Text: “Teach me Thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.”
“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 shall go in thereat; because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
- - Matthew 7:13-14.
Good morning, ‘Plain Path’ Christian! Your life is led along a straight line due to your total dependence on the only Road Map the Lord God has given us, ’His people’, to follow. The path of true Christian faith is both straight and strait; it is a path that leads in a straight line from A to B; and a path that is very narrow, and hard, indeed.
Dictionary Definition: Strait: (Noun) narrow part, place, or passage, especially (often in plural) by water, (usually in plural) difficulty, distress, hardship. (Adjective) close, narrow, strict, rigorous; hard-pressed, needy; sparing in giving; tight… (The Chambers Dictionary, page 1632)
The Lord Jesus only teaches, and exclusively recognises ‘the strait gate’ to Eternal life in Heaven. He then makes a sobering statement, one of which we should all take careful note: “…And FEW there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:14) Selah: now think on this!
“Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he/she that doeth the will of My Father which is in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day (the day of Christ’s judgement), Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? And in Thy Name have cast out devils? And in Thy Name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)
Try teaching this ’plain path’ teaching to the ’Name it and claim it, brigade’, and they will want to string us up to the nearest telegraph pole! The teaching is too STRAIT! The path is too straight! The teaching is too plain and to the point!
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears (to hear funny stories); and they shall turn away their ears from the truth (plain path teaching), and shall be turned into fables (tellers of foolish stories).” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Verse 11. Teach me Thy way, O Lord…” Jesus teaches us ‘Ye must be born again…’; we must be Spiritually regenerated by God the Holy Spirit; we must be granted God’s gifts of faith and repentance from our sins; we must confess Christ as both Saviour and Lord; we must learn more and more about Him and seek to live our lives as He would have us live them - in Christlikeness, to the best of our too often limited abilities. This is Christ’s way, and it is the only way of Salvation, by grace through faith in His Cross Sacrifice, that He teaches and allows. (John 3:3-8) (Ephesians 2:8-10) (1 John 1:6-10)
When we seek to earnestly and faithfully teach Christ’s ‘plain path’ teaching - we are immediately confronted by what I call ‘religious enemies’; charlatans, ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’. We will have the world of unbelief; the Devil; as well as our own too fallible flesh to contend with also; but ‘religious enemies’ are quick to condemn us.
“These things have I spoken unto you (Christ’s disciples), that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye SHALL have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The Lord God protects and takes care of those who seek to learn His way and teach it.
Verse 11. “Lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. If a man travelling on the King’s highway be robbed between sun and sun, satisfaction (compensation) is recoverable upon the country where the robbery was made; but if he takes his journey in the night, being in an unseasonable time, it is at his own peril, he must take what falls. So, if a man keep in God’s ways, he shall be sure of God’s protection; but if he stray out of them (God’s way), he exposes himself to danger.” (Robert Skinner -1670)
Verse 11. “…Because of mine enemies. It is wonderful to observe how honest simplicity baffles and outwit’s the craftiness of wickedness. Truth is wisdom. ‘Honesty is the best policy.’” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 138)
“Believers condemn those by their lives who condemn them by their lips. Christian, if you dwell in the open tent of licentiousness, the wicked shall not walk backward, like modest Shem and Japheth, to cover your shame; but they will walk forward like cursed Ham, to publish it. Thus they make use of your weakness as a plea for their wickedness. Men are merciless in their censures of Christians; they have no sympathy for their infirmity. While a saint is a dove in the eyes of God, he is only a raven in the estimation of sinners.” (William Secker 1660)
Thought: ‘Plain path’ teaching, seeks to maintain the full Authority of the written Word of God (KJV) and to ‘tell it like it is’ at all times, ‘warts ‘n’ all’. We are sinners, and shall always fall short of Christ’s perfect Holiness. But we are sinners saved by God’s Sovereign grace - and it is God’s Salvation message we must therefore proclaim. ‘This is the way, walk ye in it…!’ (Isaiah 30:21)