The Easy Way
Our human minds are used to look for the easiest way. We tend to look for ways that would enable us to get the best results using the least efforts in the shortest possible time. The world calls this productivity and efficiency. Subtly, this has become the criteria and trend by which we used to make decisions in life. It has also been used to measure and gauge the success of churches and disciples.
But sad to say that the way of the cross is hardly the easiest way. Christ’s way is the narrow way. It is often a long and tedious path. It is often filled with pain and hardship. If God’s way is the easiest way to achieve results, Jesus would not need to die on the cross. He would have transformed the hearts of the people at the command of His words. Paul would not need to go to Rome to appeal to Caesar. He could choose the city that was the most responsive and stay there and build a mega church. But they all did not choose the easiest way to yield the greatest results. By world’s standard, they were not productive or efficient enough. They could have win more souls if they had known how to strategize. They could have build a greater Christian empire. So why not? We often fall into the productivity and efficiency trap because we think that this is the will of God. But the Bible tells us otherwise. Yes, the will of God wants people to come to the saving grace of Jesus. However, it’s emphasis is not on the results but on obedience. It is a matter of which path God wants us to take rather than which path yields the best results. God can call us to a hard ground and preach to the people there. God can call us to start a ministry that is extremely tough. We all can end up like Jeremiah or Ezekiel. Not everyone is called to a big church. If God has called us to something, stay put and be faithful to it. People may give a lot of comments, but not to worry as long as we know what God has called us to do. Do not fall into the trap of looking for shortcuts. Do not scheme to get people into church. All these do not impressed God even if we have the biggest church.
This applies to discipleship too. Many churches neglect discipleship because of evangelism. Though it may be true that prebelievers are not yet saved compared to those who are already in church, but believers also need to be discipled for them to be strong in the Lord. Many disciples are still weak and unclear about their faith because many simply follow their friends. Believing in Christ is like a fashion to some of them and has to be clarified. Many believers need some time to build their faith and be firm in God. There is no easy path to discipleship. It takes time and effort. It takes love and understanding.
The way of the cross applies to our lives too. There is no shortcuts for building our lives in Christ. Sometimes, God leads us to a longer path. It may be tougher and rougher. It’s alright if that’s what God prepares for us. We will become stronger and better. So let us not just look for the easiest way, but ask God to show us His way and be obedient to follow through even if it is longer and tougher.