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:
The reason I call this "The Gate" is that it describes the hard times we've had to go through. Things like dealing with a person that is hard to get along with. Having to ask for forgiveness from someone you would rather not. Facing ramifications of our actions. Living through a hard and traumatic experience. The gate is a place of discomfort, but is quite necessary for our healing and growth in the Lord.
Matthew 8:13-14. "Enter ye at the strait gate, for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in therat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which lead unto life, and few there be that find it."
For years I thought that it said a wide "road," but it says a wide gate! If you take a look at a gate, you will notice it's not very wide at all. There is a hinge and it swings back and forth and normally big enough as an extra large doorway. So keeping that in mind, we need to understand that there are things we go through that we can't take with us through that gate. There's only enough room for you! So in my experience and through revelation of the Holy Spirit, He showed me that the gate is a place of purging. We can only take through the gate those things that are of him, all other stuff has to go, and that's when it gets uncomfortable. We start to squirm as we approach that "thing" we have to do, and some never go through the gate but turn back and stay stuck where they are at. All because of emotional pain of some kind.
What's happening is that when you begin to approach the gate, all kinds of stuff that is inside you begins to surface, such as anger, resentment, fear, doubt, distrust, the "what if's" hate, confusion, feelings of unworthiness, failure, etc. and those are the things that are causing the pain. Those are the things that have to go BEFORE you can get through the gate! So as you approach these feelings (sins) start to intensify, and you start to feel really uncomfortable. But good news... this a ALL GOOD! It means God is exposing things that you need to take responsibility for, confess and repent! See, these aren't "feelings" that come from an outside source, they are coming from within. When we have to face a hard thing, it's helping us see what we are made of. It's like squeezing a lemon, when you are squeezed (aka. gate) what comes out? Or do you want to stay in your stuff and not go through because it hurts too much.
The hurt is the Holy Spirit cutting between soul and spirit! Let Him do the work in you because that's what will make you free.
For example, let's say you have to face an audience because you have a big presentation to do. Before getting up there, you get a bit apprehensive, fearful, uncertain, but you still do the presentation. Once it's over, peace is restored, right? We come into the "liberty and freedom." But let's say at the last minute you said, "Oh, I can't go out there, someone else is going to have to do it." You leave the office and go sit in your car. You did not pass through the gate! And guess what, you have robbed yourself from a blessing and even feel guilty or ashamed. Or how about things like facing a person you need to in order to clear up a misunderstanding, or facing a fear that you have like flying, dentists, or traveling. Whatever the issue is you need to go through" is a Gate.
People shy away from discomfort and unfortunately don't realize they are losing a blessing. The gate that is straight and wide are individuals who choose the easier more comfortable way. However, don't know that they are putting themselves more and more in bondage to whatever they are shying from. Fear is the main reason people don't enter the narrow gate. The narrow gate only has enough room for you to go through. If we are carrying unforgiveness, bitterness, hurts, that we can't seem to let go of, we won't be able to "fit" through the narrow gate. And if we do attempt to go through the gate, we start feeling uncomfortable. That uncomfortable feeling is God pulling away the chaff from you, which can be painful, so you can "fit" through the straight gate and narrow way. But many, when they start to feel any discomfort or "emotional" pain, they turn back and stay in that "wide" area.
Many have used this scripture when teaching about salvation, but this scripture pertains to our every day life as a Christian. Now that you understand what is happening in your life when things become hard, if you choose to plow through, you will obtain your blessing.
So how do we do this? First of all recognize that fear is working at preventing you from entering that straight gate! Now that you know this is a good thing not an attack from the devil, you can go through and be victorious. Realize that the pain you will experience is emotional pain in doing something that you may "feel" uncomfortable about. Then with eyes facing forward, holding onto the Word of God that He is with you "through" the fire, and plowing on ahead taking that "thing" head on. Holding onto the legs of your kitchen table if you have to so that you don't turn and run, you will experience the discomfort for a brief second, then you will pass on through that gate, and enter into "freedom and liberty."
Yes, it's that simple. The hard part is not knowing what is happening you to as these feelings start to emerge. But now that you know, it's God wanting to pull off the "stuff" that is hindering your walk, you can now go through with courage and boldness. (Hebrews 4:16)
As you face each thing in your life with this kind of insight, you will become freer and freer. Trusting and believing God will grow and grow as you see how He helped you through each thing and brought you to a place flowing with milk and honey. You will gain confidence in God, peace, and able to help others find their "gate." This will help increase your faith so as other "gates" come into your life, you go through with ease. It's always those first few at first that are hard because no one every taught you it's Okay to "feel" uncomfortable.
To put in an extra word here. It's not always an attack from the devil when you begin to feel uncomfortable about something. Truly, it's God letting something surface that you need to see so that it can be purged out of you.
Many of whom I teach this to have said that it is a "squeezy point" for them. They actually "feel" being squeezed. They know it's not fun but when the commit themselves to go through, it's been a tremendous release for them.
I know that this will be true for each of you who decide to conquer your fears or whatever is hindering your walk. Take the Word with you and face each situation. Sure, it may not be a pleasant experience at the time, but the wonderful thing about it, is that once you have gone through that specific gate, you never have to go through it again.
So once you have passed through the gate you enter into a place that is refreshing, peaceful and victorious. You feel like shouting and dancing and singing... well, um..some of you anyway, the rest just feel better. However, something to keep in mind, just around the corner is another gate with an entirely different issue. And each gate you pass through brings you into more peace and freedom. You will begin to hear God clearer, your time with Him will be more personal, things will be different.
Door of entry:
Let me share a story that you may have already heard before, but it helps bring this section of teaching to a point.
My husband was in Vietnam and had experienced lots of shell fire. Some of the metal from the bombs penetrated into his body. Upon coming back to the U.S. he still carried this shrapnel in his body. From time to time, a piece would start to work it's way back out of his skin. He would see something protruding out of his arm and not sure what it was, at first. So would try to put ointment on it to get it to go away. But it only got bigger and bigger. Until one day he had to go to the Dr. and found that a piece of metal was trying to come out. It was trying to come out the same place it went in. So the doctor removed it. By then, it was all pussy, festering, and hurt a bit as it was being removed and stitches were added to cover the hole. The Lord used this as an example of what I'm sharing here.
That door - the place where the shrapnel went it, was painful for Tom. Same as a hurt, issue, fear that enters our heart. Sometimes we felt it sometimes we didn't. But it's there nonetheless. But then, as the shrapnel in Tom's body was coming out, it came out with a little puss, festering, and some pain. Same as with what we are being purged from. The pain may come, a little crying, a little pain, but once it's out, it's OUT! It is no longer in you to hurt you or cause you discomfort any longer. Then God can mend the hurt and pain of your heart from that situation, just as the Dr. stitched up the hole in Tom's arm from the shrapnel never to go back in again.
This is a tremendous revelation teaching and I pray that you receive this with complete understanding. Understanding why things hurt so much, why things are happening to you that you don't understand. It's that God's whole purpose is to get you through those "door points" (Gate) to get rid of those things that are weighing you down and preventing you from living the life He destines you to live! (Hebrews 12:1)
As we read on in Hebrews 12:2, this is a perfect example of Jesus entering an uncomfortable place (the Gate), but if He didn't we would never be saved! "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
In this scripture, Jesus saw the other side of that "squeezy point." He saw the joy that was set before Him, but also knew in order to get there he would have to "suffer." So He "endured" the cross, despising shame (which was the gate), and is now sitting at God's side, which is the liberty and freedom He attained because He "went through."
We are no greater than our master, what He went through, it is certain we'll get to experience the same things. (Matthew 10:24; Hebrews 4:15)
Be at peace when "fiery trials" come your way, they are there for you to exercise your patience, faith, trust and hope in God. (I Peter 4:12).
Tests and trials will come to all - this is a promise! But these tests and trials are for good, they work the truth in us and work the junk out of us. When a situation arises and you get bent out of shape, that shows you what you are truly made of. We want to get to the place that when things happen, we stay in peace!
1 Peter 4:12: "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy."
The trying of your faith works patience.... patience produces peace (James 1). Isn't that what we all want? More peace? Medically proven - when we are at peace our bodies work at full optimum!
- Tests are used to see if you are for God or against God while going through hard times. We are on a 50-150 year job interview. The whole purpose of this life is to prepare us and set us up for the next. This life is a vapor - a short span of time. The real life is the one to come, new heaven and new earth… all these things shall pass away, behold all things will become new. This is a shadow of things to come… so if this is a shadow, wow the things to come must be amazing! (Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 10:1)
- Obstacle Course: This life is like an obstacle course to me. We are being tested to see who we will believe? It's the "game of life" that each one of us has to play. The one who wins is the person who stayed in faith. "He who runs the race shall obtain the prize." It doesn't matter if you make it to the finish line just as long as you are in the race.
Prayer for you to pray:
"Father I have to admit that I have turned from going through things because it just seemed too hard and painful. I ask you to help me face these things Lord, not turn away, but "go through." I know you are with me, let me not fear the emotional pain that I may experience or fear you cutting away stuff that needs to be cut away from my life. I give you full permission to get rid of anything that hinders my walk, causes me to stay in the wilderness. I want to live in the joy of the Lord, enter Your rest and the abundance You have promised. I know that I have prevented good things from coming into my own life, and now I'm ready to get with the program. Now that I know it's a good thing to be uncomfortable, I will not fear because it's you bringing things up that need to be confessed and purged. I know that by facing it and going through any discomfort will bring me out to the other side, full of liberty and freedom. I choose life Father. Give me strength and boldness to "endure" as Jesus endured. Giving me "staying" power to allow you to do the work in me. Help me to go through "fiery trials" knowing that I'll come out as gold on the other side. Forgive me for any fear I have had, fear of pain, fear of what others will think, fear of failure, or whatever the fear is. Release me from all fear and fill me with your love and truth. Cleanse me from all the dross that is weighing me down and as you begin working in me, help me to remember the principle of "the gate" so that I won't run away from what I need to go through. I want to go through the narrow gate Lord. I give you all the glory and praise for what you are doing in my life. In Jesus name, Amen."
This is a hard teaching for some, so be sure to stop and take a breather. Allow the teaching to absorb and find your peace even in the midst of stuff that may be coming to the surface. Remember, it's a GOOD thing! Rejoice and be exceedingly glad that God loves you enough not to leave you in the condition you are in. Spend some time in praise and go and do something fun! All work and no play makes for a very cranky Christian.
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