Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. (Luke 13:24) There’s a reason that many will try to get into the kingdom but won’t make it. They won’t let go of their past. The gate is narrow on purpose. You can’t take anything with you when you go through it. There’s only room enough for you, not your sin, not your pain, not your pride, not your expectations for what you think your life should be. You have to lay everything down and go through stripped of every pretense. You enter into the kingdom a new creature. All that old stuff is meaningless there. Even your dreams. When you lay them down on the outside, God will give them back on the inside. And what you get back will be bigger and shinier. You will never lose out with God. Never.
Stand before the gate and look at what you’re trying to carry through. None of it belongs there and will prevent you from entering in. You will try to go through, say all the right words, read all the right books, but you will still bump into the door posts and not get in. Lay it all down. Being born again is a fresh start. What about all the stuff you really have to deal with? Lay it down. God knows. Give it to Him and He will do what you cannot. It’s a very narrow gate. Once you go through you’ll be free indeed.