“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” Matthew 7:13
One of the lessons in the Weight Loss, God’s Way program teaches us about setting healthy boundaries. In that lesson, we learn that even though setting boundaries can be hard and they may even hurt us, they will not harm us.
I’ve got to admit, I’m struggling with the question of ‘why do things have to be so hard?’ More specifically, why is it so hard to eat healthily? Why is so hard to make time to exercise? Why is it so hard to be nice to some people? Why is it so hard to save money instead of spending it? Why is it so hard to get motivated some days? Why is it so hard to be ‘successful’ in business? And most importantly, why is it so hard to surrender my flesh to God?
So I put this question to God a few days ago. I said,
“God if you really want us to follow you then why did you make us with such strong wills, desires, and appetites. After all, wouldn’t we all be happier and more content if life were easier?”
Over a few days of asking this question over and over again, my response from God through reading my devotions was incredible and shocking. This is how I heard God respond:
1. The ‘easy’ that you want is the exact thing that is making your life ‘hard’.
2. The things that you perceive as hard are what will make your life great.
3. The hard will become easy when you do it, not in your own strength, but in my strength.
4. Doing great things require faith and trust.
DETAILED RESPONSE TO THE FOUR INSIGHTS
Insight #1: The ‘easy’ that you want is the exact thing that is making your life ‘hard’.
“Life is hard because doing the wrong things is easy.”
- Not taking action is easy
- Cutting corners is easy
- Doing your own thing is easy
- Quitting is easy
- Giving into distractions is easy
- Letting your emotions control you is easy
- Doing what you ‘feel’ like is easy
- Living without boundaries or constraint is easy
From a health perspective:
- Eating junk food is easy
- Laying on the couch instead of exercising is easy
- Remaining addicted to sugar is easy
- Watching countless hours of TV is easy
- Allowing every negative thought to come into your mind is easy
The Bible says: “The easy road that you want will only lead to your destruction.” I heard him say. “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.” Matthew 7:13.
Insight #2: The things that you perceive as hard are what will make your life great.
“Life seems hard because of the perceived fear/pain of work.”
- Waking up early to pray instead of sleeping in
- Going to church instead of using the time in other ways
- Giving beyond what is comfortable
- Refusing to eat unhealthy foods
- Refusing to settle for mediocrity
- Refusing to blame others
- Refusing to make excuses
- Refusing to procrastinate
- Stepping out of your comfort zone
- Refusing to quit after a setback
- Giving something 100% effort
- Acting in spite of fear
- Ignoring what other people think or say about you
- Choosing to listen to God’s voice over all others
- Serving others instead of focusing on yourself or on the contrary, serving others so you don’t have to look internally at yourself
The Bible says: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
Insight #3: The hard will become easy when you do it, not in your own strength, but in my strength.
High emotional feelings that make us declare changes we desire are not sustainable. If they were, we would have reached our goals already. What once motivated us is now causing us disappointment in ourselves and sets up feelings of failure. This is the reason why we were never ‘designed’ to fight our battles on our own. Trying to lose weight or any other stumbling block on our own is a recipe for failure in the life of a believer.
The Bible says: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Insight #4: Doing great things require faith and trust.
Finally, the Lord lovingly asked me the question, “Will you trust me?” My answer is a resounding yes! And with that, all is well with me again—at least for another week—LOL!
I admit that my faith is weak, and so I pray for my faith to be strengthened daily. I know all I need is faith the size of a mustard seed, and every once in a while I can muster up that amount, which is just enough to get me through to the next day.
My desire is to do great things for God, so for today, I will not complain about things being too hard. I’m learning that it’s not my job to take on what seems impossible; my job is to turn it over to God and allow Him to work in me.
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
I know that whenever I’m struggling with a question or issue, my loving Father is always there to answer it. In my arrogance, I actually thought I would have stumped him with this question—LOL!!!
I pray this message blesses you as much as it blessed me.
P.S. if you are tired of circling the same mountain over and over and want a Christ-centered approach to lasting weight loss without feeling guilty, deprived, or overwhelmed, be sure to sign up for our video course program right away at cathymorenzie.com
This is amazing!
This was a blessing to read. I’ve often struggled with the tension between the narrow hard road passage and Jesus’ invitation to take his “easy” yoke. I think I’m starting to understand it better in that his yoke on our spiritual lives keeps us from harm and blesses us, while the narrow hard road is hard because it is walked contrary to the world’s ways and methods, and even our own flesh. Thanks so much for sharing this, Cathy!
Wow! This was so on point and right on time! Thank you for sharing what you received in your private time. Incredibly helpful. Stay blessed.
Blessed by the message and revelation.❤️ Thank you for sharing Cathy! God bless you today and in the weeks to come.?
This devotion is really insightful. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I was struck by the phrase “YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.” For some reason the word Souls stuck out. Not necessarily rest for my body but for my weary mind and heart. I can quit striving and let my soul rest. Someone shared with me a few days ago that his brother is a marathon runner. My friend asked his brother how does he do it? How can he run for so long? The brother answered that he had learned how to run and rest… Read more »
Thank you so much for tackling the hard issues in a biblical way! This journey is about so much more than the numbers on the scale, or the size of our clothes! We must be after the things of eternal value, and willing to do the hard things that we try to avoid in our fleshly ways. It’s so true that the hard things that we have tried to avoid are the very things God uses to burn up the dross and refine us.
Awesome Cathy! Thank you so much.
Cathy, thank you for yet another thought provoking article. I’m so thankful God is longsuffering. I love how God doesn’t say do this or that and leaves us to our own demise, but gives us direction through His Word. He tells us why to take the narrow road, He desires us to cast our burden on Him, He tells us what seems impossible to us, is possible through faith. I appreciate you sharing your heart so openly. Through your sharing, I’m (and many others) are blessed.
Bless You Cathy! These insights are rich and powerful! It’s just what I needed to receive in my weakened condition. What really spoke to me was: Making declarations during a moment of high emotions AND approaching difficult tasks in my own strength. So Powerful….Thanks Again Cathy!
[…] been on a seek-and-find mission with God over the last few weeks and its been an exciting journey of introspection and discovery. I thank God for his faithfulness […]
Hi Kimberly, and thanks for your feedback. I’m learning that God works in my life when I’m vulnerable ( submitted to Him). It feels scary and yet safe at the same time. 😉
Cathy your honesty and transparency is refreshing. Thanks for sharing!
This is really thought provoking and I would be mediating over it this weekend. Am grateful to be part of this program.
Thank you and stay blessed