state in which to live.
Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:15-23 chillingly get my attention when professing Christians or those who know something of Christianity live a “go with the flow type of life; a type of living which does not seriously take into account Jesus’ command of listening to Him and doing what He says, affirming that you did indeed hear Him; that is, living your life and making your choices as though His words are important enough to conform your life to being a genuine follower. Jesus says to this group, which by Jesus’ account exists, “You call me Lord, you claim to do many things in my name, you speak and preach in my name, you cast out demons, and even perform miracles in my name; an apparently devout crowd, don’t you think? He says to them, because you have not really obeyed my words in your personal life choices, “Depart from me, I do not know you. This statement of Jesus needs to be a part of any thoughts you may have concerning your personal assurance of faith and salvation, or in harboring mistaken ideas about God’s all-encompassing grace and mercy which you assume in the end will cover an unrepentant sinner who chooses to lip-serve rather than be genuine..
A go-with-the-flow life conforms to the broad path in our text, a super highway, if you will, headed right off a cliff. It is truly tragic to say to this crowd, “Enjoy the sights before you plunge over. It is the sign of love for them and faith in the God Who Is, to warn your “go with the flow acquaintances, without weariness, up to the last moment before Jesus does as He promised: returns! And, His warning still holds, “I am coming soon. Whatever you think of the meaning of “soon it will be very relevant to your situation when it occurs. Trust Him, it’s soon!
“Many mighty men are lost, daring not to stand, who for God had been a host by joining Daniel’s band. Dare to be a Daniel! Dare to stand alone! Dare to have a purpose firm! Dare to make it known!
(2nd verse of Philip Bliss’ hymn, “Dare to Be a Daniel, 1873)
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