You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell[a] is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT)
If I were to describe the narrow gate, I would say it's not well marked. There are no flashing lights, no huge signs, it looks rather uninteresting and it's probably not easily found. I think you'd have to really look for the entrance. You have to want to find it. And in my mind, when you enter in there are these tall walls that make it hard to get through. Sometimes, it feels like they are lined with sandpaper. Entering in is difficult because you have to squeeze in, sideways.
Why? Why does the bible say many will try to enter but fail (Luke 13:24) Matthew says the road it difficult. Why?
Maybe this is because you cannot enter this gate with anything but your desire to please God. All the 'stuff' we carry with us has to be left outside. Your backpack of belongings like your house, your car, your bank account are not important on this journey. You have to let them go. Letting those go is harder than you think.
And why the super narrow entrance that I describe as sandpaper when you squeeze in? Because not only do we have to leave all our 'stuff', we also have to leave our pride and our of success and what is right according to the world. We must be made over again with a heart like Jesus.
Following God is not a one-time statement saying "I believe in Jesus." That will not get you through the narrow gate. It is a life change, and more importantly it is a cutting away of the parts of your heart that that keep God from being first.
Sounds hard doesn't it? It is. Matthew says it is and folks who live with God first know it is. Want to know how to do it? Grab hold of Jesus' hand and hold on. Don't let go no matter what. He will never let go of you. You may come through that gate battered and bleeding but you will not do it by yourself.
Of course, you can always go through the wide gate. You will not be alone there either.