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English: The narrow path through Ebbor GorgeJesus states in the book of Matthew,

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Matthew 7:13,14

It is commonly thought that when Jesus speaks of the way being “narrow” that He means you must keep the commandments of the law in order to enter into eternal life.  But today I would like to offer another interpretation that may shed some additional light on these verses.

The term “straight and narrow” carries with it the idea of confinement.  If a street is straight it is because the walls on either side of the road provide limited room for movement.  Thus, you are forced to go a “narrow way” because there is no other way you can go but straight ahead.

I believe that it is not the law which makes our path narrow, but the Holy Spirit which constrains us to go a specific and well defined path.  God has a path, marked out before the foundations of this world that He intends for us to take.  If you allow the Holy Spirit to lead, you too will be constrained on either side with little movement possible except to follow the path that lies ahead.  The path that the Holy Spirit gives you is non-negotiable and God does not provide another route.

Take, for example, the children of Israel who crossed the desert of Sinai to stand before the river Jordan.  They were about to enter into the Promised Land, but failed to do so because of unbelief.  Forty years later the nation of Israel stood at the exact same spot because straight was the path and narrow was the way that God had ordained for them to enter into the Promised Land.  God had chosen the way that they should go and did not provide an alternate route even if they refused.

So it is in our Christian lives.  When God sets us upon a path by His Holy Spirit it is straight and it is narrow.  It is a predefined path and He desires for us to follow it exactly.  We are not at liberty to wander about because we feel that His path is not to our liking. We may not choose another path because our current path costs us too much in the natural realm.  Just as no other path has been given by which men must be saved, likewise we must submit to God’s will and follow the path He marks out for us as individuals too.

Often times we play with the will of God in our lives believing that we can take alternate routes and still fulfill His will.  We think that deviations are acceptable and that God will still use us even if we choose to walk a path not according to His making.  However, all that happens is that God lets us wander a spiritual wilderness until we either become willing to obey or die in our deception. Here is a truth,


“If, through His grace, we come to our senses and decide to take up God’s path once more we will begin again at the exact place where we left off in unbelief.”


Broad is the way that leads to destruction because there are so many different paths that people take in their own self will.  Instead of listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying His voice people sometimes think that they can make their own way and God will still accept them.  They think that the confines of the Holy Spirit are “too straight” and that they should be able to have more room to maneuver.  God is not mocked, though, and people, who trifle with the voice of God in their lives, jumping the walls of His spiritual path, find that consequences follow.

Freedom to make our own choice is highly overrated and sometimes even dangerous to our spiritual well being.  We were never meant to be our own small gods and determine the path of good and evil for ourselves.  I believe that when we enter into heaven we will see and eat of the tree of life.  Likewise, I believe that those who enter into hell will see the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and partake of its bitter fruit also.  The bible states twice in the book of Proverbs that,

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

Proverbs 14:12, 15:25

This verse is stated two times because it is established and utterly true.

We get caught in our own cleverness when we believe we can cheat God and make things work out anyway.  We believe that God understands if we cannot obey His will and have to take another path.  However, it is written,

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

 Galatians 6:7

If we repent, God does forgive our mistakes and wanderings, but still we suffer loss through our disobedience.  When we finally wake up to obey God’s voice in our lives we find that so much of what we could have done is now lost forever.  Even more heart wrenching is finding that the call we were given is now being fulfilled by another.

Interestingly enough, though, the very nature of deception dictates that those who are deceived don’t know it.  Their understanding becomes darkened and they do not realize the price they will have to pay for ignoring the path that God has set before them.  When the 10 spies brought an evil report they did not know that they would pay for their unbelief with their very lives. They thought they were playing it safe. A generation later the promise of God was still fulfilled, it is just that the ten unbelieving spies did not partake of it.  Israel, when they believed the evil report, did not know they would bleach their very bones in the wilderness.  God still had His way it is just that the unbelievers did not receive it.

Simply put, if God sets a path before us we must take it and allow ourselves to be constrained into the straight and narrow way He has provided.  We must allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into His way that leads to eternal life.  We must set our eyes upon the trail ahead and not become distracted with what lies to the right hand or to the left.

What are the distractions that so easily draw us off the path of God?  Family is one of them.  We fear what our family will say and what they might do if we dare to follow God.  Likewise, we fear that our standing in the community might suffer and our reputation might be destroyed if we allow God to take us down the path of His choosing.  We fear the loss of financial security and our possessions if we sell all that we have and follow Him.  We look at all that we have built in the natural world and despise His path as being unacceptable.  However, Jesus still thinks the following,

“And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”

Luke 14:25-27

Also, God states,

” I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;”

 Isaiah 65:2


“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Isaiah 53:6

Today, ponder in your heart if you have chosen the way of God or your own way.  Allow the Holy Spirit to honestly speak to your mind and heart and tell you His truth.  Many times our ability to hear God is not based upon our ability to understand Him, but rather upon our hearts willingness to accept His truth. If God tells you honestly that you have strayed from His narrow path do not let that information fall upon hard ground, but act today to change the situation.  We must become willing in our hearts and then our actions will follow. As it is written of Jesus in the book of Matthew,

And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

 Matthew 26:39

Even the Son of God found there was no other path except the way of the cross.  For Jesus to accomplish the will of His Father straight was the gate and narrow was the way to Golgotha.  If we will be His disciples we will find that as we follow on along God’s path our way will also be narrow, not from keeping the law, but through walking in the Spirit.