This post is all about the characteristics of the narrow way
It’s 8:35 pm as I’m writing the first draft of this post. I’m soaking myself in the presence of God. As I write, I’m listening to Steffany Gretzinger’s “Narrow Way.” The song is on a loop, so I’ve probably listened to it 20 times. That’s what has inspired me to write this post.💖
It goes without saying that the narrow way isn’t the most pleasant at times😭. Yes, it can be difficult to stay on that narrow way or narrow path.
The goal of this post is simple: I want to explain what the narrow way is and what it looks like. That means I’ll talk about the following:
- The glorified broad road
- The meaning of narrow way (Greek root of the word)
- 7 characteristics of the narrow way.
I hope that through this post, you’ll understand that you aren’t alone in this journey. The Ekklesia is right there with you as we all go through this life. And guess what? Through it all, we will say it was all worth it when we are ushered into heaven.
P.S. A link to the song “Narrow Way” is at the end of this post!
Ready? Let’s go!
The Narrow Way (Verse)
For those who don’t have a Bible nearby, this is the verse for your reference:
Matthew 7:13-14 “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.”
The glorified broad road
The broad road refers to a life centered around worldly desires, pleasures, and pursuits. It is a life without God, where one seeks fulfillment and happiness in material possessions, fame, and popularity. This path may seem appealing at first glance, but as Christians, we know it leads to destruction.
In today’s media and society, the broad road is often glorified and portrayed as the ultimate goal. We are bombarded with images of wealth, success, and fame, leading us to believe that these things will bring us true happiness. From social media influencers promoting a lavish lifestyle to reality T.V. shows showcasing the rich and famous, it is easy to get caught up in the allure of the broad road.
However, we often fail to see the emptiness and brokenness behind these superficial images. Many celebrities and wealthy individuals have publicly shared their struggles and feelings of purposelessness. This only goes to show that the broad road does not lead to true fulfillment.
Meaning of narrow way (narrow path meaning)
Let’s dive into its Greek roots to understand what the “Narrow Way” or “Narrow path” means.
According to the Blue Letter Bible, thlibō is a verb that can be translated as “to press” or “to trouble.” This gives us a deeper understanding of the narrow way – it is not an easy path, but one that requires effort and perseverance. It is a compressed or restricted way, meaning it may not always be comfortable or spacious, but it ultimately leads to the desired destination.
Additionally, thlibō can also mean “to afflict” or “to distress,” which brings to light the challenges and trials that may come along the narrow way. As Christians, we are not promised a life free of struggles, but rather, we are called to endure and overcome them as we press on toward our ultimate goal – eternal life with God.
This understanding of thlibō is further reinforced by the word thlipsis, formed from the same root. Thlipsis is used repeatedly in the Bible to describe the narrow path of a Christian through this world – one that includes suffering and hardship but also joy and victory in God.
So why did Jesus use the term “narrow way” to describe the way to eternal life?
Perhaps it was to remind us that our journey will not always be easy, but it is worth it. It may require us to press on through difficult times and endure affliction, but the promise of eternal life with God far outweighs any temporary discomfort or struggle we may face.
As we walk along the narrow way, let us remember its true meaning – a path that leads to eternal life, marked by perseverance and faith in the face of trials. Let us also be encouraged by the fact that Jesus himself walked this way before us and is now waiting to welcome us to our ultimate destination.
So let us press on, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, who endured the cross for the joy set before him (Hebrews 12:2). The narrow way may not always be easy, but the reward at the end is beyond measure.
But what is “the narrow way” for us practically in our everyday lives?
- It means that we must be willing to follow Jesus, even when it may not be the popular or comfortable choice.
- It means that we must be willing to press on and endure through difficult times, knowing that God is with us every step of the way.
- It means that we must trust in His promise of eternal life and keep our eyes fixed on Him rather than being distracted by the temporary pleasures of this world.
As you continue on your journey along the narrow way, may you be encouraged by these words from Jesus: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
The narrow way may not always be easy. Still, with Jesus by our side, we can have hope and confidence in our ultimate destination.💖
12 Ultimate Characteristics of the Narrow Way!
As stated earlier, In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus talks about two paths – a broad and wide one that leads to destruction and a narrow one that leads to life. This narrow way is often referred to as the path of righteousness or following God’s will.
But what exactly does it mean to walk on this narrow way? Let’s explore its characteristics and understand why it leads to true fulfillment and eternal life.
Let’s expound them:
1. Separation From The World
When we think about walking on the narrow path, it’s easy to focus on our relationship with God and forget how we interact with the world. But one of the key characteristics of the narrow way is separation from the world.
In 2 Corinthians 6:17, Paul writes, “Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” This verse clearly emphasizes the importance of being separate from the world.
But why is this so important?
a) Firstly, as Christians, we are called to be set apart from the world.
In John 17:16, Jesus says, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” As followers of Christ, we should strive to live in a way that is different from the ways of the world. Our thoughts, actions, and attitudes should reflect our identity as children of God.
b) Secondly, being separate from the world helps us to avoid falling into sin.
In 1 John 2:15-16, we are warned, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.”
When we are entangled with the ways of the world, it becomes easier for us to give in to our sinful desires. But by separating ourselves from the world, we can better resist temptation and live a holy life.
c) Lastly, being separate from the world allows us to be a light and influence to those around us.
In Philippians 2:15, Paul encourages us to “shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life.” When we live according to God’s ways instead of the ways of the world, it stands out and can draw others towards Him.
⚠️Disclaimer! It’s important to note that separating ourselves from the world does not mean completely isolating ourselves from non-believers. Rather, it means being intentional about our choices and actions and not conforming to the ways of the world. We are called to love and reach out to others, but we must also be careful not to compromise our faith in the process.
2. The Promise of Reward and Fulfillment
The narrow way may seem difficult at times, but it ultimately leads to a rewarding and fulfilling life. Through this path, we are promised eternal life with God – a place of no more tears, pain, or suffering (Revelation 21:4).
We also have the privilege of living under God’s protection and guidance, knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
3. The Necessity of Dependence on God
Walking on the narrow way requires total dependence on God. It means acknowledging that we cannot do it alone and surrendering our lives to Him.
Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. As we rely on God, He will guide us and make our paths straight.
4. Abundant Life in Christ!
Jesus himself said that He came so that we may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).
Walking on the narrow way means experiencing life to the fullest, as we are aligned with God’s will for us. It may not always be easy, but it is a life filled with purpose and meaning.
5. The Call to Serve
The narrow way is not just about our own personal relationship with God but also about serving others.
Mark 10:45 reminds us that even Jesus came to serve, not to be served. As we follow Him on the narrow way, we are called to serve and love others in humility.
6. Sacrifice and Difficulty
Following the narrow way may involve sacrifice and difficulty at times.
Jesus himself said that whoever wants to be His disciples must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). But as we endure these challenges, we are strengthened in our purpose journey.
7. Surrendering to God’s Perfect Plan
Above all, the narrow way requires surrender. Surrendering our desires, plans, and will to God as we trust in His perfect plan for our lives. In doing so, we experience true freedom and find ourselves on the path to eternal life.
Surrendering also means letting go of control and allowing God to lead us where He wants us to go, even if it may not align with our own plans or desires.
8. Righteousness and Holiness as a Lifestyle
The narrow way calls for a lifestyle of righteousness and holiness. In 1 Peter 1:15-16, we are reminded to “be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” This means that every aspect of our lives should reflect the character of God.
But what exactly does it mean to live a righteous and holy life? It means aligning our thoughts, actions, and attitudes with God’s perfect will. It means actively pursuing righteousness by obeying His commandments and seeking to please Him in all we do.
Living a lifestyle of righteousness and holiness also involves constantly renewing our minds through studying the Word of God and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us in our daily lives. This requires discipline and a willingness to let go of any habits or behaviors that are not in line with God’s standards.
As we walk on the narrow way, it’s important to remember that living a life of righteousness and holiness is not something we can achieve on our own. It is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit working within us. Therefore, we must continually surrender to God and allow Him to transform us into His image.
9. Endurance Through Trials and Persecution
The narrow way is not an easy road to walk on. It often involves trials, challenges, and even persecution for our faith. In John 16:33, Jesus tells us, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This verse serves as a reminder that we are not exempt from hardships, but through Christ, we can overcome them.
Enduring trials and persecution on the narrow way requires strength and perseverance. It means standing firm in our faith when faced with opposition or difficult circumstances. And it also means relying on God’s grace and strength to see us through.
But it’s important to note that enduring trials and persecution is not just about surviving and getting through them. It’s also about growing in our faith and character.
In James 1:2-4, we are told, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Through trials and persecution on the narrow way, God is refining us and shaping us into the image of His Son. He is strengthening our faith and teaching us to rely on Him more fully. So, let us embrace these challenges with joy, knowing that they are ultimately for our good and God’s glory.
10. Radical Love as a foundation
At the core of the narrow way is love – love for God and love for others. We are called to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30) and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31). This love extends not only to those who are easy to love but also to our enemies (Matthew 5:44).
In John 15:13, Jesus tells us, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” This verse speaks not only of physical sacrifice but also of sacrificing our own desires and comforts for the sake of others.
As we walk on the narrow way, we are called to love extravagantly, just as Jesus did. This means loving those who may not be easy to love, extending forgiveness and grace towards those who have wronged us, and putting others before ourselves.
Radical love also involves sacrificial giving. As we walk on the narrow way, let us strive to love and sacrifice as Jesus did. Let us be willing to lay down our lives for others and put their needs before our own. In doing so, we reflect the radical love of Christ to the world around us.
11. Humility and Servanthood
The narrow way also requires humility and servanthood. In Philippians 2:3-4, we are told, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” This goes against the world’s idea of success and self-promotion.
As followers of Christ on the narrow way, our focus should not be on exalting ourselves but on serving others. This means putting the needs of others above our own and using our gifts and talents to bless those around us.
Humility also involves recognizing that we are nothing without God and that all good things come from Him. It is acknowledging our dependence on Him and giving Him all the glory for any successes or blessings in our lives.
So let us walk on the narrow way with humility and a servant’s heart, imitating Christ who came to serve rather than be served. In doing so, we follow in His footsteps and bring glory to God through our actions.
12. Intentional Discipleship
Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
The narrow way is not a journey that we can walk alone. We need fellow believers to encourage and challenge us, to hold us accountable, and to help us grow in our faith. This is why intentional discipleship is crucial in the narrow way.
In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commands us to “go and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” This involves intentionally investing in others and helping them grow in their relationship with God.
Intentional discipleship also involves being open to receiving guidance and mentorship from more mature believers. We should seek out mentors who can help us grow in our faith and hold us accountable on the narrow way.
So, let us not take this journey alone, but let us intentionally invest in others and seek out wise counsel as we walk on the narrow way toward Christ.
And that’s it, folks, characteristics of the narrow way
I hope this post on the characteristics of the narrow way has enlightened you to continue walking on the narrow way with full dependence on God, love for others, and surrender of ourselves.
It may not always be easy, but the rewards of walking the narrow way are immeasurable – both in this life and in the one to come. Let us be encouraged and motivated to live out this narrow way as we strive towards eternal life with our loving Heavenly Father.
Remember, it is not about perfection but progress and perseverance on this journey. May we continue to walk in the steps of Jesus and inspire others to join us on the narrow way.
- Continue to seek God’s will and follow His path wholeheartedly, for it is the narrow way that leads to eternal life and true fulfillment.
- Never waver or turn back but instead press on towards our ultimate goal – a life lived in the presence of our Savior.
- Walk on the narrow way with confidence, knowing that we are not alone and that God is always with us, guiding us every step of the way.
P.S Here is the song, “The Narrow Way” by Steffany Gretzinger
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