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The Christian Walk Is A Balanced Walk - (A Short Study)
* all [bracketed] words in Scripture verses are mine *
How To Live A Balanced Life
The old-fashioned balance (original scale) was a measuring device that vendors would use to dispense such things as grain or some other staple. If one ordered a pound of sugar, for example, a one pound weight would be put on one side and sugar would be placed on the other until the weights balanced out or equaled one another and all knew that a correct measure of sugar was sold. The idea of equal or "fair" is derived from this simple tool. God says His ways are equal or in our words, God is always fair.
"Yet you say,"The way of the Lord is not fair [equal]." Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair [equal], and your ways which are not fair [unfair]?" (Ezekiel 18:25)
It should be our aim to be equal or to measure up to the Divine scale of measuring man. When God places ordinances and standards on His side of the scale and we step out onto the other, we do not want to be lacking, as was the king of Babylon, Belshazzer.
"Then the fingers of the hand were sent from Him [God], and this writing was written. And this is the inscription that was written: "MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN." This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting ; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and the Persians." (Daniel 5:24-28)
So how do we achieve Divine balance and what things will the enemy do to throw us "off-balance?"
Most of the world thinks of balance as not going "overboard" in any one area of your life. Instead they think a balanced life is one containing a little of this and a little of that not caring what this or that is. This they feel, is a well rounded and therefore, balanced life. That is not, however, what God's word means when He tells us to balance out our life on His scale and measure up to His standards.
Beginning at our salvation we begin to see that we will never meet God's expectation of us. He is perfect and holy, while we are imperfect sinners. If we are lacking Jesus, if we're not covered by the blood of Jesus's perfect sacrifice, our sin weighs us down. There will be no one to pay the penalty for our sin but ourselves. The balances of God will find us lacking (Christ) and we will die in our sins. What a terrifying concept: "to die in our sins!" This is the same as the phrase "[your] blood shall be upon [you]." Each of these concepts are too frightening to contemplate.
"Hereafter the children of Israel shall not come near the tabernacle of meeting, lest they bear sin and die." (Numbers 18:22)
"Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. And you shall keep my statutes, and perform them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you. For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, his blood shall be upon him." (Leviticus 20:7-9)
Even when we are saved or redeemed, sin can do much damage to how much fellowship we have with God and how much fruit our life contains. Sin comes between God and man in one way or another. Sin is seized upon by the enemy as an opportunity to hurt the things of God, in one way or another.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
We learn in studying Gods word that in our flesh dwells no good thing. We can do nothing to assure our own salvation nor can we tip the balance at all in our favor. But God has provided a way to accomplish all this through Christ. He saves us, then indwells us in the person of the Holy Spirit. Before salvation, the balances are tipped so that nothing can change it, except receiving Christ. After salvation, balance to walk with God is achieved, and abiding in Christ is possible. Saved individuals who do not walk closely with God are thrown off balance and are impotent in their existence, fruitless in their ministry, sickly in their body, unstable in their mind, and having their lives shortened by God. Unsaved individuals face eternal separation from a Holy God in a place not meant for them but for the devil and his angels.
"For I know that within me (that is in my flesh) nothing good dwells." (Romans 7:18)
God's Way Of Balance
1. Realize That Without Christ You Can Do Nothing.
A saved person leading a life that is truly balanced realizes their basic limitations. We all tend to think that we are capable of anything our mind can imagine, but Jesus says that "without Me [Jesus] you can do nothing." (John 15:5) The first tenant to becoming balanced is to know from whence your power comes. The balanced view is to know that we "can do all things through Christ who strengthens us." (Philippians 4:13) God asks us to recognize this fundamental truth and to entrust ourselves to His leadership. The flesh will try to dictate its leadership and, though the flesh is strong, we will find God to be stronger.
2. Resist The Temptation To Give In To The Flesh.
The flesh is strong in sinners. There is a constant pull to follow its every whim. Allowing the flesh to lead us will cause an imbalance in our thinking process, deterioration of physical health, and the eventual death of our body. It is so easy to just give in to the flesh, if there is the least bit desire. We, more often than not, go toward that desire. It is considered normal, especially in this country, to ask of yourself, "What do you want?" and once that is known, then to pursue that desire with everything you have. However, the flesh lies to you, promising bliss and fulfillment beyond your wildest dreams. What you end up with is usually not at all what you expected. People who have won millions retain the same lusts and wants, even after the ability to chase those lusts have been granted. Many times the very same dreams that have come true eat them up alive.
There is a time when God says "enough is enough" to believers who refuse to abide in Christ, or in other words continually follow and obey their flesh. Their life on earth is cut short. We are in constant battle for control of our sinful selves. God wants to give us the victory by the power of His Spirit, but we must willingly give control over to Him .
"To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled." (Titus 1:15)
"This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness." (Ephesians 4:17-19)
"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened...Therefore God gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions . For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind , to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death , not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." (Romans 1:20-22, 24-32)
"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things." (Philippians 4:8)
3. Be Filled (Controlled By) The Holy Spirit.
The key to giving up control of your life to the Holy Spirit is trust . We are, by nature, distrustful beings. We want all glory of accomplishment for ourselves. We cling to faulty thought patterns and unstable ways because we prefer failure to the feeling of loss of control. Why can't we realize that God knows and sees more than we? His ways are above our ways and He only wants what's in our best interest. What looks bad to us may not be bad at all, or vice versa. While we seek a fleeting feeling that satisfies our lusts, God is interested in our eternal well being.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways" says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
"I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16)
The third thing we must do to become balanced believers is to give over control of our lives to God the Holy Spirit. We pray and ask to be filled. We willingly give Him permission to use our mind and person for His will. We give ourselves daily - moment to moment - to Him.
Satan's Way To Throw Us Off-Balance
1. He Distracts You So That You Cease To Focus On Christ.
The enemy's first line of attack is always designed to move our focus from Christ to something else. If he can get our eyes off Christ or to somehow change our priorities to anything but God's will, he has caused an instability in you and thrown you off-balance. In this state you are vulnerable to all sorts of temptation to sin.
"And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren." (Luke 22:31)
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)
2. He Encourages You To Pamper Yourself To Give In To The Flesh.
Giving in to the flesh causes a temporary feeling of euphoria, and not unlike drugs, makes it seem that you're in full possession of all your faculties, when in fact you are not. There is a false sense of control, when in fact the flesh and Satan are at the helm. This temporary feeling of fulfillment is soon replaced by the realization that you are teetering on a slippery slope. The feeling of accomplishment that comes with doing what you want do is replaced by guilt and discouragement, depression, and psychosomatic illness. Instead of pampering yourself, you're actually destroying yourself.
"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." (Romans 13:14)
"I say then; Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16)
3. He Encourages Us To Place Any God Before The True God.
Our federal head*, Adam, passed on to us a sinful nature that strays from worshiping the One True God. Instead, we erect gods of our own making and in our own image that serve our own lusts and desires. We erect this "image" at which to bow as soon as our eyes are off the Savior. Even when we repent and tear down our shrine to ourselves, it takes but a moment to rebuild it so that we must start the process all over again.
*Federal head: Adam sinned with the human race still inside of him, yet to be born, therefore we are all born in sin. Nothing holy comes out of something unholy. When a person asks for salvation, Christ becomes the federal head and we become sons of God. We we are cleansed from all sin.
"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no gods before Me." (Exodus 20:2-3)
It seems the choice is quite clear. Choose Jesus and walk in the Spirit and you will be balanced in your mental processes and in your life. Or choose the unbalanced fleshly path and be found lacking when God weighs the value of your life on His divine scales. So how do you think you measure up? If God were to snatch you out of this life right now, how would your life measure up on His scale? Would He find it weighed down with sin that you can never remove on your own? or will Jesus have removed that from your side of the scale when you asked Him into your heart? Will you find yourself a slave to sin and to the flesh and Satan's will? or are your eyes on Jesus, focused on Him, walking in the Spirit?
If after examining yourself you find the scales are lacking Jesus in your life and thus you are weighed down, out of balance by your sin, you can ask Jesus into your life very easily by prayer.
Ask yourself, do I believe that Jesus Christ came to earth in human flesh to die for my sin? Do I believe that after He died on the cross He was buried and in three days raised from the dead? Am I willing to turn from my life of sin and to turn to Jesus as the only way of salvation? If you said yes to these questions, pray this:
Dear Lord God, I know that I'm a sinner and I cry out to You to forgive me of my sin and save me. I believe in You and the gospel which is the death, burial, and resurrection of God in human flesh. Please Jesus, I turn now from living my life without You, and turn to You as the only Way of salvation. Thank you for hearing me and saving me, for I pray this in Jesus' mighty and holy name. Amen.