Part 3: The Narrow Gate
Message: Making Right Choices
Oh! Teach us to live wisely and well...
Psalm 90:12 (Message)
How often do you think about the choices you make? What about the seemingly small or insignificant decisions?
It’s relatively easy to identify and resist the big temptations but the truth is that the big issues of life usually begin with small choices. Often the hardest decisions are the small, incremental ones, the choices that seem harmless enough in the moment.
No one wakes up one day and thinks, Today I’ll settle for less or Today I’ll take a break from following God and see what happens. No. Instead, the enemy works on you with a shortcut, a compromise or an easy option now and then. The devil tempted Jesus with the same opportunities to settle for less than God’s best that he tempts you with today. The scale is different, but the essence of the temptation is the same.
In Matthew 4, the devil challenges Jesus about his identity. Twice he says, “If you are the Son of God…” Can you hear him taunting? “If you’re really who you claim to be, then you should be able to turn stones to bread and jump off cliffs!” But Jesus knows how to wield the Sword of Truth, and resist the devil’s attempt to provoke him. He responds, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (v. 10).
Jesus resisted the devil’s temptations by relying on the truth of God’s Word—our greatest resource. Whenever you think you’re not talented or smart enough, that you don’t have enough resources or support, that you should lower your expectations, return to what God’s Word tells you. The Bible declares you can do all things through Christ, that you are more than a conqueror. God affirms he will supply all your needs according to his limitless resources. Remember what’s true and do not start second-guessing what God has called you to accomplish.
Keep your eyes on Jesus and the gate is more than wide enough for you to pass through. But if you focus on how small the entry looks, or on all the directions others around you are taking, then you will lose sight of the gate. In every decision, choose to stay focused on the example Jesus set for you. Eyes up… one foot in front of the other.
Prayer: Father God, as I look to You, I find the strength and wisdom to make right choices every day.