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Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Narrow Door: Best Efforts and God's Timing

Image from Pinterest.
Jesus stressed it fairly enough---"Do your best to enter the narrow door." He didn't say try to enter it or consider praying for it. He said unequivocally to "do your best to enter." Yet, you often see how it's the last thing the church would do today. It would do everything except do its best to enter the narrow door. In fact, most of them see it as a total waste of time today because it takes time and patience to walk to it, and then throw off everything when you're finally about to enter it.

Giving it every effort or making every effort to enter the narrow door is something that requires all our lives---plus more. Even if you put all efforts into it---beginning from the time you were pulled out of your mother's womb, until the day you die (say, you live to a hundred), your lifetime will NOT have been enough to be able to enter the narrow door. Salvation is free, wholly and sufficiently paid for by Jesus on the cross, but we still need to enter the narrow door. And this requires "best efforts."


Only the Life in Christ Can Make Us Enter

That's why there's the spiritual dimension, the spiritual life. The time we spend in the natural is never enough. So God, in His grace and mercy, extended our chances by providing the spiritual life. He allowed us to start living in eternity NOW, even while we're on earth. Through it we are able to have more time making every effort to enter. But the majority wastes time trying to do this in their earthly realm and time, wasting everything in their church programs and activities and "ministries." That's the wide road to destruction, and many take it.

Life that makes you enter the narrow door. Click this link.

Now, don't get me wrong. We need to spread the Gospel and plant more churches. But we need to do them while pursuing entering the narrow door. A lot today do their ministries through the broad way to destruction. They plant churches by attracting the world with its cravings and expand their denominational influence---so they'd be the most numerous denomination of all---rather than expand God's real Kingdom on earth. It's easier to just give the world what it wants to make it join you than do things in God's ways and standards. But Paul said, we should do everything in God's ways alone so "that the body of Christ may be built up," says Ephesians 4.

The body of Christ is NOT your church denomination. It is the entire body of all true believers worldwide, including those who have gone to heaven ahead of us. Your church denomination (I don't care if you have millions of members) is just a finger or toe or strand of hair in the body of Christ. True ministry that enters the narrow door is devoted so "that the body of Christ may be built up."

The Big Myth on "Time Management"

Time is irrelevant in the Spirit dimension. You cannot be late or early there. Everything there is in God's perfect timing. When you are late and miss God's will, it's because you operated in the flesh and in the time of the world. Church people who are not aware of this "plan" their programs well to avoid (in their words) "wasting time." That, to them, is being good stewards of time. But they're wrong. If you feel or think that way, it only means you are still operating in a carnal manner, in the ways of this world. You're not yet in the dimension of the Holy Spirit.

People thought Jesus was "late" when Lazarus was so ill and later died and Jesus had not yet arrived. However, he deliberately opted to be "late," said Scriptures. It was to demonstrate to all that in the Spirit dimension, there is no such thing as being late or early. There's only God's perfect timing. The world may think you're late, but you're always just in time in the Spirit realm---because in Christ, everything in your life and ministry is in God's hands. If you're in Christ.

Late or Early Doesn't Matter. What Matters is God's Timing

Jesus arrived in Bethany when Lazarus, his "dear" friend (how can you be "late" for your friend who's about to die?), was already in the tomb. We know the story---Jesus was never late, after all. Lazarus resurrected. All things work together for good.

If you're genuinely in Christ, God will sometimes work out things so you'd be "late" or "early" to make allowance for other things he's been preparing. And then he puts things together perfectly like a work of art. We better not interfere with our "well planned" programs or schedules. Let's leave it all to God to arrange everything in our lives.

In another instance, Jesus was again "late," being delayed by a woman who had menstrual problems for 12 years. When he arrived at the home of the sick girl, she was dead and being mourned over. Jesus told the parents, "Don't fear. Just believe!" And again, he proved that in the Spirit realms, there's no such thing as being late or early. There's only God's perfect timing.

Late Through Laziness

But don't be late because you're just lazy to wake up and be about. What I mean is, be sensitive to God's leading. Sometimes, he may want you to break your well-planned schedules---or break the Sabbath Law as it were---and want you to do an errand for him. He may suddenly want to spend time talking to you at that very moment you're on your way to a meeting or an appointment and you have to suddenly cancel it to give way to God, or take a detour for some important mission for him.

God may even allow you to get sick so you'd need to stay home and take a bed rest because he wants your full attention on him. I do not worry about cancelling "really important" schedules or appointments when I sense God wants me all to himself all of a sudden. Resting or relaxing to me is never a waste of time. Jesus did say to come all you who are tired and he will give you rest. And Hebrews urged us to make every effort to rest in him.
Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. [4.11]
Life that enters His rest. Click here.

If we understand this---that in the Spirit dimension we should operate in God's eternity, and in this eternity there's only God's perfect timing---we see that giving best efforts to entering the narrow door is not impossible. We can devote our entire lives, here and in eternity (and we should, this is not an option), into giving our best efforts at going through the narrow door of Jesus Christ.