“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” Matthew 7:13-14
A few decades ago when living in Port Pirie, South Australia it was not unusual for me to take my fourteen foot bond-wood boat with putt-putt motor out into Spencer Gulf for a spot of crabbing or fishing. The gulf was relatively shallow so far north but that was not a concern for my boat. However, there was a lead smelting industry in Port Pirie and they needed large ships to be able to berth and take on board the lead. To accomplish this, a channel had been dredged from deeper water, a kilometre or two from shore, right up to the dock. This was marked by lights and signs on marker posts.
Ships coming into port must stay between the markers or they would most certainly run aground. To navigate this channel required care and concentration as it was not a particularly wide channel and neither was it straight. Any captain who ignored the markers would soon lose his ship.
There are essentially only two ways that we might seek to live our lives and please God. The broad way that leads to destruction is the one that ignores or disregards the markers in God’s word. At Port Pirie the markers were to inform the ship’s captain where it was safe to navigate and where there was danger. If we ignore our Creator’s markers and navigate where it is unsafe we can hardly expect to avoid the dangers and we will make shipwreck of our lives.
Most people will rely on human logic and in so doing make a fatal choice. Since Adam’s sin mankind has had a faulty logic. In Proverbs we read, “There is a way that seems right to a man but its end is the way of death” (14:12, 16:9) and “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes but the Lord weighs the spirits” (16:2). A captain who chooses not to follow the markers and take a short cut will run aground.
The broad way is the way that seems right to people but in following that way they miss the truth and make shipwreck of their lives. They have missed the warning markers in God’s word. The narrow way is the way that follows God’s warning markers and remains in the safe channel.
It is tragic that we observe people and nations making shipwreck of life because they have ignored God’s word and revelation in the Bible. It is even more tragic that many deliberately and defiantly rebel against God’s word. It does not bode well for our nation and it robs people of the blessing they might otherwise have had from the Lord.
If we are not to make shipwreck of our lives, either personally or nationally, we will do well to know the safety markers God has given us in His word and enjoy the freedom that we have within them.