Luke 9:23 If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
I like Kelly’s entry where it says, “We have started this blog to investigate the Jesus-life, to encourage, equip, and challenge other brothers and sisters in Christ as we journey together.”
One of my favorite songs is One Pure and Holy Passion:
"Give me one pure and holy passion,
Give me one magnificent obsession,
Jesus give me one glorious ambition for my life,
To know and follow hard after you.”
If this is your obsession, you may have noticed that the “Jesus-life” is not always a bed of roses.
As I thought and prayed about what to write about this week, I kept coming back to Balance. Over the past year or so, I have experienced some of the most incredible spiritual highs I have ever encountered, found myself in places I never imagined I would be experiencing God’s kingdom as a present reality. And then there have been extreme lows as I wrestled with God over areas of my life He wanted to reveal and challenge me to let go and live forgiven. So, what does all of this have to do with Balance?
Having grown up without seeing what a healthy relationship looks like, and finding myself at the end of a tumultuous dysfunctional long term relationship, I once asked my pastor at the time, how will I ever know what a healthy relationship looks or feels like? One way he explained is that a healthy relationship is one where there are not extreme highs and lows like a rollercoaster ride. Even though there may be bumps in the road, it should just ebb and flow.
Mirriam-Webster's online dictionary defines Balance as mental and emotional steadiness; physical equilibrium; a counterbalancing weight, force, or influence.
So, applying this to the spiritual life, that is what Balance looks like. God wants to take us to the mountain top, and we do have struggles in our life, but the Jesus-life is a steady flow that lets Jesus write His-story through our lives and provide the mental and emotional steadiness and the counterbalancing weight, force, or influence defined by Webster. I love how Mark Batterson talks about chasing the Holy Spirit in his book The Wild Goose Chase.
Have you ever felt like your life is turning into a tragedy? A spouse cheats on you. A boss unfairly fires you. Or someone hurts you in a way that seems beyond your ability to heal.
Listen, you still get to choose your attitude. And while you may not like the chapter of life you’re in, the final chapter has yet to be written…If you feel like you’re stuck in a tragedy, here’s my advice: give Jesus complete editorial control over your life. You have to quit trying to write your own story.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Seeking spiritual balance starts with prayer, which is the foundation of the faithful life, of the calling to which we are called. Everybody does it differently. The same person does it differently at different times. What's important is that you find a way to do it, because it is the way that you ground yourself in the love of God, in the adoration of God, in the desire for God. Don't leave it out.
I Thessalonians 5:17... pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
If you need help getting started, a friend shared a 15-15-15 challenge to commit to 15 minutes of prayer and 15 minutes of Bible study every day for 15 days. You will probably find that 15 minutes isn’t enough and it will change your life.
To be continued…