Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
1 Timothy 4:7-8
This is the last blog in our series on “Pursuing Godliness.” Today we will close with choosing the narrow path, rather than the path of least resistance. When we choose to follow God and His will, we will face resistance. Revelation 12:17 says that Satan wages war against those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
I shared in the last blog that I am hosting a powerful study in my home titled: “Believing God” by Beth Moore. We have only just begun the study and have already had much resistance. I could fill up this blog with all that has happened in the last few weeks. I’ve led many Bible studies in the past, but never one as powerful as this one. I’ve never had so many women plan to come to a study and not show up because of all the resistance this study has brought.
Matthew 7:13-14 says: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road 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.
When we want to pursue the things of God, Satan and those who are opposed to God will try to stop us. I can understand why many give up and only a few find the life God intended. It’s hard to press on through difficulties to continue pursuing the things of God. But the difficulties we experience on the narrow path are nothing compared to the glory we will see God work in and through us along the way.
Romans 5:3-4 says, “Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation” (AMP).
When I am experiencing a lot of opposition and trials, I have learned that I have two choices. I can give up and let those trials drag me down deeper into sin. Or I can press on and allow God to use those trials to bring me out of sin, and develop and mature His fruit in me.
Paul told Timothy, “You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of… (2 Timothy 3:10-14).
It’s very tempting to take the easier road in life, the road of least resistance. But knowing the easy road is the road that leads to our destruction, and the narrow road is the road that leads to the life Christ died to give us, should motivate us to resist that temptation at all cost. As you see in the verses above, even though Paul faced many persecutions, God delivered him from them all.
1 John 4:4 says, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
We shouldn’t be fearful of opposition. We should face each trial with confidence, knowing God is doing an amazing work through us. Satan can’t win. He can irritate us and throw a bunch of roadblocks in front of us. But when we press on, God will turn every one of those roadblocks into a blessing. We won’t find those special blessings on the broad road of least resistance.
This is what the LORD says: Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask which paths are the old, reliable paths. Ask which way leads to blessings. Live that way, and find a resting place for yourselves. But you said that you wouldn’t live that way.
Jeremiah 6:16, GW
This probably isn’t the greatest example, but it should help illustrate my point. My kids and I belong to a weekly homeschool co-op group where each parent volunteers to teach or assist in teaching classes. My sister-in-law and I volunteered to teach two classes of twenty-six 3 and 4-year-olds. We volunteered because my three-year-old son and her three-year-old twin boys are so attached to us, we can’t leave them with anyone.
Raising my four children has never been easy for me. Every one of them was difficult from the time they were born through toddler-hood. I’ve never had easy babies like many moms I knew. I’ve never been able to leave them in nursery at church without them crying. I can count on my fingers the amount of times I sat through a full church service without having my infant or toddler’s number pop up on the screen to be picked up.
I recently came home from my co-op class and jokingly told my husband I expelled our son from my class. He got into a fight with a kid, and he spit at and hit the teacher (me)! I expressed to my husband, “Can’t anything with our kids be easy!”
The following week, my husband tempted me with the offer to keep our son at home with him for the rest of the year while I taught the class. It would be the easiest way for me, but I knew it wouldn’t be the best way. My son had to learn how to get along with other children, and respect me as his mother and as his teacher. With a prayer and some determination I took him with me the following week.
He played with the other kids, obeyed me and even did all the activities we had planned! I never imagined he would improve so much in one week. I was amazed! If I wouldn’t have tried one more week, I wouldn’t have seen such a wonderful change take place in him. I thought, “How many times are we one step away from our blessings?” If we would just press on through the opposition, instead of giving up and taking the road of least resistance, we would find our breakthroughs and blessings we’ve been waiting for.
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
We praise You for giving us victory over all those who are opposed to You. Help us not back down in fear of opposition. Help us to press on and take hold of the life Jesus died to give us. We rejoice in our trials, knowing You are maturing us in Christ, and Your glory will be revealed in and through us.
In Jesus name, Amen!
Have a blessed week walking on God’s road!
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