Part 3: The Narrow Gate
Message: Living Large
Oh! Teach us to live wisely and well...
Psalm 90:12 (Message)
I love the way Paul spoke to the Corinthians about life with Jesus:
“We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!” (2 Cor. 6:11–13 Msg).
In other words, live compassionately, graciously and all-encompassing. Paul told the Corinthians that “smallness” comes from within us, and not from God. The gateway to knowing God feels tight and constricting when we try to do it alone. When our mind can’t comprehend the miraculous work of Christ, then instead of allowing his grace and saving power to awe us, we criticize or dismiss what we don’t understand and shy away from the unknown. Rules, limits, regulations, and discipline become a burden only when we’re forced to obey and understand in our own power, which we simply cannot do.
Through Jesus, we have freedom and life, purpose and power, joy and peace. The narrow gate will never make you a smaller person - you will never come second by putting God first. On the contrary, there are many promises in the Bible that speak of the benefits of putting God first. Proverbs 3:6 says, “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” (TLB)
When you are reflecting Jesus and revealing the wide-open, spacious life He brings as you pass through the narrow gate, some people will be drawn to God through you. They will see something different about you, something supernatural, a glimpse of Christ. Other people may try to silence you or shut you down either because they claim to know God but don’t represent Him truthfully, or because they don’t know Him and cannot understand the things of God.
Living large through the power of the Holy Spirit empowers you to move into all God has and compels you to speak the truth about who he is and what he’s done. Where God’s Spirit opens doors in your life, keep walking, knowing that the gate is narrow but never constricting. “So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding” (Col. 1:19 Msg)
Prayer: Father, I desire to live the large life you have planned for me. I recognise that I can’t do this in my own strength but through the power of Your Spirit. Help me to shine Jesus and live with authenticity.