It may be said that the more often you do something the easier it will become, practice makes perfect they say. Now that might be true in an ideal world, but the reality is, experts in all walks of life can and do make mistakes.
Karl Wallenda was such a man, who from the age of six years old performed with his family as part of a high wire act. The group were always pushing the boundaries in the name of entertainment. Up on the wire they would do headstands, ride cycles and form pyramids of up to seven members. As the years passed, Karl himself set all manner of world records, at the age of 69 he was still at it, and walked 1800 ft that at that time took the world skywalk distance record.
Of course every walk was fraught with danger, all the preparation had to be spot on, then if nothing else you have the law of averages against you, his age was also a factor, but the one big enemy he always had to contend with and take into consideration was the weather.
In 1978 Karl was 73, and once more he’s performing, this time 121 ft in the air, walking between two hotels in Puerto Rico, and this time was to be the last time, tragically some distance into the walk, the wind blew up, a strong gust hit Karl, and even though he tried to steady himself using all his skill, he lost his balance and fell to his death. All those years perfecting his art were ended by a gust of wind.
As Christians one may say that our walk can be likened to that of a tightrope walker, no matter how long we have been walking with Christ the facts are we too can easily lose our balance and ‘’fall’’. Or to put it another way? As Karl was on a narrow wire, we are on a Narrow Path.
The Bible, the Word of God in print, shows us how, if we heed its lessons and principles we can avoid falling off that Narrow Path. Let’s look at three points
To start with, we must recognise that Jesus Himself said that our walk is narrow.
Matthew 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.”
Matthew 7:14 “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Jesus said that the way that most people go is through a nice wide opening , onto a broad way an easier way, while our walk the one in which we have accepted the invitation to, is hard narrow and difficult. To help us stand firm and not lose our footing, God provides us with His Spiritual Armour, as found in Ephesians 6; notice that the Armour covers us from head to foot, in verse 15 Paul mentions that our feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of Peace.
Footwear was oh so important to Karl Wallenda as he walked the wire, and footwear for the Roman Soldier from whom Paul was using as his inspiration was also important, unlike other parts of his armour, they were used everyday, and going into battle they took on an even greater role … the boots would have studs on the sole to stop them slipping. The Soldier dug in, we too on our Narrow Path can dig in. So in order for us to stay on the path, let us use our Spiritual Boots to dig in as we follow our Saviour and do our part in proclaiming the Gospel.
For the second point let us understand that We must not take our walk for granted. Prior to Baptism we are told to count the cost, and again Jesus’ own words advise us, that if we are to follow Him then we need to take into consideration what that truly means Luke 14: 26-33.
In light of our story on Karl you could ask the question, did he count the cost? Well the cost of walking that wire included the death of three members of the family doing stunts which Karl himself was taking part, and his own son was paralysed from the waist down, but being an entertainer it was a case of the ‘’Show must go on’’, however for Karl that rope didn’t get any wider he couldn’t afford to take what he was doing for granted, and our spiritual walk doesn’t get any easier, we will like Paul (Romans 7:15-19 ) always have our own struggles to overcome. Consider that for all that Paul knew and understood, and his devotion to Gods Word, he’s telling us here it doesn’t get any easier, Paul though as we know fought the good fight and stayed on that narrow path until the end, and we must do the same.
For the third point: Consider our natural enemy.
For Karl the natural enemy was the one that led to his death… the weather. For us it is Satan the one who transforms himself into an angel of light, the master of disguise, the god of this world and the father of lies, the prince of the power of the air .the one who has blinded the world, and the one who we once followed… and guess what? Now he knows you’re on the Narrow Path that leads to life he wants you to fail and fall off.
Back again in Ephesians 6 :16 Paul mentions the shield of faith.
What is faith?
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
To help protect us against the fiery darts that Satan has for each of us we need that shield of faith firmly in place, our shield is a spiritual one provided by God through the power of the Holy Spirit it will never let us down if we use it properly
Our faith is the total belief and conviction in something we haven’t seen yet, our faith is the conviction that this Narrow Path we are on leads to those things which we hope for. Understand that Satan has been firing those darts at Gods people from the time of his own demise, and there’s more than one dart that’s got your name on it.
So as we carry on following our Saviour, realise that the Path we walk on is narrow… put on those spiritual boots and dig in, don’t take our walk for granted there will be difficulties but the Path leads to the kingdom of God, and don’t forget our natural enemy Satan, use that shield of Faith!
Broad and easy is the way of this world, its going nowhere it just leads to destruction.
The Narrow Path leads to Life! So stick to the Path stick to the Narrow Path.