Friday, July 22, 2011

#81 Spiritual Zugzwang

Matthew 7:14 "...narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."

My childhood afforded me the opportunity to spend lots of time with my grandparents. It was a real blessing to be able to do so. Across the road from their house was my great-grandmother's home. My great uncle, Jerry, lived there with her.

From time to time I would go over and visit with my uncle Jerry. He was a neat sort of guy with a hippy mentality, but he was also one who enjoyed playing chess so he eventually taught me the basics of the game. And basic playing level is where I have stayed really because I never took time to study or practice the game that much.

Recently, however; I was reading and came across a chess term I had never heard: zugzwang. I know it looks crazy to even try to say it, forget knowing what it means right? Well, it's actually quite simple. Zugzwang refers to a point in the chess game where each move a player makes is detrimental or harmful to their game.

I think that sometimes our lives get into this type of trend. Like a chess game, we make certain moves maybe without realizing or understanding the long-term impact of those moves. The pieces of our lives get shuffled around, we lose some of them, and sometimes before we realize what really happened we find ourselves trapped where each step we take causes even more harm to us or the people around us.

Jesus spoke of two paths on this earth. One is broad and easy to find; so much so that most people discover this path and it leads to destruction or we might say eternal separation from God. The other path Christ mentioned was a narrow one that is found by fewer people, and it leads to eternal life. If you and I live in such a way that we ignore godly counsel, do whatever we want when we want then we may end up in a spiritual zugzwang that sends us spiraling down the broad path to destruction and separation.

But one of the awesome things about our Lord is that He has the ability to step in and help us make decisions and change our direction to such extent that we not only escape spiritual zugzwang, but we will also be led to the narrow way that leads to eternal life.

Where are you today my friend? Are you trapped in a series of bad decisions that keep making trouble in your life, or are you walking by Jesus' side along the narrow way? If you are on Broad-way today, why not choose to follow Christ, why not let Him lead you to make good decisions that you too might taste and see that the Lord is good. Sometimes life can make us feel like there is no way out of our bad decision roller coaster, but Jesus can and always will provide some way out for us, and His way certainly leads to eternal life.

Dear Father God,
Thank You for being so awesomely wonderful. Thank You for being willing to rescue us when we see no way out. Please forgive us for our sins today, and please show us how to walk along Your narrow way. We pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

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