If my soul must be captivated by rhythm…

If my soul must be captivated by rhythm…

I have songs that make my cheeks flush and my skin tingle. For as long as I can remember, I have sat at the feet of music, my hands beckoning, my heart raised within me, ripe ears tuned to receive lessons and counsel. Lessons on love, affection, commitment, passion, desire, romance…beauty.  For as long as I can remember, my soul would rise to heights of ecstasy and then dive to lows of woe, simply at the convergence  of certain melodies. “Music,” they say, “is an outburst of the soul.” How true.

However, when I renewed myself in my choice to be a Christ-follower, a bunch of years back, the Spirit stirred within me. He knew what music was to me. He also knew that the faces and paces of the music I had rended my heart to up until that time had warped my understanding of the very life He had now breathed into me.

“Your music has to come along for the journey, through the narrow gateway,” He said. But I wanted no such thing. I was convinced it would mean a life stripped of all tingling melodies. I couldn’t have that. I loved my music. I embraced the creative tones and the cleverly strung-out lyrics, even when the words and messages cringed at my newly reborn spirit. I loved to trail into dance spaces and have my feet respond to the soul-rustling sounds, my mood, rising, pulsating, lifting me, just because someone clicked ‘play’.  So I gripped tighter at my seat, at the feet of my old counsellors, my old teachers, my old music. “Take me through the narrow gateway Lord, if You must. But leave my music on the broad way!”

But there was a new Counsellor humming in my inner parts, and He was steppin’ like a boss, strutting from my eternal heart-space to His eternal heart-space, filling me with music, new lyrics and songs that strummed the chords of my spirit, like my old music never had. Life-giving melodies that drew me into a Presence that some have described as the purest euphony bursting forth. “You, oh Lord, are my symphony, perfect in harmony” – Fred Hammond.

So, if my soul must be captivated by rhythm, let it be glorious and heavenly. Let its harmonies fascinate my heart as it re-educates me about love, affection, commitment, passion, desire, romance…beauty, behind the narrow gateway. If my music is an outburst of my soul, and my love for its emotive eruptions compel me to remain seated at its feet, spellbound as it croons its counsel into my ears, then may compel it, my music, to sit, fixated, channeled, composed, at the feet of the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit. “My music, my counsellor, meet the Counsellor. Come along; He’s taking us on a journey, through the narrow gateway.”

Here’s the song that’s fascinating me tonight. It pulls on my heart strings because its lyrics (captured in the feature image) tell of what I have tasted and seen.

Holy Spirit‘ as performed by Kim Walker Smith.

There’s nothing worth more that will ever come close
No thing can compare You’re our living hope
Your Presence Lord

I’ve tasted and seen of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free and my shame is undone
Your Presence Lord

Holy Spirit You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory God is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your Presence Lord

Let us become more aware of Your Presence
Let us experience the glory of Your goodness

Critically, I end this by saying I am Toyin, quirky writer of this piece. I am very much convicted by my own words, and I remain under construction.


I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading and engaging. I’d love to hear from you! What/who were your “counsellors” before your commitment to being a follower of Jesus Christ? Which of them still remain your counsellors and which have you allowed to accompany you on your transformation journey through the narrow gateway? Hey, maybe you have held back from making that commitment at all because you just are not up to bowing out your counsellors. Well, get in touch! Tell me your story.  Let’s see where it takes us.

Place your comments in the section below, or you could send me a private message on thenarrowgateway@gmail.com. And don’t forget to like my page on Facebook (@coachtoyin) and follow me on Twitter (@thenarrowgate4) and on Instagram (@coach_toyin). Engage, share and re-share.

I look forward to getting to know you better. Keep truth-seeking.

Yours in truth-telling,


Toyin is a writer, blogger, vlogger, speaker, chat-show host (WITNG Chats) and all round lover of encouraging life behind the narrow gateway. She is the founder of The Narrow Gateway, which is a platform that houses an ever-growing collection of creative resources and materials that are dipped in truth according to God’s Word, geared to trigger us to ask, WITNG? “What is the narrow gateway?” when we encounter life’s events and nuances. Because when we discover the narrow gateway in any given circumstance, we become kitted to be transformed, that is, to bring our thoughts, values and actions in line, so that as we increasingly resemble Christ, we can burst forth in expressing the gifts and callings that God embedded in us, which are designed to be the solutions to many quagmires in our world. (www.thenarrowgateway.com

Unrelenting! I’ve got to know, WITNG?

Unrelenting! I’ve got to know, WITNG?

My boss reeks of prejudice and bigotry. He eyeballs me, and sees a scape goat. What is the narrow gateway? A devastating divorce is tearing my family apart. I am bleeding shards of pain. What is the narrow gateway? I’m a skilled artist. I could make you shudder to your very core. What is the narrow gateway? My 10 year old kid is begging for tickets to see a famous hip-hop artist performing live. What is the narrow gateway? My son had scarcely gulped in his first few gusts of air at birth before I snuck out of the hospital, with my heart clutched in my hands, never to set eyes on my son again. What is the narrow gateway? My people eek out a living on $2 a day while my government fattens itself with their blood and toil. What is the narrow gateway? Another kid, another mall shooting, my town is ravaged, my kind is mourning. What is the narrow gateway?

Imagine this. Christians. Followers of the Way, triggered to respond to life and its nuances by instinctively exploring WITNG? What is the narrow gateway? The narrow gateway is the road less travelled. The non-conformist road. Mainstream rhetoric says, “this is the way, go this way. This is what is pleasing, this is what feels good. This is what is comfortable, this is what feels just. This is what you deserve, this is what everybody is doing.” And so the teeming crowds flock there, constructing their own truth as they push along. But followers of the narrow gateway stand still. Our feet are stuck in the ground. We don’t do mainstream. Mainstream just does not cut it. We know that truth is not what we create. It is who Jesus is. And we are in relentless pursuit of the God-life. We are walking behind the narrow gate. So all we want to know is:

“What’s the Lord saying?”

“What does His Word say about this thing tearing through my home, my city?”

“What is the Spirit in me breaking out to do?”

“Where are the fruits? Righteousness, patience, kindness, controlled strength, gentleness, love?”

“Will the Lord dance on my reaction? Will He cheer on my ensuing thoughts?”

“Is He all up in this, spurring me on, or is He calling my name, asking me where I am and what in the world I am doing?”

And when we get the answers, the pearls of truth, we turn, we align, we run with it, through the narrow gateway, even if it’s just me, you, and a trickle of other followers making our way through.

Jesus spoke about the narrow gateway in Matthew 7:13-14. This is the way that leads to THE GOD-life, but He said, few find it. Because there is another gateway, a broad way, an easy way, a mainstream way, which we are naturally inclined to take. And if we do not commit intensely and pursue God passionately, we will take the broad way. It’s just the way we are wired. But we want to be of those that track God behind the narrow gateway. Because the truth sanctifies, it sets us apart, it makes us free and sets us on course to boldly living out our God-given purpose here on earth, UNLOCKING SOLUTION SPACES and creating answers to the very quagmires that abound around us.

This is why the Narrow Gateway is BUILDING A PLATFORM OF CREATIVE RESOURCES at www.thenarrowgateway.com and through social media, to trigger us  to fill our spaces with the passionate pursuit of the God-life. No Calm. No Chill. We are loading this platform with materials that are bursting with truth. Books, blogs, vlogs, interviews, videos, audio broadcasts, bible studies, online and F2F trainings and other resources and materials that are easily accessible, so that the truth is always at your fingertips as you PURSUE THE GOD-LIFE UNRELENTINGLY. You name it, if we can pull it off creatively, we will, and God allowing, we will make it available for you. Tune out the static and tune in the truth when you are out jogging, or maybe waiting for an appointment, or driving, or in a taxi, train, airplane, come online and listen, read, engage and be filled with the mind-transforming truth behind the narrow gateway. And when you find the truth, rend your heart to it. Align. Run with it! Do outrageous things! Let the God-love and the God-life in you pour out and create solutions in our aching world.

“When because of your faith, your life too becomes perceptibly different; when your reactions are quite opposite to what the situation seems to call for and your activities can no longer be explained in terms of your personality; that is when your neighbourhood will sit up and take notice. In the eyes of the world, it is not our relationship with Jesus Christ that counts; it is our resemblance to Him.” – Ray Stedman

That, my friends, is THE NARROW GATEWAY.

Thank you for reading and engaging. I’d love to hear from you! Is the narrow gateway a thing for you? Is it believable? Is the God-life worth pursuing unrelentingly? What’s holding you back? What’s pushing you to grab hold of this message? Talk to me. Put your comments in the section below, or you could send me a private message on thenarrowgateway@gmail.com. Don’t forget to like my page on Facebook (@coachtoyin) and follow me on Twitter (@thenarrowgate4). Engage, engage, engage. Listen to the interviews, read the blogs, share and re-share, tweet and retweet.

Critically, I end this by saying I am Toyin, quirky writer of this piece, and I am very much convicted by my own words, and under construction. I look forward to getting to know you better.


The Narrow Gateway was founded by Toyin Oladiran. She is a writer, blogger, vlogger, speaker, and pursuer of truth-seeking, truth-telling and truth-living. Toyin loves to describe herself as being under-construction and working towards living for the Audience of One. Toyin is married to Fiyin, and she is mother to two adorable toddlers a.k.a her Sunshinebabies. They live in Lagos, Nigeria. Toyin is a commercial lawyer.