A Life Wide of Christ
Yes, you read that correctly. Wide.
Often times we believe that the Spiritual walk is either TOWARD or AWAY from Christ as our Savior and Commander. This is partially true but I believe this thinking misses something that happens quite often in our Christian walks.
There are times when we are walking WITH Christ moving toward His commands, callings and statutes. There are times when we are clearly walking away from Him and serving other masters of this world. But, what about the times when we are reading His words and we can see Him but we are still serving other passions?
You’re walking with your other passions - these may be deep lustful things as Luther would say or it maybe something as simple as idolizing your children. You are walking toward the ideals, the theology, the concepts of Christianity but when you look up Christ is wide of you. He is but on another pathway down a ways and is not on the same path as you. You are mistakenly distant from the truthfulness of His calling.
On the appearance metric we are on the same path - we go to church, love our spouse, love our kids, read His word and do the things we believe are narrow with Christ. However, if we look inward we are not denying ourselves daily, we are not picking our “crosses” up and surrendering to the LORD’s daily will. We are still attempting to steward our own ship through the seas. All the while…Christ is stewarding His ship through the Narrow.
Wesley says this in his sermon on self-denial:
The denying ourselves and the taking up our cross, in the full extent of the expression, is not a thing of small concern: It is not expedient only, as are some of the circumstantials of religion; but it is absolutely, indispensably necessary, either to our becoming or continuing his disciples. It is absolutely necessary, in the very nature of the thing, to our coming after Him and following Him; insomuch that, as far as we do not practise it, we are not his disciples. If we do not continually deny ourselves, we do not learn of Him, but of other masters. If we do not take up our cross daily, we do not come after Him, but after the world, or the prince of the world, or our own fleshly mind. If we are not walking in the way of the cross, we are not following Him; we are not treading in his steps; but going back from, or at least wide of, Him.
Wesley, J. (1999). Sermons, on several occasions. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
His call is clear - come near, deny yourself of whatever you think is better than myself and stay with me in the Narrow. I write this short blurb in hopes that we can evaluate ourselves and not fool ourselves into thinking we are NEAR because we are not FAR. But we can still be WIDE.
Let us be near.