Lord, the snare of self-indulgence has subtle trappings. Forgive the tendency toward iniquity that lingers within my soul. The path of self-denial requires diligent walking and can feel painfully woeful at times. Yet, it has pleasures sweet and unique which are more than sufficient recompense – pleasures of blessing which only humble eyes are privileged to see. For Your mercy is great, Lord. Your grace reveals the depths of Your heart. Let me continue this journey on the holy path set apart from the culture of self-indulgence not so I can lament what I am missing or be proud of what I have given up – No. Let me traverse the narrower way because it leads me closer to You and binds me to Your heart. Only in this place can I begin to understand the sacrificial love of my Savior, the virtue of His resurrection, raising my soul to newness of life. Truly, I need a daily heart conversion, Lord. For the enticements to indulge are shot at me like flaming arrows from every imaginable direction. Jesus, purify my internal thought processes until You are my foremost concern. Only You can grow a love for others from the sown seeds of Your gospel planted in my heart. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, lead me to live in the shadow of Your righteousness, Lord God. Lead me to reflect You better tomorrow than I am today, and better today than I did yesterday. I thank You for the better life, Jesus. May I discontinue looking back lest my heart become a pillar of stone. Rather, let me look forward to the eternal destination that awaits through the narrow gate. Only the diet of holiness will reduce the excess fat of indulgence that makes my spirit far too heavy and my soul far too wide to fit through the narrow gate. Thank You, Lord, for the exercise of a holy walk with You that circumcises my soul, making it fit for Your Kingdom and Your glory. Under the mighty Word of the Lord given in Matthew 7:13-14 and the authority of Christ Jesus, I bow in prayer.
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.
Matthew 7:13-14, NIV