“It’s not and easy road we are traveling to Heaven”, says the song by John W. Peterson. God has not promised us an easy trip to Heaven. He has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. But He says that the right road is narrow. “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:14) The word translated “strait” means narrow or difficult. There are few people that truly find the gate to Heaven. They look for the easy road—and that one leads to Hell.
Does this mean that we must live a life of discipline and self-denial? Yes and no. Yes in that we must deny ourselves the pleasures of sin and iniquity and press toward the prize. No in that we need to know what God wants us to do and then do it. In other words, fasting is great if God wants you to do it, but it’s a futile effort of self-righteousness if He doesn’t. God never tells us to “develop spiritual disciplines”. He tells us that we should keep under our bodies and and bring them into subjection (1 Cor. 9:27). He tells us what to do when we fast, give alms and pray (Matt 6:18), but He doesn’t command us in that passage that we MUST do those things. The problem comes when others tell us to develop spiritual disciplines that God doesn’t want us to focus on. What if God wants you to spend an hour witnessing instead of an hour praying? What if He wants you to spend a meal with your family instead of fasting? We need to know His will.
God’s will is not easy, however. He may ask you to spend THREE hours in prayer. If that’s what you’re to do, do it! Where so many people get hung up is when they listen to other Christians instead of Jesus.
Don’t expect an easy road. God knows the right way and He will lead us in it. It may be through deserts and bare mountains, but we still have to follow Him. The narrow way may get so narrow that there seems to be no one else walking with us, but Jesus is always there. We can rest assured that when He says, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5), that He means it. He will provide all our needs in His timing and His way. We need to know His way so that we can follow it.
“No, no, it’s not an easy road,
But Jesus walks beside me
And brightens the journey
And lightens ever’y heavy load.”