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Walking the Narrow Road in a Wide Road Culture

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Matthew 7:13–14 NIV
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
We live in a culture that says everything is ok. You can do anything… there are no absolutes… no right or wrongs. Abortion has become another means of birth control. 13 year olds are sexually active.

You can do anything you want to on the wide road.

You can do whatever you want to do because there are no right or wrongs except for the people that say there are. Culture says it’s ok for your children to have multiple sexual encounters without you knowing about it. And if they have a baby, they can have an abortion without you even knowing about it. They have to have your permission to take an advil, but they can have an abortion without you knowing.
Culture says it’s ok for you to do just enough to get by on your job… to take longer breaks… not go in when you are supposed to.

The consequences to the wide road are destructive.

Let me give you some of them.
The wide road leads to broken health.
When you are running on the wide road, it’s only a matter of time before your health breaks… your body breaks down. You cannot work all the time… run a frantic pace all the time from one activity to another and expect to live a long, healthy life. stroke, ulcers, heart attack, upset stomach, panic attacks… you might be sick a lot.
Parents that ignore their kids while they are growing up will pay the price later. Parents that do not have their kids in church but have them everywhere else will pay the price… one day.
The wide road leads to broken dreams.
Sometime you get so busy surviving, you lose sight of your dreams. Maybe you wanted to be a doctor, nurse, lawyer or an educator, but life got busy… you had kids… and you lost sihgt of your dreams. Now you don’t even dream anymore.
The wide road leads to broken wallets.
You get caught up trying to keep up with everyone else and you are in more debt than you can ever pay off. Student loans are killing people financially.
The wide road leads to broken relationships.
We just do what pleases us with no regard for others and we ruin relationships. For many people work becomes their mistress. Living together is at an all time high and divorce is still way too high.
The wide road will lead to broken values.
Eventually, you will fall for the “no absolutes” mindset and your life will not stand for anything. We are becoming or really have become a society that does not believe in absolute truth.
According to a survey, 70% of adult American Christians believe there are no moral or ethical absolutes that apply to everyone. Most Christians have joined the non-Christian culture and believe we set our own standards. In essence this survey reveals that 70% of Adult American Christians have decided that God is not capable or worthy of establishing guidelines for living.
In a similar survey only 20 % of Adult American Christians said that living a life according to God’s will is the single most important thing in their lives. So, the flip side is that 80% of Adult American Christians are telling God to take a number.
Popular opinion says that is doesn’t matter what religion you follow as long as that person is sincere and as long as they don’t try to force it on me. So as long as you try to do good, you are ok. That’s not what God says.
We don’t have to take the wide road. Jesus said that we can choose the narrow path. We can live God’s way and walk the narrow path in an interstate culture.
How do we do that? How do we develop that kind of trust in the Lord?
Proverbs 3:5–10 NLT
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 8 Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. 10 Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.

1. We have to put our trust in God. (vs5)

Proverbs 3:5 NLT
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
We have to trust God and not our own hearts, minds… guts. Trusting in God means that we understand and trust that He knows what we need to do… what’s the best choice for us to make in each situation of our lives.
Sometimes what God tells us to do doesn’t make sense to lost people. They don’t know why you get up and read an old book, pray to something, go to church when you could do something else and they sure don’t understand why you give to God.
We bring our decisions to the Lord in prayer asking for His guidance trusting that he will make our way clear.
How do we develop that kind of trust in the Lord?
We learn to trust the Lord by getting to know him.
Philippians 3:10–11 NLT
10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
You can’t trust someone without getting to know them. During the cold war, we hated Russia and they hated us. When communism fell and you could go, people began to get to know each other.
Today we talk about collusion. I wish that our president played gold with both Putin and Xi every week… then maybe we would not put our kids in harms way in a senseless war.
We learn to trust the Lord by spending time with him. (Luke 10:38-42; John 12:1-8)
Luke 10:38–42 NLT
38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” 41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
John 12:1–8 NLT
1 Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. 4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. 7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
The disciples learned to trust and love Jesus because they spent a lot of time with him. We have to do the same thing.
ILL - Think about when you met your wife… you spent every minute you could together.

2. We must commit our lives totally to the Lord. (Pro 3:6)

Proverbs 3:6 NLT
6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
all you do = derek - specific opportunities we face every day.
Seek (yada) NIV Acknowledge - means to seek direct contact.
He is saying that we are to seek direct contact with the Lord in every opportunity and situation we face every day.
If we maintain direct contact with the Lord, He will direct our paths toward fruitful, life giving endeavors.

We must fear the Lord and stay away from evil. (Pro 3:7)

Proverbs 3:7 NLT
7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
The fear of the Lord is to submit to God and to avoid evil.
Proverbs 8:13 NLT
13 All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech.
Proverbs 14:16 NIV
16 The wise fear the Lord and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.
Proverbs 16:6 NLT
6 Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin. By fearing the Lord, people avoid evil.
Psalm 97:10 NLT
10 You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of his godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked.
We worship the Lord because he is high and separated from everything else, but he is with us and in us at the same time. We are to fear the lord in healthy ways…

4. We must give to the Lord. (Pro 3:9)

Proverbs 3:9 NIV
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
First Fruits - best part.
Deuteronomy 26:8–11 NLT
8 So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and powerful arm, with overwhelming terror, and with miraculous signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land flowing with milk and honey! 10 And now, O Lord, I have brought you the first portion of the harvest you have given me from the ground.’ Then place the produce before the Lord your God, and bow to the ground in worship before him. 11 Afterward you may go and celebrate because of all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household. Remember to include the Levites and the foreigners living among you in the celebration.
It’s the practice of giving to God first… before everything else. This helps us conquer greed etc. But mainly it show us and others that God is first in our lives.
Matthew 6:21 NLT
21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
So what happens when we trust the Lord, when we commit to him, when we fear him and stay away from evil, when we generously give to him? What happens?

God’s Promises

1. God will give us supernatural direction. (Pro 3:6)

Proverbs 3:6 NLT
6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
God gives us supernatural direction through the Bible. (Ps 119:105)
He speaks to us through his word.
Psalm 119:105 NLT
105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
God gives us supernatural direction through godly people.
Proverbs 11:14 NIV
14 For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.
In Exodus 18, Moses father in law gave him godly advice. Moses was doing everything himself and his father in law helped him to organize.
God gives us supernatural direction through circumstances.
Revelation 3:7 NLT
7 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Philadelphia. This is the message from the one who is holy and true, the one who has the key of David. What he opens, no one can close; and what he closes, no one can open:
God opens and closes doors through circumstances.
God gives us supernatural direction through the Holy Spirit.
Nehemiah 7:5 NLT
5 So my God gave me the idea to call together all the nobles and leaders of the city, along with the ordinary citizens, for registration. I had found the genealogical record of those who had first returned to Judah. This is what was written there:
Acts 8:29 NLT
29 The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”
Acts 13:2 NLT
2 One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.”

2. God will give us supernatural protection. (Pro 3:8)

Proverbs 3:8 NLT
8 Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.
There was a medical study done that showed that people of faith went to the doctor for some type of ailment only half as much as those were not Believers. People of faith who attend church live 5.2 years longer than those who don’t.
Isaiah 54:17 NLT
17 But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!

3. God will give us supernatural provision.

Proverbs 3:9–10 NLT
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. 10 Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.
Luke 6:38 NLT
38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
Me with Jack Andonie & the car
When we live by God’s Principles, God provides supernatural provision.
Conclusion
We have a choice to make. The choice of choosing the wide road, the pattern of this world, or the rat race, or you can choose the narrow path, or the Redeemer Race.
The wide road offers: broken health, broken dreams, broken wallets, broken emotions, broken relationships, and broken values.
But the other, the narrow path, the Redeemer Race offers Supernatural Direction, Supernatural Protection, and Supernatural Provision.
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