August 19

Building on the Rock, Part 2

Matthew 7:13-14 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

How do we build with wisdom, making sure we build on the rock (and of course we mean the Rock of Christ), and not on sand? The two short stories in Matthew just before the parable of building on the rock shed light on that.

In the first, we are presented with two gates, one wide and one narrow. We’re told unflinchingly that the way that leads to life is difficult and has a narrow gate onto it, and there are few who find it.

In our walk with the Lord, our building of our spiritual edifice, we need to recognize that the steps along the path are like the first step onto the path. In other words, Jesus is saying that in some ways, the whole journey is like the first step. Our first step onto the path was a faith-filled, trepidation-filled one, packed with wonder and too many questions to even express. The way that follows is like that gate, narrow and difficult, and our steps along that road are similar to the first step.

No one wants to hear this. We can understand that the first step could be difficult, as it was preceded by the difficult journey of finding the narrow path in the first place (or more accurately, being led there). But what would you think of a walker who took a first valiant step, and then stopped? Or a builder who created a foundation, and then sat back, believing the rest would take care of itself?

Some of us stop—and all of us are tempted to stop—when only part of our building is in place.

• We get our career or ministry direction.
• We hit 21.
• We get a girlfriend, boyfriend, fiancé, or spouse. Or get our family started.
• We get our financial future set.

It is true that some things are only done once, and don’t need to be done again. Becoming a Christian happens once. But then we have to work out our salvation. Our first step involved repentance, a change of thinking, a surrender and a dying to self and to the idea that things have to make perfect sense before we proceed. Every step that truly builds after that follows a similar pattern.

That may seem daunting, but when we are born again, we have the Spirit of God within, which tunes us into His voice and makes His word come alive. Psalm 18:32-33 tells us “It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer, and sets me on my high places.”

The path may indeed be narrow and difficult, but we are now being equipped as never before. We now know Him as our Strength, our Comforter, our Protector, and our Wisdom. Our knowledge of His love and faithfulness makes every step easier. And the closer we press in, the more aware we become of how very equipped we are.

Prayer: Lord, I want to walk in the Spirit. Help me to see the narrow, difficult path, and then help to continue to walk down that road. Thank You that You are with me, directing, supplying and comforting all along the way.

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