There are those who’d have you to believe that Christian living is cookies and cream in the spring, apple pie on a summer day with a dollop of ice cream on top, apple cider in the fall and hot cocoa in the winter. It’s a state of comfort year round for those who live right. And if that is the case I am not the one to look to for answers. Because other than my first 5 minutes at the altar, living the Christian life has been anything but easy. But don’t stop reading there, it’s also been peace at its finest, and for that the ease has been worthy of passing up. If you’re a new convert, meaning just recently having accepted Christ as your Savior, (or an old convert) you’ve made the best decision of your life but it’s an eye opener! You suddenly realize just how many faults and failures you have, and everywhere you turn is a reminder; because this Holy God that you’ve asked to enter into your heart wants nothing to do with sin, and you’ve just discovered how much sin is in your life! The closer you get to Christ the harsher that reality is.
Matthew 7:13-14 says ~ Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Jesus says that getting saved is like entering in at a straight gate… simple enough right?… but the word “straight” in this passage is not as in “straight as an arrow” but rather as in the “Strait of Gibraltar,” a narrow and turbulent passage of water that connects the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea. That sounds so much more like my life than the straight as an arrow analogy. The thing about water is it’s much easier if you go with the flow than to fight against its current. But when we get into a struggle in life our human nature kicks in and we fight with all we’ve got, believing that we’re not supposed to have trouble; we are children of the King after all! But Jesus says no, you’re going to have trouble in this world because this world is messed up. It’s broken and it’s not going to be fixed until He returns, but in the meantime, flow through the turbulent times not kicking and screaming but rather holding onto Him as your life jacket. He won’t let you go and He sure won’t let you sink.
That is why salvation is not about signing up, it’s about giving up. Signing up means you’ve enlisted to “do something.” You can’t do anything to get yourself saved, Christ already did it and that part is indeed easy for you. But man likes to complicate things, we like to “do something, fix something or reinvent something to make it better.” You can’t make yourself or salvation better.
A very easily understood analogy of Christ is his statement that follows in verses 15-17 ~ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
We all likely know them, those who preach Christ but live more like His adversary the Devil. They frustrate us, or they do me! Because the damage they do to young Christians by pretending that their life is perfect when it’s apparent it’s not, will cause a young Christian to question their salvation decision, throw their hands up in defeat believing they’re wrong and in so doing lose the peace God affords. Salvation takes two hands, and they both need to be holding onto Jesus, not on to anything in this world. The waters may be rough, but hang on child of God, Jesus has you covered! Woohoo… just wrote myself happy!