In every course of action, we are confronted with choices. We cannot stand still, we must go one way or the other. Matt 7: 13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way 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.”
In these verses, Jesus lays out the choices for our soul. We can choose the easy way or the way of discipline. We recognize that it takes hours of sweat, work, and practice in our world for people to gain certain abilities. To us, it may look easy, but we did not see all the hours spent trying to master that skill. To believe that there is an easy way to reach success is to believe the lie of Satan. We must choose between the long way and the short way. While an idea may come in a flash, it is a fact that great writings, engineering advances, or other major ‘breakthroughs’ are the result of years of patient and trying work. Just as an original product goes through changes until it reaches the perfected form, so we as Christians take time to mature into the finished product that God intends us to be , reflecting the image of our Lord.
When James Garfield was president of Hiram College, a father came to enroll his son. He asked for a shorter curriculum than the regular one. “The boy could never take all that in” explained the father, “He wants to get through quicker. Can you arrange that for him?” The future president answered “Oh, yes, he can take a short course; it all depends on what you want to make of him. When God wants to make a squash, it only takes him two months; but when he wants to make an oak, it takes a hundred years.”
Many people today want instant spirituality – but it doesn’t happen that way. There are no short cuts; it takes time and practice to grow a strong faith. Heb 5:13-14 Do we want the disciplined way or the undisciplined way? How many athletes have been lost by abandoning their discipline. It takes discipline to succeed – 1Cor 9:24-27. We must choose between the thoughtful and the thoughtless way. We know in our hearts that the easy way, the undisciplined way, the short way does not produce that results we want. Yet we believe the devil’s lie that even though it has never worked before, maybe for us it will. We live in a generation that wants things NOW, that feels they deserve things NOW, that they are entitled to what others have taken years to achieve handed to them NOW. James 5:7-8
All of us are on one path or the other. We cannot refuse to choose, for in doing so we have already selected the ‘easy’ path. Which way are you in? John 14:15, Mark 16:15-16
Provided by: Arlington Church of Christ in Cincinnati, OH