THE NARROW WAY TO LIFE
Matthew 7:13-14 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. (14) 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. [Deut. 30:19; Jer. 21:8.]
Here the Lord Jesus tells us that the way of life is restricted and pressurized, but the way of death is broad and easy.
It is vital to note here that He was teaching and speaking prophetically to the church that was going to be birthed into being at His resurrection, which was still in the near future: 1- 3 years.
He was not just talking about sinners going in the broad way to hell and Christians going in the narrow way to heaven: even though there is an application of this truth in that regard.
Rather, in the manifold wisdom of God, the Lord Jesus was here teaching about the Christian walk; that the way to life: having an abundance of the life of God in your spirit, soul and body, would involve pressure and restrictions.
Contrastly, if you refuse to submit to these pressures and restrictions and take the ‘broad’ and ‘easy’ way; then that ‘broad’ and ‘easy’ way will lead to death.
Death here in the context of the Christian would mean premature physical death that leads to loss of eternal reward; it does not necessarily mean the eternal spiritual death of the lake of fire (Rev. 21.8):
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 ESV: For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (12) Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw– (13) each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. (14) If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. (15) If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
Jude 1:22-23 ESV: And have mercy on those who doubt; (23) save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
1 Corinthians 5:5 ESV: you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
The ‘narrow’ way can be likened to ‘Holy Place’ and ‘Most Holy Place’.
Praying or ‘working’ only in the ‘Outer Court’ involves only praying in the understanding: what, when, how and for how long you like and feel.
Praying or ‘working’ in the ‘Holy Place’ involves praying specifically for the spirit of wisdom and revelation (Eph. 1.17-23; Col. 1.9-11; Phil. 1.9) and praying in the Spirit for at least one hour (Mt. 26.40-41) daily (Lk. 9.23, Heb. 5.7) in addition to any other prayers you may pray. This is much more pressurized and restricted spiritually than the Outer Court.
Praying or ‘working’ in the ‘Most Holy Place’ involves praying to receive the life of God in abundance using life scriptures and praying with all kinds of prayer in the Spirit with travail for at least one hour daily to cause the nature and character of Christ to be formed (Gal. 4.19) in your soul and body; to walk in love by the Spirit by ‘washing feet’ at least four times daily (Dt. 6.7, 2 Sam. 6.13, Mk 13.35) to cover for every hour; and to acknowledge the Lord in your heart for mercy unto eternal life (Jude 1.21) in your thinking at least once every conscious hour (Mt. 24.42) and praying frequently in tongues (1 Cor. 14.18, Jude 1.20); this is addition to other prayers you may pray with your thoughts and words for and during each day. This is even more restricted and pressurized spiritually than the ‘Holy Place’.
Amazingly, it is in this restricted and pressurized ‘Most Holy Place’ of praying without ceasing that you experience the greatest liberty in the Spirit: total liberty from sin, sickness, ignorance and poverty and where even your thoughts become prayers that will avail much (Jam. 5.16)!
Observe that ‘working’ in the ‘Holy Place’ and the ‘Most Holy Place’ does not necessarily mean you start living there consistently; but if you keep ‘working’, there after a while you will be able to afford to live there spiritually: you will have enough spiritual wealth or prosperity to live there.
So, if you take the ‘broad’ way, you will suffer destruction and loss, though you may be saved and still go to heaven; but if you take the ‘narrow’ way, you will experience the abundance of the life of God in your spirit, soul and body and so fulfill the fullness of your destiny to be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus (Rom. 8.29) in this lifetime, doing the works He did and greater:
1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV: Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 John 4:17-18 ESV: By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. (18) There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
John 14:12 ESV Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.