Strive To Enter
(Article by Evangelist Ruth M. Brooks from Feed My Lambs)
I was struck with that “strive to enter in at the strait gate” – the narrow gate. This narrow gate is the gate of poverty of spirit. Without it one cannot go through that gate. It is a divesting of one’s self, of all one is and has outside of Jesus. The rich man, who TRUSTS in riches, cannot get through there. He has too much of a load. He could never squeeze through that tiny place. Yet the Lord has ways of reducing man so that he can pass through the eye of a needle and never bump anywhere.This means that any who wants to know Jesus will have to know Him by the kind of poverty which He is – His wonderful lowliness, His beautiful selflessness. It is the opposite of what humanity is, of the natural birth. Jesus wants us to be born anew into His nature. The poor in spirit need not seek self-justification; God justifies them. They do not have to build up a reputation or try to preserve it; they do not seek man’s praise – they desire God’s praise only and live that Jesus be glorified. These poor are indifferent to the “advancement of their own interests.”
They “have nothing, they know nothing, they want nothing but Jesus.” See how narrow is the door! The Word clearly shows that many will seek to enter in when it is too late, after the master has shut the door. You and I have had great opportunities. We need to take advantage of them and let Jesus take His place in us so that it is “no more I but Christ.”
Catherine of Sienna, at a very young age, began seeking the Lord. She was just swallowed up in the love of Jesus. In her thirties she became a power in the land and a guide to the Pope. The Lord used her to speak to the leaders of her nation, to cardinals and church officials. She rebuked them for their sin, and their hypocrisy. She was in such a poverty and holiness of God that the wicked trembled and shuddered because her very purity was a rebuke to their sin. She moved kingdoms because she was given to Jesus.
We know so little about the life that is in God, the life that is hid with Christ in God. Jesus wants us to know Him better. “Strive to enter in at the strait gate” – the gate where you go alone yourself, not anyone else, even the dearest, just you and Jesus. Not with all these trappings and ambitions, these things that we love that are outside of Him. Things we want to be and wish we were and try to be and appear to be. These things keep us out. Let us be divested of all that keeps us on the outside of this strait gate – this narrow way where we find Jesus in His loveliness and fullness.
It would be good to make this coming week one of watching – watching that we do not waste time. Take time to spend it with Jesus - to watch and pray and seek His face. It would be a good thing to watch our words that we do not speak idly. To work at it by willing God’s will and putting our will on His side. To will that we will not say unkind, critical things, that our words will not be displeasing to Jesus. That the “words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts may be acceptable in His sight.” O let it be a prayer this week, a week of watching. A time of watching, watching, watching that Jesus has His way.
Let Jesus have His way. It would be a good thing to dedicate ourselves as some in the world give themselves to become something in the world. It would be good to kindly exhort one another to pray. What would ever happen if prayer meetings should spring up during the day! Any time! Wouldn’t it be wonderful? It would please Jesus if we cut off some of the talk and visiting and wasting time, and seek Him.
I believe God wants to give us a cry for Himself. He wants to give us a seeking spirit. He wants to help us to wait on Him. How would you like to wait on Him all the time that you would have talked to or have visited with someone whose company you enjoy very much? How would you like to take that time to wait on Jesus? “O, I do not have any time.” It would be interesting for you to see how much time you have, that you use in wasting time, and talking unnecessarily, and then go to your room and fall on your face before Jesus. I somehow feel the seriousness of the time we are in. Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. O my God, shake us! May He arouse us and keep us awake.
Front row L to R, Frank Levecchi, Ashley Kroph, Tabitha John, Chris Martin, Nathan Metz
Back row L to R, Dustin Walker, David Kraus, Ethan Baird, Julie Izzo, and Mike Izzo
It is with much gratefulness that we have begun the fall term. Jesus has brought 7 new interns to us, and we have 3 returning interns. Mike Izzo, David Kraus, and Frank Levecchi are returning for their second term. Julie Izzo, (wife of Mike), Dustin Walker, Ethan Baird, Nathan Metz, Tabitha John, Ashley Kroph, and Kristine Martin are beginning their first term. Please join us in prayer for them as they continue on this journey towards Jesus.
We are so grateful for all of you, your prayers and support!
Elizabeth Metz on behalf of the Evergreen Center Staff