“I need to find balance.”
I have said it, and maybe you have too. It is a popular idea that seems to be a rational, mature, and many would say, a spiritual pursuit. But does God really want me to seek balance in my life?
My husband and I were talking recently, and he said that this word concerns him. He said that more and more Christians seem to be embracing the concept of seeking balance in their lives and ministries, yet God never commands us to be “balanced”. He commands us to be obedient. He commands us to be filled. Brian said, “Balance means I am in control. Fullness means God is in control.”
That thought has stayed with me over the past few weeks. To achieve balance, I must have equal parts on two sides. Well-intentioned as we may be, often those two sides we are attempting to balance are the flesh and the Spirit, a walk with the world and a walk with God. We deceive ourselves into believing that as long as we maintain some kind of equilibrium that walking this “spiritual” tightrope is pleasing to God.
Grace and truth are often mentioned when speaking of the “balanced” Christian life. The common notion is that we must seek to achieve a balance of grace and truth, as if they are opposing ideas.
Jesus Christ didn’t attempt to “balance” grace and truth. He was full of grace and truth – full of grace, and full of truth. “And of this fulness have all we received…”
When we think we can figure out how to “balance” grace and truth, we (and our human reasoning and perception) tend to attempt to take away or add to one side or the other. We think, “If I have a little less grace, I will have more truth.” Or, “I must speak a little less truth in order to be more gracious”. No. We are to be full of grace, and full of truth.
Holiness is another such example. God doesn’t say, “Be ye holy, but not too holy, or the world will be offended”. He just says, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” We seem to have the notion that we can have a little holiness and a little worldliness and please everyone. The trouble is, that doesn’t please God.
We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit and to be dead to self. Seeking to balance self (my flesh) and the Spirit does nothing but grieve and quench the Holy Spirit of God, and make provision for our flesh to fulfill its own lusts.
Sadly, the area where we see a clear demonstration of this type of “balance” in the Word of God is in Revelation 3. The Laodicean Church was not too hot, not too cold. They were “balanced”, somewhere in the middle, lukewarm. They felt very good about themselves and their condition. They said they had need of nothing; yet, God’s view of them was quite different. He was sickened by their lukewarmness. They saw their financial prosperity as evidence of their spiritual success, and yet God described them as wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.
God wants us “all in”. He wants us to make a choice – one side or the other, not both. Flesh or Spirit. God or mammon. Christ or the world. Hot or cold.
Fervent, zealous, passionate, Spirit-filled disciples of Jesus Christ will always be viewed as “unbalanced” by the world, and even sometimes by other professing Christians.
I have asked myself many times in the past few days,
“Who is in control? Me or the Lord?”
“Am I trying to ‘figure it all out’ and be ‘balanced’, or have I yielded all of myself to God asking Him for His fulness?”
“Am I constantly making adjustments to try to keep myself from falling, or am I completely relying on Him that is able to keep me from falling?”
“Am I allowing the world and the opinions of others to influence my obedience to Christ?”
“Am I holy, or just ‘not too worldly’?”
“Am I filled with the Spirit, and empty of self, or am I trying to have a little bit of both?”
“Am I pursuing balance, or am I pursuing Christ?”
“Am I hot, cold, or….balanced?”
© Copyright 2019 Niki Lott. All rights reserved.
I hope that this will be a helpful resource. You may print and share it for personal use. Please do not distribute it for any commercial purpose, or reprint/distribute in a different format without permission. Thank you!