Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. Matthew 7:13 (NIV)
I am often leery of formulaic Christianity. Follow these steps (rules) and you will uncover the key to getting God to do your will. Sounds crass but this thought is behind a lot of Christian thinking.
Jesus does tell God what he would like but always prefaces that with wanting God?s will more. Jesus is a great vessel for the actions of God but, I have to admit, Jesus does not fair well in the process. He is hate, tortured and dies. His friends desert him. His family thinks he is loony. The religious people of his day think he is Satan.
Jesus chose the narrow door. Christians should be put out more than successful in life. Yet, especially on TV, Christians are shown to have the mastery of getting from God what they would love. Health, wealth, and, most especially, control, over their lives.
Control is an illusion. Only God is in control and God may love me to pieces but he really is not interested in my personal agendas. The narrow door.
The wide door is the comfy, pious, in control way of life. The narrow door is the scary, dangerous, relinquishing control way. No way can I repackage Jesus? life to the comfy one. I believe true peace and contentment do come from taking the narrow door but they are the fruit of living in concert with God.
?I am too busy to pray.? I just cannot get into the Bible.? ?Once I get my life in order, then I can help the poor and right injustice.? ?Tithing is too big a risk.? These are the prayers of those who have taken the wide door because they know that there is no control over the narrow one. I think that is scary. God thinks that is the only way we will live. I wonder if I can convince him to adopt my ways.
The one who loves the least, controls the relationship.
If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.