"You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow, and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it” (Matthew 7:13-14 NLT). Jesus said these words to an audience that included His disciples, Jews, and other interested hearers. His concern was to communicate that faith in God--and sacrifice, not legalism--bring us to a place of true life and meaning.
There are only two roads the Lord acknowledges as we travel through life—a narrow road that leads to eternal life with Him or a broad road that takes us right smack dab into the middle of hell. Satan always tries to outdo God with his counterfeits and enticing, empty promises. Hence, his spacious highway of “if-it-feels-good-do-it” allows for all manner of sin, feel-good, and selfish indulgence far beyond an occasional double chocolate brownie delight sundae. Another version of Matthew 7:13-14 says that the road that leads to destruction is wide.
The Katy Freeway in Texas is the widest in the world, with a whopping twenty-six lanes. Anything more than three lanes is enough of a driving challenge for me. I much prefer the narrow country roads of rural Western Pennsylvania, where drivers politely wave each other on when one-lane bridges limit travel, or farm equipment heavy-laden with hay bales slows traffic to a snail’s pace. Multi-lane freeways quickly get us where we need to go, but narrow roads force us to be more careful and deliberate.
The Lord doesn’t offer a middle lane—we either enter the narrow gate where the road is difficult or cruise on the twenty-six-lane-anything-goes road. Doing whatever feels good gives us pleasure for the moment, but as Proverbs 14:12 says, there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. The Contemporary English Version says you may think you are on the right road and still end up dead.
The road less traveled is the narrow road that leads to eternal life. It’s not an easy road to travel on. There are obstacles, trouble, roadblocks, difficulties, and delays as the Lord works His character and nature into us. The broad road is much easier, more permissive and comfortable, and certainly more popular and widely traveled.
As the Lord puts His finger on areas in our lives that need adjustment, He pulls us from the twenty-six-lane broad road of destruction to the narrow road because He loves us. Restlessness and anxiety are symptoms of living on the broad road leading to destruction. In contrast, peace and contentment come as we switch lanes to the narrow road that leads to an abiding rest and ultimate eternity with Christ. Which road will you choose today? Jesus will help you get on the road less traveled.
© 2023, Chris Custer Werre