There Is No Camping On The Narrow Road

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 Jesus tells us of two ways: one with a wide gate and a broad way that leads to destruction. And one with a narrow gate and a difficult road that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14).

There is no camping on the narrow road.

The broad way leaves plenty of room for stopping, for napping, for camping, and, as one of the teachers of my youth would have said, for lollygagging. After all, that way leads to destruction. Why be in any hurry to get there?

But the difficult road and the narrow gate lead to life, and there is no camping on that road. There is no stopping. There is no lolygagging. The way of Jesus presses us in and calls us on. The narrow road is joy for the traveler, but pain for the lollygagger. I can understand why someone would delay his or her journey to nowhere on the way to destruction. Transit on that path is not a journey to maturity or growth to begin with. What else should I expect to see among those who are lost? Blind leading blind, and both falling into a ditch along the way (Matthew 15:14).

But those travelers on the way to see the King, the travelers on the way to life, they are not looking for a place to camp. They are looking to move forward. They are being pulled by their future, as my good friend Dr. David Robinson (no relation) is fond of saying. They have no time to camp, they have no time to stop. They will sprint where they can. They ask the Lord for His strength, and He gives it to them:

Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

There is no place for sitting around, much less for looking behind (Luke 9:62). It is joy to travel forward. Always forward. We press on (Philippians 3:12-16). To camp is to misunderstand where the road leads. It is to lose our bearings.

Sometimes we feel like we are stuck on the road. We feel that we are not moving forward. Our spiritual life in the Lord feels mundane or stagnant. But those feelings do not necessarily mean you are camping. You may be in a particularly difficult moment. Those moments, or even seasons, are some of the places on the route where we learn patience and perseverance (Romans 5:3-5).

At other times we know we are camping, and doing so intentionally. We have stopped moving, maybe bullheadedly! We do not want to take the next step. We plant ourselves in the middle of the road and stop growing. We stop maturing and we start to wither (John 15:5-8). The cares of the world and the allure of comfort threaten to choke out our fruitfulness (Luke 8:14-15).

Here is what every Christ Follower needs to understand, the difficult road was not made for stopping. It was not made for camping. The narrow path was made for running and walking and mounting up on wings like eagles, all in the power of God. Every narrow pass that presses in on us is an opportunity to drop another garment of our grave clothes, another opportunity to do away with the old man and put on the new man in Christ (Ephesians 4:17-32). It is the new man1 that can move freely and fully on the difficult road. It is the new man, the Christ Follower becoming ever newer (2 Corinthians 5:17, Philippians 1:6).

We are called to run the road of life, of victory, and of joy. Fruitfulness in the Kingdom is directly related to abiding in Jesus Christ (John 15:5). We cannot stop moving, stop pressing in, and stop abiding in Him, or we will wither. It is absurd to camp, or even to lollygag on the Lord's road, the path He has laid out for us (Ephesians 2:1-10). All the difficulties on the difficult road are opportunities to press into Jesus. They are opportunities to know God more fully and more passionately. Do not stop moving. Do not let difficulties tempt you to be mad at God, or to question His ways. God's ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9), and He promises to work all things together for good for the true Christ Follower (Romans 8:28)!

This is a good time for the Christ Follower to ask, what's next? What does the next step on the narrow road look like? Should I press more deeply into to the local expression of the Body of Christ God has called me to serve (your Church Body)? Should I be giving more, serving more, reading and studying Scripture more, doing away with known sin in my life? What does it look like? Whatever it looks like, do it! Stop camping! Keep doing the thing, walking and running the narrow road to life! For God is with you. Your Father loves you (Psalm 23).

1. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. Genesis 5:2. Just to clear up any misunderstanding, in the English language, use of the word man is referring to both men and women😉.

1 Comment

John Robinson - January 3rd, 2022 at 11:32pm

Well said, David. Thank you for this post!