The beauty of walking a narrow road
One of the issues unbelievers have with Christianity is the fact that it provides a set of rules and instructions by which adherents are expected to live by. These rules/instructions /commandments in scripture are perceived by many unbelievers and even some Christians (or should i say church attendees) as being shallow and narrow-minded as it prevents them from as they say ‘fully enjoying life to its fullest’. Those who think this way do so because they believe the lie that the only way to enjoy life is to be free to do whatever they want, however they want, whenever, wherever and with whosoever they choose. But like i said, that philosophy is a lie and has its source from the father of all liars.
Although i never consciously thought that my decision to obey God’s instructions as laid down in scripture hindered me from ‘enjoying life’, i did however as a much younger Christian experience certain moments when i wandered if the only benefit of being an obedient Child of God was not just the benefit of going to heaven when my time here on earth was up. i mean, to see the way unbelievers seemed happier and more excited about their lives than many Christians whom i knew, it just seemed like as a Christian i should accept the fact that the only joy i would experience would be in heaven.
However (and thankfully), these feelings of doubt and uncertainty which i sometimes felt about the present benefits of choosing to honor God in every way possible came to an end one day as i studied Matt 11:28-30 (AMP) which reads;
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest ([r]relief and ease and refreshment and [s]recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.
30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, [t]good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.
On that faithful day, something other than Jesus’ invitation to all that were weary struck me. It was like i heard the holy spirit saying “…Yes Jesus has his own yoke and burden which anyone who intends to follow him must carry and that’s because man wasn’t designed to live without any restraint. What happens when people refuse to take Jesus burden is that they unconsciously take upon themselves the burden of sin so that when Jesus’ burden upon his people is compared to the burden of sin and otherwise of the devil, Jesus’ burden becomes light and easy to be borne” . In other words, yes there are sacrifices that we make walking down the narrow road through which Christ leads us daily we must understand also that those who choose instead to travel the broad ‘do any thing you please’ road of the world are also making sacrifices which though they themselves may not even be aware of, are by far greater than the sacrifices Christ demands from those who choose to follow him.
Consider the man who believes that abstaining from alcohol and or nicotine is too much of a sacrifice to make in the name of honoring God’s instructions to treat our bodies as His temple. Although he may get all the emotional highs that he craves, he slowly but surely places himself under the control of those substances and consumes them tirelessly even though he knows in his head that those substances would send him to an early grave. Or the young woman who believes that God is a killjoy for asking her to save sex for marriage and freely gives of her self to every man she ‘falls in love with’. She unwittingly prepares herself for to be dissatisfied with her marriage since in the truest sense her husband would have to compete with the many lovers she’s had previously and may not win and creates an avenue for the devil to plague her with guilt and regret when the storms of life start to beat against her marriage. In order words, both of these people only exchanged Christ’s lighter burden of consecration and the assurance of faith in the face of life’s storms for a heavier burden of addiction, guilt and dissatisfaction not to add the final consequences of sin which is eternity without God. hence regardless of the happiness they may have experience at the onset, theirs was still a heavier burden nonetheless.
Having know all this for a while, i have since began to consider whatever ‘sacrifice’ that i may make in terms of not doing certain things, in a certain way in order to honor God not as a loss but as a God-given opportunity to stay free from the bondage of sin and its consequences. You too, if you are born again should do the same. Don’t live your christian life in such away as to connote that you’re suffering because you’ve chosen to follow Christ. No! Begin now and for always to consciously celebrate the boundaries that God’s words provides for our thoughts and actions because it is in obeying them that we remain free, truly free to enjoy the abundant life that Christ shed His blood for us to have. Remember we children of God bear Christ’s burden which is by far lighter than that borne by those in the world, so rejoice live the abundantly life Christ has made available with zest and zeal- Jesus paid too much a price for you and i to live any other way.