“Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” (Luke 13:24 KJV)
Strive? As in to try really really hard? With great and strenuous efforts? If there ever was an appropriate target, would it not be the strait gate? If there ever was a human story, this is certainly a common one. We are constantly in motion working diligently. If righteousness is an admirable goal then why, “shall not be able”? Is it simply that the path is narrow? That it requires an extreme devotion and focus?
The intriguing part is that it is not merely that we will need a hand to be successful; but rather that we are in encouraged to go in quite the opposite direction. We must be less and He must be greater. Not that His presence will supplement ours, but that ours must actually decrease. Our motion which naturally increases in velocity must become still. Still in what way? He is. We strive for. Let what “is” become and remake what is “in strife”. His remaking allows us to begin to see and hear and know that which we cannot. We begin to understand what is real and righteous. As we come closer to Jesus we become more aware of our inefficiencies and sinfulness; not less aware. The grace of God is shown to be yet more unmerited and yet more sufficient for us specifically because we know that our challenges are beyond our abilities. Need we constantly strive to fix all things? Jesus already has all things within His control. We have a job to do for the moment. Follow Him closely. Grow in your trust of Him. Learn what it means to love your neighbor, your spouse, and your enemy. Learn to recognize His voice so that His Word is clear even in murky and unsightly situations.
“I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:” (Isaiah 45:2 KJV)