Come to God through the narrow gate because the wide gate and broad path is the way that leads to destruction – nearly everyone chooses that crowded road!  Matthew 7:13 (TPT)

Early in my Christian walk, I asked God to keep me on the narrow path. I wanted to serve Him, and I did not want to wander off the narrow path of His will for my life.

Walking this path, in the first five years, God gave me seven verses as signposts. I’ve used them for decades as path markers, to keep me focused. I have not perfectly listened to the Spirit of God speaking through these verses, but when I do, I find blessing.

Note that the verses are New American Standard Version. That is the version that I memorize.

The first verse that I memorized:

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.  Romans 13:14

There are three lusts of the flesh: sensuality, materialism, and pride (1 John 2:16).  Exchanging Jesus for those lusts becomes a natural aspect of your spirituality. You identify the lust when it floats into your thoughts and then immediately think of Jesus. With practice, this happens without thought, and your response to temptation isn’t faltering but finding joy in holiness.

The second verse that I memorized:

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:33

All of us make good and bad decisions. What is the difference? I learned to ask this question for major decisions: “Is this seeking first the Kingdom of God?” When asking, you learn the difference between lusts, peer pressure, and the Spirit of God.

The third verse that I memorized:

I urge you by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship.  Romans 12:1

Raised in a church in my youth, I noticed those with lukewarm faith and those with active faith. I asked God very soon after deciding to follow Jesus that I would be on fire.  That I would never be lukewarm. Fire comes through sacrifice, as whatever hinders following God must be burned with fire. Fire remains and the chaff is gone.

The fourth verse that I memorized:

Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Matthew 28:19

I still disciple. In response to the final command of Jesus, I developed First Steps which I have used to individually disciple both new and renewed believers of Jesus. I find great joy in discipling others to love Jesus. I believe the reason Christians struggle is that they have not been discipled with the foundation for a relationship with Jesus.

The fifth verse that I memorized:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.  Mark 12:30

Christianity isn’t a religion; it is a relationship. Learning to love God changed my perspective from dry doctrine and rituals to listening to God’s Spirit in prayer and reading the Bible. The first time you hear God’s voice – Hey, that’s God – you realize He speaks continually. The problem isn’t God speaking but our listening. Listening begins by believing that relationships have conversations.

The sixth verse/verses that I memorized:

Consider it joy, brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  James 1:2-4

A great lesson to learn. You can still have joy during trials. Along with this verse, my favorite quote is from Corrie Ten Boom when she wrote concerning her experiences in a Nazi prison camp, “No pit is deeper than God is deeper still.”

The seventh verse that I memorized:

You have overcome them because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.  1 John 4:4

Fear is the major weapon used today by our enemy. It comes through evil portrayed as victorious in movies, pandemics, and life situations. Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. The victory is won. Don’t fear because Jesus is in you. He is greater than your enemies.