Since 2016 when I was asked the question, “What Am I Doing Right Now”? Invitation into the secret place and the tour of beauty and wonder has exploded in my spirit! Daily, I wait with pregnant expectation for the prompt in His Words, the questions that lead me with intrigue into the chambers of His Life and revelation.
Based on past experience with His questions, these prompts are never about me getting the right answer, but more about going with, after and behind the leading of His voice toward the pool of understanding. They are realities in the Spirit He wants to open up in my spirit to ponder, consider, heed and understand. Recently, the Spirit of TRUTH asked this.
Is there a direct connection between the easy yoke Jesus asked you to take on and the small gate and narrow road you are to enter by that leads to life?
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. MATT 11:29-30
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. MATT 7:13-14
It’s not specifically laid out to see in scripture and there is a leap of 4 chapters that separate the two statements, the first being last and the last being first. Could that be a little Jesus irony?
I’ve come to understand there is indeed an absolute and certain link between the two descriptions of what He offers as our hitch or harness and the ability to make passage into that small gate and narrow road that few find.
As I have followed on with His leading the connection has become clearer. Taking His easy yoke “enables” passage through the small gate and narrow road. But along the way He has provoked consideration on the dichotomy of the two. One is easy and the other is extremely hard and most humans won’t suffer it. That is the “B” side of why he said, “Few find it”. The “A” side is few actually stop to listen for His voice and His voice only.
In this writing I will address the mandatory connection between the two passages and our need to embrace the couplet in our spirit. I will also address the view of our natural mind verses the mind of the Spirit who is our easy empowerment through that small gate and narrow road.
To be clear, Jesus never said outright.
Hey! Disciples and followers! Just so you know,
*My yoke that I said is easy and that small gate and narrow road that leads to life that few will enter by are like cause and effect, like stimulus and response!*
Nope, He never said that. But by revelation of His Spirit, He has shown me they are just that. Stimulus and Response. Cause and Effect. There is a direct and crucial connection between His easy yoke and the small gate and narrow road.
If the former will not be undertaken the latter can never be seen or fulfilled. If we will not yoke ourselves to the voice of the Living God, how can we answer His call to enter through His gate for the sheep?
Based on His revelation and transformation through the nearly 3 years of The Journey this is what I hear Him saying about His yoke.
Take My coupling first before concerning yourself with yours. For I am always joined with the voice of My Father, learn from this. By My Spirit enlightenment of My Word comes. It is this Word received in humility and gentleness that clues you in and brings you up to speed, enabling you to do the will of the Father. It’s from Me and you will find rest for your souls when you do as well. My burden is light, the quick and agile Word of TRUTH. Matt 11:29-30
The understanding in the yoke that is easy, the small gate and narrow road is a reinforcement of what I have seen through The Journey:
I live off of His intercession in repentance.
The yoke Jesus had; His harness, His attachment and coupling offered to us is a listening ear for the voice and commandments of the Father, through the Spirit of Truth, the voice of the Holy Spirit. That is the Yoke.
Stated again. The yoke Jesus had; His harness, His attachment and coupling offered was a listening ear for the voice and commandments of the Father. He extended that yoke as the true love for the Father, to us. The invitation for us to receive and take up that same attachment. The unity of John 17.
Something of note here, Jesus is inviting all to listen for the will of the Father being spoken. The yoke is present, available, and accessible. The Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it. DEUT 30:14 For those with ears to hear, let them hear what the Spirit is saying…
Conversely, He is also saying if we will not listen for His voice and hear His Words we can not follow Him through the small gate down the narrow road. We have no part in Him.
“Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. LUKE 13:24
Stated another way. You are not able to enter on your own it’s by the Word of My Spirit, Contend to hear My voice over the voice of strangers.
It’s an easy yoke because the Word of His power is being spoken right here, right now. The Hebrews 4:12 living and active Word He speaks, penetrates to the dividing of the soul and the spirit of the individual. And this Word is already upholding all things, able to save completely because He always lives to make intercession for us.
We must strive to listen for His voice because since the Garden the easy yoke in the Voice of the Spirit has had a competing voice, the voice of a stranger. The force multiplier in the strangers voice was and is the consumption of the [TOTKOGAE], Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil and that consumption is our biggest issue in not hearing today. The battle is in the spirit, for our minds but the battle is won by following in the dynamite power of the Holy Spirit over our minds and our knowledge of good and evil.
His Kingdom is within us and He is our very breath. The only lack is our embrace and attribution, our subscription our submission to that Word that is near us, in our mouth and heart so that we may observe it. A heart that will take the treasure of His voice and go with, after and behind that Living Word being spoken. His presence and unrequested direction is offered as a Glory to His name. The yoke is His intercession being met in repentance.
Reiterated, an ear to hear, listening for His voice is the easy yoke we are to embrace as the treasure of our heart. Only through hearing and following with, after and behind the leading of His voice can we see or understand the small gate and narrow road of his kingdom that only a “few find”.
That is the coupling of the two passages.
Without His yoke, the listening ear for the Voice and will of the Father, one can not see or understand the small gate or narrow road.
Let that wash over you and soak you.
If you’ve never had one before, this is a serious Ponder Stop. Because in the failure to understand causation the eternal ramifications appear to be disqualification from the few.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. MATT 7:21
Sadly, the community of faith doesn’t readily see or recognize the easy yoke, because honestly, to few live their life by the power of the Holy Spirit actually listening for the will of the Father. We say the Lords prayer; You’re will be done, but based on observation of fruit it seems to me more individuals run their lives in their mind and it’s thoughts, without a glance or yield for the Living Word who is speaking right now, by the Spirit, to children.
To the sceptic, the yoke, gate and road could be overlooked as cause and effect because Jesus didn’t directly state that they are connected. I confess I’ve never heard anyone put the two together as such either. But the understanding that they are directly connected has come by revelation of the Holy Spirit and I am thoroughly convinced what He has shown me is the absolute TRUTH.
The posture of much of western culture and Christianity in particular is a systematic linear pattern of thinking as the way to understanding and following God. This, then this, then this and then you’ve got it.
It is possible to know the scriptures and not know His voice, but it is impossible to know His voice and not come to understand the depths of the scriptures.
And while there is some value to a systematic linear pattern of thinking when it comes to things like driving a car or frying an egg, if this is how one understands or approaches a relationship with God, who is Spirit and not linear, they are not one of the few who will find the small gate and narrow road.
The Holy Spirit affirms in scripture, “the mystery of Christ” is by revelation led by Him first, not our minds.
ROM 16:25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past…
EPH 3:3-5 by revelation there was made known to me the mystery… of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit…
In time, the mind of the Spirit brings understanding of that mystery to our finite minds. But the whole package begins and ends in His Spirit and not our minds. Read 2 Corinthians 2.
Peter demonstrated this to a T, as the Father, by the Spirit revealed to him that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of the living God. Soon after, Peter turns around and tells Jesus He’s not going to suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, be killed, and raised up on the third day!
Proving the point. The greatest “revelation” in the history of mankind, the rock Jesus said He’d build His church on that the gates of hell would not prevail against, was dropped unprovoked into Peter’s heart and he spoke it out boldly.
But as Jesus told him, Peter did not have the things of God in his mind. And when he acted out of his mind [no pun intended, but maybe there should be] Jesus told him, “Get behind me satan!
Interesting Jesus would demand satan, ugh? Peter get behind him because he didn’t have the things of God in his mind. Think that’s a clue? A call to be with, after and behind the voice of the Spirit because “No one seeks God”? This is a hint at understanding, unless He opens up our minds to it, no one can have the mind of God either. Good thing His yoke is easy?
What I have just written is in perfect alignment to the understanding that repentance is led by His intercession first. His voice precedes all things God in us. I have been led to share this throughout The Journey that began with His question, What Am I Doing Right Now?.
So Peter receives the easy yoke in the voice of the living God who is forever speaking and with, after and behind that interceding Word, echoing what he just heard, he speaks. But then, because he has no root, he doesn’t continue in repentance. Because He’s taken no time to ponder, consider, heed or think upon what was just spoken to him, the understanding of the mystery of Christ doesn’t become resident in his mind and Jesus casts him as satan for front running and condemning the will of God. Hmmmmm?
It’s no different than the serpent in the garden with Adam. The serpent heard the Word of the living God, but he did not take on His yoke and follow with, after and behind what was said or encourage a listening ear because he was operating under the presumptions and pretenses of his own mind apart from the Word of Living God. You see it?
In all the years of faith and fellowship I have encountered, most teachers have presented the opposite of what I have just written here. Through a systematic linear pattern of thinking most of what I have heard is learn the scripture with your mind [and we should], believe with your heart and then His Spirit comes.
In fact the exact opposite is true and has always been the TRUTH. Everything God in humanity is born of His Spirit who is present to guide us into ALL TRUTH, we don’t have the things of God in our mind without His Spirit revealing them, even if we read them.
“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, and revealed them to little children. MATT 11:25
The stimulus is the yoke that is easy. It’s His extension of the Spirit of the Living God as our harness, attachment or coupling to the Father, to Life. His Living and active Word seeking a listening ear received. It is the voice of the Father, the voice of the Good Shepherd, the voice of the Holy Spirit, embraced and followed as the treasure of our hearts. Yoked as Jesus was, doing exactly as His Father commanded. Only through hearing and following with, after and behind the leading of His voice can we see and understand the small gate and narrow road of his kingdom. This is why Jesus said few find it. And why get behind me satan was spoken to Peter. Because it will not be seen or be walked out starting with our minds.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. PROV 25:2
So what about the small gate and narrow road? These two elements Jesus speaks of are the responses to the cause, the effects of the stimulus. That easy yoke He asked us to take.
At the small gate and narrow road the separation between our mind and the Spirit of the Living God part ways or stated another way; Here is where the separation between our mind and the Spirit of the Living God are proven to not share the same space at all.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matt 7:13-14
It seems to be simple enough. Jesus is telling us, this will be tight. We understand narrow and wide, gate and road. But when one digs into the greek translations the picture that gets painted in this response is kinda bleak for the natural man. The more these words are pondered and considered the more apparent it becomes that without the motivation, power and strength of the Holy Spirit failure is sure at the small gate and narrow road.
He asks me the question, “Can you see what it means to enter through the small gate and to walk the narrow road?” I ventured a guess, based on the way Jesus acted as the Way the Truth and the Life and was treated in this world that He’s talking about a situation characterized by a specified degree of trouble or difficulty. A bad and or difficult situation, a crisis and predicament of plight.
The response or effect will either be the good fruit of His Spirit or the corrupt fruit of the flesh. It will either be a response to His Life giving Word in the Spirit or what we want to think based the stranger’s voice and the [TOTKOGAE] the Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil.
Here is where the flesh recognizes what it looks like to take up our cross, weighing the narrow winepress of persecution for the Word proceeding from the mouth of God. Responses or effects can not be faked. This is where we will be known by our fruit and which tree our fruit comes from. It may take some time but “It shall be done to you according to your faith.” MATT 9:29. You see?
Again, Peter demonstrated this after He received the revelation in Matt 16:17. The cause, was the stimulus of the Father, revealing Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. Moments after that, as Jesus shared He was going to suffer and die at the hands of the religious leaders, Peter’s rebuke drew this response from Jesus.
“Get behind Me, satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
Peter was stopped out at the small gate and narrow road. How could that be? The Father had just jump started Peter in the Spirit and Jesus confirmed the understanding of the revelation, born of the Spirit. But then in his own mind and thoughts, apart from the Word of the Living God, He bears fruit of the [TOTKOGAE] judging and condemning the will of God. Rightfully, he was cast away, as satan.
In plain english:
The same guy, receives God’s revelation of the salvation of humanity then in his own mind tries to stop it from happening.
You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
The “revelation” that He will build His Church on, that the gates of hell will not prevail against, arrives in the spirit of the man, Peter. The man speaks what he has just heard in his heart but it’s not understood in his mind. Then he carries forward outside the counsel of the Spirit and in his own mind, forges thoughts for his heart that cast him as satan, behind those very gates that were just confirmed as powerless over the “revelation”. Ponder Stop!
I hope the relationship of these two passages and their cause and effect is being understood. Following Jesus has little to do with what we think we know in our minds. His Spirit and our minds do not share the same space. The cold hard reality is; the renewing and transformation of our minds by the washing of His Word measures out to few who find it.
The stimulus is easy because it doesn’t depend on us. The Father speaks by the voice of the interceding Spirit; the Son who is able to save forever lives to make intercession for us. Jesus Christ, The same yesterday today and forever more. He gives what we need before we could even think or ask, for those with ears to hear. But the response is extremely hard, impossible for the natural mind. Without the yoke of the Spirit, humans will not suffer small or narrow as a path. Just like Peter wasn’t going to let Jesus suffer it and didn’t want to suffer it himself before the cock crowed. While Jesus walked through the small gate on that narrow road to His death.
Choose this day who you serve. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is resident waiting to baptize us with fire to impart the motivation, power, strength, and ability to live in Christ. Peter did not understand the small gate or the narrow road till He received that power as his only hope in Acts 2.
So do we have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying?
If you search you will see Jesus spoke with importunity on the subject of having an ear to hear what the Spirit says. Often on the tail end of some really, really “mind boggling” or meaty statements.
But search the scriptures for the systematic linear pattern or methodology for how the Spirit leads or how one can acquire ears to hear what the Spirit says. I’ll wait…
Since we don’t have an eternity, I’ll just tell you there isn’t a single verse. The Bible is silent on help for your brain for the acquisition of an ear to hear. The foundational requirement for taking His yoke.
But if you read by the Spirit you will discover the ear was given at creation, The appeal is born through God’s Gap in our heart, to our spirit, by His Spirit. We either hear the Word and follow or we don’t. Following God can’t be taught as it has been.
In a similar fashion, I can’t point to a specific passage in scripture as proof text to my understanding on this stimulus and response. That if the former yoke will not be undertaken the latter gate and road can never seen or fulfilled. But I have shared a number of passages that have offered the aroma, and savor for the TRUTH in His understanding. I pray we have ears to hear.
So if what I’ve been shown is wrong, no harm no foul. We’re all fine just believing and carrying on as we have. But if what I’ve been shown and stated is true, then the small gate and narrow road will stop out most “believers”. Because only a few find it.
The easy yoke is the voice of His intercession freely offered, before we could think or ask. The small gate and narrow road can only be entered through an ear to hear, listening and following with after and behind His spoken Word. If we will not stop and ponder, consider or heed what is said, we are not living in repentance and shall not see the small gate and narrow road.
I live off of His intercession in repentance.
…for him who has an ear to hear let him hear.