The narrow gate-Martin J Collison (part 1)
Posted by appolus on September 20, 2013
Amplified Bible (AMP)
“Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it”.
THE HEART CRY OF SOME
There are some within the Body of Christ who presently feel an ever-deepening urgency within their very spirit for the true church of Jesus Christ to come forth. In the past few days I have been reflecting on the apostolic heart of Paul. The Holy Spirit was permitted to accomplish a truly remarkable work in entirely transforming this heart from one full of bitterness and hatred towards the church to that of father and overseer. This heart of deep concern is the very one now being embedded in many saints within the earth. This is a profound work. Paul had a mandate. He had a very specific role. He was given this mandate by God Himself. The heart of a father should be to guide his children in order that they fulfil all their potential. Part of this naturally involves correction. Where error is present then it needs to be addressed.
Many are aware that the church, as a whole, seems to be following the “broad way” in these days. They are grieved by this. It has become akin to an errant child in following its own whims and fancies. Deciding its own tune to dance to. But Jesus makes things clear. He is aware of the fact that few will truly seek after His ways and who He actually is. There is a difference between being a church goer or participator in the “church system” and seeking to be a disciple. It is actually easier to settle for the false created reality of the present church culture than seek the narrow path that Christ spoke of. At present, the church largely comprises “institutionalised” Christianity. It exists within the confines and dictates of the man-made created institutions within which it is played out. Not fully authentic. Not cultivating true disciples. If your calling and your heart leans to the narrow way then as the Lord said “watch and pray lest you fall into temptation”. The broad path version offered by the current church systems is sadly tempting many with its shallower creeds.
GENUINE CONCERN BIRTHED FROM A HEART OF LOVE
When a true and genuine apostolic heart has been cultivated, discipline flows from a deep love and desire for the wellbeing of the church. Its is an act of love. Thank God if you have a brother or sister who is not afraid to challenge you or rebuke you. The wounds of a friend bring healing, as Proverbs denotes. It is a work of the Holy Spirit of the very deepest kind to truly and genuinely have this heart nurtured within us. It is part of the perfecting process of genuine love. Those with a heart to see the true Bride come forth and for the current church systems to be purged are not merely superficial fault-finders who have an immature investment in the church. No. These ones have invested much into seeing the true Bride come forth.
God has often hidden them from view. He has dealt with them in the most intense ways in order that they themselves first be purged of their own motives and desires. He strips them of the bitterness of their own hearts. He works His holy zeal into them. Their all-consuming passion becomes the transforming of the church into the glorious Bride. They yearn to be true disciples of Christ. Followers after Him alone. This work still continues. But as the work goes on they have some opportunity to convey their present heart-cry. He is training them in the wilderness in order to show them that their reliance cannot be invested in anything or anyone but Christ. He is crushing them so that they dare not speak the words of the flesh but only the words that the Father gives them.
At this point we need to remind ourselves that the flesh is our constant enemy. So too is the world. Moreover, the desires and lusts of this world are becoming very strong. Man has allowed these appetites to infiltrate their outlook. This appeases the flesh. Some may have been overtaken by them. In turn, these desires form their teaching. If you have allowed it to form part of your outlook then its bound to be part of your teaching, right? Whatever version of reality you have chosen to accept, you will likely try to “evangelise” others with it.