The Ways of the World Verses the Ways of God
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.Matthew 7:13
There are many people in this world who do not know God; they don’t understand the heart of God, and they don’t understand salvation and eternal life through Christ. I have met people who don’t know God and have chosen some philosophy that fits their earthly desires. They firmly believe their philosophy based on their worldly wisdom, because they are supported by their worldly lifestyle. They have no real reason or foundation for selecting their philosophy other than it appeals to their fleshly desires and fits into their worldly lifestyle.
The scripture above states: “and only a few find it” because people claim to be intelligent but have no wisdom to search for the truth, so they make up their own truth. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (2 Timothy 4:3). Itching ears and our fleshly desires, both driven by Satan’s lies, put us on the broad road to eternal destruction. It really doesn’t matter what Satan wants us to believe as long as he can get us on the broad road. And if we don’t seek God’s truth we will live in a world following Satan’s lies.
I have found that this attitude of adapting the lifestyle of this sinful world is prevalent in younger adults, because they are easily molded to the worldly lifestyle and eternal life is far from their minds. Living in the truth of God’s love has become a highly controversial subject in a growing number of educational institutions. We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing (1 Corinthians 2:6). The ruler of the air, Satan, the great deceiver, feeds lies to people who take these lies and believe they are truth. There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death (Proverbs 14:12).
People can be heavily influenced by the people they associate with. If we associate primarily with worldly people we will tend to copy their worldly attitudes, and if we associate primarily with Godly people we will tend to copy a Godly attitude. This is why God created our church family, to associate with Godly people, with the goal of keeping us Holy. Christians are to be holy, meaning that we reflect the ways of God to the world, and we don’t adopt the sinful lifestyles of the world. For it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” If we are not holy we are slaves to the world, puppets on a string that is controlled by people. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1). We are either free in Christ, or we are enslaved slave to the world.
Pride is an obstacle that keeps people from seeking the narrow road to life. Pride hardens the heart and blocks true Godly wisdom. But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble (James 4:6). God will oppose prideful, people who reject him and follow their own fleshly desires, especially if these people had the opportunity to know God but refused his gift of salvation. Ministering to prideful people can be very difficult because they get angry and defensive when we try to bring them God’s truth. Prideful people tend to understand everything from their own point of view with little desire to understand others.
We find many people following the broad road, and until their hearts seek wisdom, ministering to them can be very difficult. God’s love and compassion in our hearts are the only things that can soften a misled, prideful heart. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12). This verse describes how to minister to people with misguided hearts causing them to believe Satan’s lies.
Today when ministering to people travelling on the broad road to destruction, tread carefully with a gentle spirit and with non-threatening words of wisdom. Patience is essential in this ministry because it takes time for these people to see the truth. Much prayer is needed for God to soften their hearts to receive the truth.
Let’s Pray: Lord, guide my life according to your truth and help me not to be deceived by Satan’s lies. Help me to minister to those who have adopted their own life-philosophy based on Satan’s lies. Give me a loving, compassionate, and patient heart that supplies words of wisdom from the Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen