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Pressure
by PJ


Recently, I have been going through a great deal of pressure. How about you? If you have, you're not alone and I pray today that you will take encouragement.


Yeshua/Jesus said in Matit`yah ha-Levi / Matthew 7:13-14, "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. 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."(AMP)


The significance of Yeshua/Jesus citing a gate and a path is easily comprehensible. His teaching about the road to heaven holds divine truths. Yeshua said that the narrow straightened and compressed gate and way leads to life. This life is the abundant life. Yochanan/John 10:10 says "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)." (AMP)


You might ask, "Why must it be a straight and narrow and compressed way?" The Maker of Heaven and Earth didn't just decide to make a way of salvation that's hard. He's not mean-spirited. It's narrow and straight because it corresponds to HIS holiness and HIS righteousness.


The first attribute of G-d is holiness. V`yakra/Leviticus 11:45 says, "For I am the Lord Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God; therefore you shall be holy, for I am holy." (AMP) Because G-d loves mankind, He did not withhold from man the measurement of the way that leads to His holy presence. That is why the way has the dimension of His holiness, the straight and the narrow.


In the Holy Temple in Yerushalaim/Jerusalem, there were three doors that lead from the outer court to the Holy of Holies. They were named, the way, the truth, the life. They represent a divine truth, that there is no variance in width from one to another. Having come in thorugh the straight gate, it is not grievous to walk the narrow way. What is sometimes difficult is the pressure to contract to go through the gate.


This is when we must lay down our flesh. The straight gate is so straight that there is no room for the flesh to pass through. And having entered through the straight gate, the road beyond retains the same dimension.


As Moshiach/Christ laid down His life, so must the seekers and knockers at the gate lay down their lives to enter the kingdom. As one stands before the straight gate, he surrenders EVERYTHING to the L-rd that he might gain entrance. There is no plea bargaining, no bartering, no conditions here. With a broken and contrite spirit do we take off the fleshly baggage of the world. We do this willingly because the heart is being made new. There is no other way unto salvation.


Sometimes people begin to think that the way is broader than the gate. As they continue down the road they begin to chafe at the flesh-restricting dimension of the way. Suddenly the narrow way begins to appear as bondage, rather than liberty from the flesh.


Have you ever seen people get radically saved and then slowly begin to travel a broader way and suddenly fall to the wayside? They're bumping into the doorposts of heaven and according to Yeshua/Jesus only a few are going to make it. Matit`yah ha-Levi/Matthew 7:22-23 says, "Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands]. "(AMP)


What are His commands? What is it that we keep losing from our vision? Matit`yah ha-Levi/Matthew 22:36-40 AMP says, "Teacher, which [e]kind of commandment is great and important (the principal kind) in the Law? [Some commandments are light--which are heavy?] And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect).(C) This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.(D)These two commandments [f]sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets."


I believe LOVE is where we continue to miss the way. LOVE is where we fail to contract to enter the straight gate. LOVE is what we need.


People do not just happen upon the narrow way casually. Those who are presumptuous or less than sincere about the things of G-d will not accidentally stumble onto this way. The straight gate is hidden to human wisdom and thinking, but it is revealed to the honest and searching heart.


G-d has not hidden the straight gate and narrow way to exclude anyone except the fleshly minded. He has hidden the entrance to the narrow way so that only the truly penitent and humble find it. This is a safeguard against deception.


What do we do to enter this gate and straight way? We have to rid ourselves of self. The cause, or root, of sinning must receive focus. Ya`akov/James writes in 1:14-15, "But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death."(AMP) This lust, which is strong selfish desire, is going to bear evil fruit unless it is continually rooted out. There is not room on the narrow way for the manifestations of self. The narrow way will not accommodate the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.


Are you tired of living the less than abundant life? If you are, it's time to join me in crucifying the flesh in order to walk the narrow way. You know what is hard? Making the decision. Once you get on the journey, it's joyous.


Don't get upset with the pressure......embrace it. When you feel it, it's time to drop off the fleshly baggage that has tried to attach itself to you. It's time to lighten the load so you can soar above the problems on the narrow way in His holiness and His righteousness. It's the way to life abundant!


“Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified Bible."
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