4 Ways to Find Balance in an Unbalanced World

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1 Peter 5:8 (AMP) says “be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times, for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”

I often wonder how so many believers’ lives end up in so much turmoil. Yeah, I know that some suffering comes as a result of living a righteous lifestyle, but what about the self-inflicted suffering?  The kind that comes as a result of the poor decisions that are made. The kind that makes believers look weak and defeated.  Weakness and defeat are definitely not part of a believer’s inheritance.  In fact, Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection has secured the victory and strength for us. So why do we sometimes lose sight of that fact? Why do we sometimes live our lives reacting to situations instead of controlling them?  I believe that a part of the problem is that our lives in many cases are not in proper spiritual balance. What do I mean? Webster defines balance as mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior and judgment; and the ability to move or to remain in a position without losing control or falling. So how do we attain to this place of steadiness, stability, calmness in our behavior and judgment, and remaining in our spiritual position without losing control so that we can experience the victory in every situation?  The answer lies in having a well-balanced life that is attained by prioritizing your life.  The first priority should be God.

Our make up is as follows…spirit, soul, and body–in that order. That is the order of importance and the order to which attention should be given. Unfortunately, in many cases the order is switched to body first and spirit last.  Hence, an imbalanced out-of-control life. You’ve heard of people getting involved in things they shouldn’t because of a void they are trying to fill. They try to compensate with things and people who are incapable of making up for what is lacking spiritually, a spirit that is sensitive to the voice of God. Giving your spirit man priority means giving God priority since that is where His Spirit dwells inside you. It also means that your spirit will be the strongest influence on your decisions, which means that you will be less inclined to fall prey to the devil. Temptations are sure to come in our lives, but God promised that we would not be tempted above what we can stand with the aid of the Spirit and the escape that he provides (1 Corinthians 10:13). Thankfully, there are things we can do to head off many temptations before they come our way. Those things are summed up in these words–being well balanced. Here’s what we can do according to scripture to attain proper balance in our lives.

1. Exercise self control (temperance). Temperance is a fruit of the spirit that means self-control. Being able to control one’s self can be a challenging task, especially when we haven’t spent adequate time in the Word of God, but it is so necessary to living a spiritually balanced life. So many Christians live carnal lives rather than spiritual lives, meaning that they are controlled by the flesh and its dictates. If the flesh wants to indulge in an activity that is clearly warned against in God’s Word, those who are carnal give in to it. It’s like giving a spoiled child everything he or she wants just because he cries for it. All that is teaching the child is that he is supposed to have everything he wants when he wants it. The only way to correct that unruly behavior is to apply some serious discipline. That’s what Paul spoke of in 1 Corinthians 9:27 (ESVUK).

“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

I don’t care how loud the flesh cries out for sin, do not give in. Please realize that the flesh is a pure mess, and if given the opportunity it will drive you off a cliff and into sin. It will manipulate and control the real you (your spirit) if not put in check regularly. Exercising self-control and discipline will help to quiet the flesh. After a few consistent no’s to unholy requests, the flesh will learn that there are limits not to be crossed, and it will have no other choice but to obey.

2. Make decisions in a state of peace. As much as is possible, avoid making important decisions in haste. It can be tempting to jump on the first thing that looks and feels good. But it would do us well to heed the Bible’s instructions to acknowledge God first in all our ways before making any decision, instead of only acknowledging our flesh and what it wants. In our haste we get ahead of God, and He doesn’t stop you because He’s given you free will. In fact, the first thing you must do is cast all of your cares on him for he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7) His answers come packaged in peace. So what kinds of decisions fall into this category? What car to buy, what home to purchase, who to marry, and where to work are a just a few. These things require investment of your time and resources and in many ways can affect others around you. They should not be decided upon lightly or in the height of emotion, but rather with a sober, clear mind. True clarity comes from God, and we have to be sensitive enough through time spent with Him to discern His voice on these matters. With His approval our decisions can be made in peace.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

3. Be watchful and pay attention.  Don’t just take everything at face value. Consider what is behind what you see. I am not suggesting that you live in a state of paranoia. I am urging you to be cautious of your surroundings. Many an unsuspecting person has been the victim of crime because they were not on guard or were too trusting of the wrong people. Be prayerful and judge everything, and I mean everything by what the Word says. If it is God sent, it should agree with God. If it is Satan sent, it definitely will not agree with God. To use an old cliche, everything that glitters isn’t gold. That crooked salesman’s intent all along was to pull the wool over your eyes long enough to get you to buy the fake stuff and pay authentic prices. He didn’t want you to ask any questions or examine it too closely because you would have picked up on his scheme. Satan is no different. He will say and do all of the right things just to deceive you. Don’t allow him the advantage. He won’t have the advantage if you are aware of and watch for his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).

4. Live purposefully.  Be intentional and plan for spiritual success every day.  Lack of strategy leaves you vulnerable to the enemy’s strategies.  Trust me, he has one against you. One good strategy is to command your morning as is spoken of in Job 38:12 (KJV).

“Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place…”

In this passage, Job may have been referring to his inability to control the sun’s rising, but I think it is useful in another way. Since believers have creative power in their tongues just like God our Father, we should use that power constructively to set our days in order. What I mean by that is, each morning is an opportunity to speak good things over yourself–things that you desire to happen in the course of your day. Also, catering to your spiritual life first thing in the morning sets your day up for success. I submit to you that breakfast is not the most important meal of the day, God’s Word is; for “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Neglecting to do this is like living haphazardly.  In other words, you leave your day to chance and subject yourself to be on the defensive to the enemy’s attacks–having to react to what he sends your way. Living purposefully puts you in a position to attack and thwart his plans before they are carried out against you.

 

I’m not judgin’. I’m just sayin’.

Are there any other ways you find spiritual balance in your life?

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