The path to heaven and eternal glory with God, which is presented by some today, is unreal. Even in the name of Christianity most of it is only “hype.” Another four-letter word that I see plastered all over the Internet describes how people feel about what they read and hear. The apostle Paul used the word “dung” (which is more graceful) to describe the things in this world, things that have no link to heavenly things, but are simply earthly. Compared to the real thing they are but waste, worth nothing.
But in order to get past the earthly, and the dung, we have to address it. It is a reality. We have to see it for what it is, and know how to deal with it. How do we know what we are dealing with, and how do we get through it. It is all part of the understanding of the path that God calls us to.
“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory
by Christ Jesus,
after that ye have suffered a while,
make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
1 Peter 5:10
The path to glory, by some, is paved with good intentions. When the veneer cracks and crumbles they and their followers, like the Kohathites, (Numbers 16:32) will be swallowed up. They want people to be a part of their ministry and so they make everything inviting; promising comfort and ease in joining their ranks. Some hope for others a good life and try to make it look easy for them. They have not yet understood, nor can they lead others in this path.
This path is not a “glory path” here on this earth. God, our heavenly Father does not promise us a path back to the Garden of Eden, but one that leads to Gethsemane.
Hidden and Narrow
“At that time Jesus answered and said,
I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
because thou hast hid these things
from the wise and prudent,
and hast revealed them unto babes.”
It is a hidden path. Only those to whom the Father reveals the Son and draws them to Him will find the path. (John 6:44-45)
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life,
and few there be that find it.”
The path begins through a gate so slim that we can take nothing with us. More so, there is a compression of all that we are that enables us to get through. Humility, faith, and repentance empty us of our baggage, and shrink us to the size we need to be.
It is a narrow path. This is the path that Jesus describes to his disciples.
He says that only a few will come to Him. The multitudes won’t lead us to it. The crowded path leads to destruction. The path to glory is not a wide path, but one that we most often will have to walk alone; not that others are not on the path, but there are times when they will not understand what we are dealing with or going through. Some are new to the path and coming after us. Some are ahead of us and we may be too slow for them; we only get in their way. For the most part, only Christ can understand and lead us through.
Not Our Choosing
It is never the path we would choose for ourselves. We would choose the easier way, but if we are to follow Christ, it must be His way or not at all. This is why many cannot find, know, or walk this path here on earth. We must know our calling in Christ to be one of suffering and sacrifice for His name’s sake—for “righteousness’ sake.”
It is a walking path, not a bike lane or busy highway; we have no motor vehicle, only feet and body for the endurance; for proving of His own grace and power in our perseverance.
What God teaches us is — the path to His glory is difficult. He has said it; and His saints are witnesses to the fact and experience that it is a struggle to endure the pains and trials of the Christian life. It does not get easier as we get older; we simply require and experience more of God’s grace and strength.
Steep, Rocky, and Dark
The path is steep, sometimes turning like a spiral, leading round and round, onward and upward. It is rocky; it seems that things are literally thrown into the path. There we stumble and oftentimes we fall—right into the dung. There are times when it seems that we cannot take another step; our arms get so tired; or when we can no longer walk, the wheels on our chair get bogged down and won’t turn.
It is sometimes dark, with only the Word of God as a “light for our path, and a lamp for our feet.” It can lead to the top of a mountain, where the sky is the bluest; the air is the freshest, and the aroma as heavenly as the very presence of God. Other times it leads to the valley, or through a tunnel where all that we have is a glimpse of light at the end; other times we are led into a cave where all is black, and the only thing we can do is sit still, and wait.
Unless you are on the path that we describe, and you know the purpose in all your struggles, and striving, stop and examine where you are. Stay with us for Part 2 to look at the promises that are posted on this path to encourage us and bring us gracefully, triumphantly, and gloriously into the presence of God, the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, here and for eternity.
“Confirming the souls of the disciples,
and exhorting them to continue in the faith,
and that we must through much tribulation
enter into the kingdom of God.