Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
I am an extremely busy man. If you’re like me, the concept of balance proves elusive, seeming only to last a week at best. There are always demands on our time, not to mention the requirement to be emotionally present in every area of life. As I have wrestled with this concept of living a balanced life, I must say, with all transparency, that I have begun to rethink my perspective on balance.
Let’s look at some biblical examples of practical Christian life. There was Jethro’s wise counsel to Moses, admonishing him not to neglect home ministry while he was leading God’s people to freedom (Exodus 18). The greatest commandment still remains to love the Lord our God with all that we are and do (Deuteronomy 6:5). While dying on the cross, Jesus ensured that his mother would be covered by charging John with her care (John 19:26-27). And let’s not forget Jesus’s command to seek FIRST the Kingdom and its righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Are you torn? I know I am. These scriptures don’t seem to answer the question of how to practically live a balanced life.
Each day brings unique challenges. People change, needing different amounts of attention daily. Furthermore, each of us has different purposes. Essentially, there can never be a one-size-fits-all model on achieving balance. However, there is one source that can connect us all, and still give us the strength, capacity, and time to carry out everything that He desires—God! True alignment with God and his will gives us the fluid yet precise guidance that we need to carry out every task that he deems necessary for us to complete in the day—mind you, the day he made.
The main step to alignment with God is learning to submit to his will for us, as opposed to our will for ourselves. I frequently assess my life to discern the difference between tasks that God gave me versus tasks I gave myself. For everything God commands us to do, he provides the emotional, physical, and financial resources to complete. Pursuing your own desires is not sinful, but it does add to the mounting schedule of things you must do. Once I have aligned myself totally with his will for that day, I make sure that I rely on his strength to carry out the tasks.
The wonderful thing about God is that he partners with us in this life to fulfill his will. He doesn’t just give orders like a taskmaster and then leave us to our own devices to juggle it all—God remains deeply engaged in every aspect of our lives, hoping that we will learn to trust him. This means checking with God on a secondly basis for the proper response to each day’s interactions. This means allowing the Holy Spirit to schedule your day, and intentionally focusing your attention on what God deems the priority for that moment. When we align with God, and truly consider all that we have to be his, then it releases us from the burden of trying to be God through self-determination. The question is not one of balance,but rather one of submission and obedience to God’s sovereignty in every second of our lives.
Something to Think About:
List all of the responsibilities that you have into three categories: (1) God’s task to me, (2) My tasks for myself, (3) Others’ tasks for me. Be completely honest.
How frequently do you include God in your daily decision-making process?
Something to Do:
Celebrate the areas of your life where you have learned to rely on God. Highlight areas of your life and schedule that need to be submitted to God.
Father, sometimes the busyness of life makes fellowship with you seem elusive. We struggle to balance ministry, family, friendships, leadership responsibilities, and our relationship with you. Teach us how to submit all things under your Lordship as we pursue to live balanced lives on your terms. We pray this in Jesus’s name, Amen.
This post was originally published on July 3, 2017.