Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: Choose Your Gate - LaMorris Crawford

“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

We all start at a gate. Whatever gate you enter into, down that path is where you will go.

Be careful what gate you choose. Some of us sit at the gate of depression, unforgiveness, bitterness, pain, envy, or jealousy. Every gate will lead to either life or death. Choosing the narrow gate will always be the hard thing to do. But Jesus would never expect us to do something that He Himself wouldn’t do. He would never put expectations on us that He wouldn’t or hasn’t already fulfilled Himself. Jesus didn’t go skipping down the road to Calvary, He was carrying His cross on His back! We too are going to have some hard things to do. It ain’t easy choosing the narrow path. But it’s worth it.

In Scripture we see many different kinds of gates entered. In Genesis 13, we see friction between Abraham and Lot. They each had blessing upon blessing, land upon land, but they needed to split up. Abraham said to Lot, you choose where you want to go and I’ll go the opposite. So Lot pitched his tent towards Sodom and only a few chapters later, while Lot was sitting in the gate of his city, he watched as his city was destroyed. His heart was in the wrong place, therefore his life headed down the wrong path.

In Acts 3, we see Peter and John at the temple gate, where they encountered a man who was lame from birth. This man was laid at the temple gate daily to beg, hoping for enough food or money to get through the day. When he extended his hand out to Peter and John, perhaps he expected to receive money. But when they looked at this man, Peter said to him, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

This man could have sat at the city gate, but he chose to sit at the gate that led to deliverance, freedom, and life—he sat at the feet of the Lord, and his life was forever changed.

We choose the gate at which we will sit. Likewise, we need to choose which way we will go. In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” He’s saying, “Choose Me!” We cannot write our own path, Jesus writes it for us. We need to follow Him; we need to choose to walk the path that He leads us down.

“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” —Proverbs 14:12 & Proverbs 16:25

Did you catch those references? This exact verse is in the Bible twice! When we follow the way we think is right, we’ll reveal that we have no map, no blueprint, without the help of God. When we have God’s Word, we understand His way and can follow His path. We shouldn’t blindly follow Him, we should pursue His way with all that we have. We should passionately love His way and hate every false way!

“I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” —Psalm 119:104-105

We cannot truly embrace God’s Word as our light until we learn to hate every false way—that which leads to death. The narrow way is hard, it’s difficult, but it’s the way of everlasting life. With this end goal in mind, we can easily choose to sit at the narrow gate and walk down the narrow path that leads to eternal life.

LaMorris Crawford, Chaplain of the Cincinnati Bengals

The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit for more stories and videos.