I was just sending a letter of what I hope to be encouragement to a friend and thought to myself that the application is universal. So, I thought I would share it with you:
The narrow path is not easy but tell me, what is the alternative? Jesus requires a lot of us and many cannot stand the demands of it and turn away. In the end though, when He stands before us and asks, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” the only answer to give is the same as Peter’s reply, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”
Maybe I am up on my pulpit preaching down to you, I hope not. It is just that we have seen too much, done too much and know to much too turn back now. God is forever part of the fabric of who we are now woven into and through our entire lives. Try to prove Him false or unfaithful or untrue and you will make yourself miserable in the process.
Give me Jesus, or give me death… no, give me Jesus and give me death! I tire of living this trite life only for myself. It leaves me empty and addicted to whatever small pleasures I can grab. I want this thing in me to die that makes me so self-centered. If draw breath let it be for God and nothing else. And if Seek to follow after Him and fail, I will just keep at it until the day I die, because there is nothing else for me to do. I am ruined for God. You are to and I think deep down you know it.
“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”, “Once more into the breach my friends!” and all that. If the world is out beat me down, I am going to go down swinging!
Now I am all riled up. Seriously though, we are made to contend for the faith. We are fighters. Maybe we have a higher opinion of ourselves then we ought but it does not change the nature of what God has made us to be. That is who God has made you to be. Maybe our pride has held us back but that can never change what He has made us to be.
Oh yeah, now I am ready for a fight! So are you, I think. If you feel tired, remember, He will revive, refresh and renew you.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:11-13 (NASB)