23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
I stumbled across this verse in my study and I noticed there seemed to be a difference between “strive” and “seek.” There has to be, otherwise a striver entering the gate would do no better than a seeker, who might not make it in. To me, one who strives is a warrior, whereas one who seeks is only a searcher. A searcher may be turned away by opposition, but a warrior will grapple with opposition to accomplish the objective. The warrior is trained for that fight, but a searcher isn’t. A searcher doesn’t necessarily know where to go, but a warrior knows where to go (having been previously instructed) and does what it takes to get there.
What is the strait gate? When I think of the strait gate, I automatically think of baptism, but then I also remember that the gate is the way to eternal life, and Christ says He is the gate, so we have to follow His example, believe in Him, repent to become pure like Him, and do what He did (baptism and more). Sure, we have to search out knowledge of how to do that and perfect our efforts, but mostly we will be battling to accomplish the objective of entering the strait gate. We will battle every day against the world and against our natural man. Sometimes the battle will be less obvious, and sometimes the battle will be just to maintain our consistent efforts.
I have to fight to show greater charity, to subdue my occasional rebellious impulses against duty, to squelch impatience that would lead to rudeness, to keep from wasting my time, to keep from getting frustrated at myself when I don’t progress as fast as I think I should, and more. Sometimes I have to fight myself to do my calling and my visiting teaching. (Yes, I love it when I’m in the middle of it, but occasionally I have to fight to get myself to plan and prepare for the calling or to make the calls to set up visiting appointments.) I have to fight to humble myself to repent. And I love variety so much that I have to fight to be consistent.
The above verses almost have a tone of pessimism about the number of people who will make it, but the neat thing about these verses is that they show us that Christ knows it requires a fight to enter that strait gate and He’s not hiding that important knowledge from us. He wants us to have the most realistic view of what is required so that we don’t get discouraged and give up when we discover striving and fighting is required so much, or think that there is something wrong with us because we have to fight. He wants us to make it and He will help us. We will be able to look back at all the times we fought to do what’s right and we will see how He helped.
In what ways are you striving to enter the strait gate?