I was riding along with a friend not too long ago when I was possessed with the desire to share my spiritual homework. I had been working on memorizing a particular Bible verse that week and it seemed the perfect time to rehearse my progress.
“Do you want to hear my Bible verse?”
He rolled his eyes.
“You’re really starting to scare me now.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Have you listened to yourself lately? Every word that comes out of your mouth is about the Bible or church stuff.”
His words gave me pause. Was I becoming one of those fanaticals that turn people away from God rather than turn them to Him?
I had been making a deliberate effort for months to ensure that my spirituality was central in my life, not just an afterthought. But my friend’s words started me thinking. How much time should we devote to our spiritual life?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul exhorts, “pray continually…” but did he really mean it?
A few years ago I thought that I had finally gotten my life where I wanted it. My children were in school for a large portion of the day. I had my housework and laundry organized so that I had some free time to pursue interests. I ran every other day. Did yoga three or four times a week…My Bible study group had grown into an important source of support and friendship. I now had Godly friends with whom to pal around. I volunteered at the school on a regular basis. I taught the preschool Sunday school class at my church and dearly loved those children. It felt good to finally have balance. Or so I thought that was what I had achieved.
Then God started whispering to my heart. You have more to give, he kept saying, over and over again.
I pretended not to hear. I was enjoying my life the way it was. I was comfortable with the way things were.
He began to speak louder.
Every time I turned around it seemed the Lord was reminding me just how out of balance my life truly was.
I am a Christian. By definition that means that I believe that Jesus Christ gave his life to take away the sins of the world. My sins. He gave his life for me.
The history of the world is filled with great stories of wonderful heroes who sacrificed their lives for others. Movies abound about the war buddy who returns home to care for the family of the fallen friend who sacrificed all for him. Newspapers account stories of brave firefighters who gave their lives to retrieve victims from flaming buildings. Parents often put their own lives in danger to ensure the safety of their children. Such stories of human sacrifice capture our imaginations and tug at our heartstrings. These individuals, and rightly so, are regarded as heroes and greatly admired in our society.
But if we celebrate the human sacrifice, how much more should we esteem the sacrifice made for eternity! Could it be that our attraction to these heroic tales reflects some deeper need that is inside each and every one of us? So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Cor. 4:18).
Jesus died for each and every person on this earth. He does not require a medal. He does not wish for a monument that testifies to his great courage. Rather, what he asks, he asks of us: to give of ourselves.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
What I formerly considered balance in my life was a great imbalance in the Christian life. It is only when I let Jesus permeate every ounce of my being that I give my spirituality the appropriate weighting on the scale. Matthew 6:33 tells me to seek first his kingdom and my worries will be taken care of.
My life has changed a great deal since God began whispering to my heart. As a result of His great faithfulness and patience I accepted a position in my church as Director of Children’s Ministries. It was a frightening move for me, but I chose to trust in Him. I know that His power is more evident in my weakness. As I worked at that job, not a day went by that I did not draw on His strength. My mission became bringing children closer to God. That was a few years ago, and I have moved on to another calling that was just as difficult, just as frightening, and I am still struggling to find “balance”.
I am still learning to hear his quiet voice. And I am still learning to be obedient. But each step I take toward Him brings me closer to my heart’s desire.
Are you a Christian? Do you believe that Jesus gave his life for you? Does the weight that you give your spiritual life reflect that belief? What has God been whispering to your heart?
Choose to listen to that voice in the quiet of your mind! You have more to give! In a world where balance has become the latest buzzword, weight your life heavy in spirituality.
…and all these things shall be given to you as well.—Matt. 6:33