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Introduction to A Spiritually Balanced Life
A Spiritually Balanced Life teaches how to live a Spirit-filled life in a busy modern world through discussing how planning, scheduling and spiritual disciplines are integrated together in the Christian life. The philosophy of ministry as well as many practical aspects such as calendars and resolving conflict are discussed.
Spiritual planning calls us to not only focus on what is on our horizontal viewpoint (i.e. earthly) but also to look upward at the spiritual world (i.e. heavenly).
Many of us have grown up in a secular society and do not clearly see how we have been influenced by it. Our values, fears and even our planning have been influenced by the world that we grew up in. We tend to live by sight: what we see and hear around us. Unfortunately, this means that we also tend to ignore the spiritual world even though we now know God is real.
The spiritual world is real and true but because of our thorough inculturation and present influence of this world, we tend to live dichotomous lives, that is, two lives. We set a certain part of our lives apart to God. The problem is that God is not involved in the other parts of your life! It is impossible to have God through the Spirit guide us if we do not seriously retrain how we think about and approach our life in this world. Unless we are retrained to have the Lord lead our lives, then His great plans for our lives will not be done.
This is why those in Hebrews 11 are so greatly used of God. ￼They live by faith in God. Their perception of the Lord and His plan shaped their decisions. They brought their whole lives under the influence and guidance of the Lord. The Lord wants this for all of His children.
Our own planning and schedules, then, if they are to succeed, must be revamped in light of God’s person, plan and will. Great men like Joseph and Daniel did this and God greatly blessed them. They faced great challenges: cultural adjustments, language learning, stripped from loved ones but learned that God was alive and well in their new ungodly societies.
Let’s do a simple exercise to emphasize the importance of the spiritual dimension to our daily lives. Carefully observe this passage from Proverbs 3:5-9. Circle all the things that have to do with spiritual discernment as against earthly common sense.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body, And refreshment to your bones. Honor the LORD from your wealth, And from the first of all your produce” (Proverbs 3:5-9).
We have identified four items. The number of items that we discover is not important, but the observation of the way we understand God gets involved in each part of our lives is critical. Let’s look at them.
Peace of Heart. We put our trust in a God we cannot see rather than in our own understanding. We do not worry. The battle is with our trust.
Confidence in life even in tough times. Create a life where we bring the Lord’s presence and will into every facet of our lives. We trust that with our obedience He will work out our lives just right. The battle is with our preferences.
Good life and health. Turn away from evil because we fear God’s judgment and believe it has everything to do with good health and strength. The battle is with our desires.
Be a giver. Focus on giving as God has prospered you rather than on keeping all that you gain to secure a protected future. The battle is with our wealth.
God wants to totally replace our secular and humanistic mindset because He wants us to think from His perspective rather than our own. In fact, if we look carefully at our lives and the problems we face in our lives as believers, we will find the tension points, the worry, fears, selfishness, bitterness all come from not allowing the Spirit full reign.
If we have such problems, then we know that we are not living by the Spirit of God. His fruit is clearly identified for us. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control....” (Galatians 5:22-23).
“S” is for spiritual. We discard the secular mindset for the spiritual one which fully comprehends earthly and heavenly truths and realities.
What aspect of your thinking is oriented to the world rather than the Lord’s presence? Pick out at least one area that you want God to help you want the Holy Spirit to give you a Biblical perspective. The next is "C" for Christ-centered.