Anglican Morning Devotion for 18 March 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
The Narrow way that leads up to life eternal is not a hidden way – it is clearly defined in the Gospels of our New Testament, and even before shadowed in the Old. If the way is obscured, it is not an obscurity that has fallen from Heaven, but one that has arisen in the evil intentions of the soul of man.
Worldly concerns and possessions have eclipsed the Light of Truth for many that would keep the Narrow Way a burning and gleaming path to the Gates of Splendor. I believe President Ronald Reagan wisely summarized the right path in politics in his remarks below:
“You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream — the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order –or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path.” President Ronald Reagan. I believe Reagan’s comments are an excellent analysis of the political spectrum, but the application can be made to every venue of life, especially the spiritual. It is very much like the words of Patrick Henry in his address to the Virginia House of Delegates, March 23, 1775: “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
This statement, even more concisely, states the main principle of a Godly and happy life – that of FREEDOM! But how can man enjoy full freedom without moral restraint in his society? Without a moral code, there can be no freedom as man tends to always do as he pleases without any legal or moral restraint on his actions; and which moral code will we employ? Governments around the world enact laws to enforce certain portions of the Ten Commandments – laws against murder, stealing, lying, etc. But they do not recognize the Giver of Law, God Almighty.
The principles espoused by both Reagan and Henry could not be realized without a reliance on the very Author of Liberty. The Scriptures give abundance of counsel on this point: “And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.” (Psalm 119:45). “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;” (Isaiah 61:1)
Alexandr Solzhenitzyn, a giant of spiritual stature and victim of the Gulag in the old Soviet Union describes perfectly the plight of the western world in its path to spiritual degeneracy. Solzhenitzyn said “the west has forgotten God.” This quote from a man who has lived in a nation that was adamantly opposed even to the mention of God’s name.
Even a man who knew little of God (Pathagoras) made this observation of life which comports well with that of Holy Scripture. “When I was a child my mother used to draw for me a simple picture of two diverging paths starting from the same point (a ‘Y’ form), one path narrow, rising up toward Heaven, the other broad and descending toward the pit. It was easy to leave the broad path and move to the upward path at the beginning, for the distance was short and obstacles were few; but not so easy as to start from the right way first. But the farther one traveled in the downward way, the greater the distance to the Heavenly road. The obstacles grew more obstructive, the rivers broader, the mountains higher, the morasses more miry and extended, and fierce beast haunted the wilds.” Of course, the point is that it is best to start early on the road of righteousness, but never too late to change paths even if that effort grows more challenging. Christ can make new in a day.
The ancient Proverb of Solomon is wisely heeded by parents – “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) We must remain mindful that all real Liberty comes from God and is expressed in His Law: “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth
therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:25)