Balance through Obedience

According to the dictionary, balance is (n) a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions or (v) offset or compare the value of (one thing) with another. But how can we apply that logic to the way we live our lives? According to those definitions, we spend a certain amount of time on each of the aspects in our lives that are important, like spending time with family and friends, but spending an equal amount of time on every aspect isn’t really possible, nor is it really healthy. Each day looks different and there’s no way we could plan out a set schedule that would create a balanced lifestyle. In addition, each person is uniquely made and has different priorities.

According to various articles, leading a well-balanced lifestyle means keeping our mental, emotional, and physical aspects in balance through rest and activities. There are so many aspects to consider and not one formula that can show us to live out a life of balance. Thankfully, we have a great resource to draw examples from, which we should all know well... the Bible. What better way is there to learn how to live out a balanced life than by looking at how Jesus lived a balanced life. There are several ways Jesus exemplifies how to live a balanced life, but the following are just a few instances that stood out to me.

First, Jesus rested.

If you’re like me, you are always looking for something to do. I like to keep myself busy by finding new things to learn or filling my time with random activities. It’s safe to say sabbath is not something I consistently practice, even though it’s so important and should be a part of our daily lives. I mean just look at Jesus. Unlike most of us, Jesus didn’t wait until He was burnt out to rest. He knew how and when to rest. We can find a specific example in Mark 4:35-40. This was the story of when the disciples and Jesus were on the boat and a storm was occurring, but Jesus was just fast asleep. I feel like every time I’ve heard this story in the sermon it’s always about how Jesus trusted the Lord to keep them safe, which is very much valid, but there’s also another perspective to consider. This was just after they had just left a huge crowd and were moving on to another city, Jesus and the disciples definitely had to be exhausted. Jesus knew He needed to rest. He chose rest over being stressed due to the situation because He knew He’d be burned out otherwise. Sometimes, we just need to prioritize rest to be able to continue to perform our best. Knowing when to choose rest and how to rest well is part of a balanced life Jesus had. Not only did Jesus know how to rest, but He also knew how to have fun. I mean His first miracle was performed at the Wedding at Cana where He turned water into wine (John 2:1-12).

Some practical ways I have been resting is by doing the opposite of what work looks like for me (Shoutout to Aaron Vickroy). For example, as a student I’m constantly on my computer and basically using my mind most of the time, so rest would look like going outside for a walk and moving my body instead of having to use my mind. I have also been finding new ways to spend with God, like practicing prophetic art or just finding Him in nature. Just inviting God into the things I love is so restful. It’s important to remember God just wants you to delight in Him. If it’s something you have to plan or think about, you probably aren’t resting well.

Secondly, Jesus waited.

Jesus took time to listen to what God had to say. He was patient and didn’t act impulsively. He constantly took time to pray and wasn’t afraid to ask for help. He knew He wasn’t alone and was able to turn to the Father. We can see a clear example of this in Mark 1:35-38 when Jesus goes to a solitary place to spend time with the Lord. During his time of solitary, He was able to clearly discern what God wanted for Him and the disciples to do. He gave up time before impulsively acting.

A lot of times, we don’t necessarily come to God first and wait for His opinion. We like to act right away or feel like we need an answer right away because of the fast-paced life we live. However, part of having balance is knowing when to wait and when to act. Jesus knew that by coming to God first and waiting on Him, He would be able to make decisions that were honoring and would help Him live out a better life than if He were to decide on His own. Something I’ve been working on is coming to God first, even for the little things like asking Him if I should order take out or not. Even though it seems silly, being able to come to God for the little things makes it easier for me to come to God for the big things. It’s an easy way for me to incorporate Him into my daily life and practice listening to Him.

Thirdly, Jesus obeyed.

After taking time to listen, Jesus obeyed what the Father said. Jesus didn’t necessarily have to obey considering He had full authority over heaven and earth, but yet He chose to be obedient. Jesus truly came to serve, not to be served (Mark 10:45). He was confident in the works He was doing because the Father lives in Him (John 14:5-14). Jesus didn’t have to think about living a balanced life, because by staying connected to God and obeying He was able to naturally live out a balanced life.

Furthermore, Jesus wasn’t afraid to break social norms if it meant being obedient to the Lord, which was shown in several verses, like Luke 6:1-11, when the Pharisees questioned Jesus about working on Sabbath. In the same way, we get to be obedient to the things God calls for us to do. Just as mentioned in John 14, we can be confident in our actions, even if it seems so absurd, by learning more about who Jesus is. I firmly believe that by knowing Jesus well, we are able to learn who we are meant to be. We can live boldly by actually taking action to what God called us to do, and therefore live out a balanced life.

As I reflect on these examples of how Jesus was able to live out a balanced life, I am reminded that just by seeking the Lord and being obedient to Him, we are already living a life of balance that He has for us. Jesus didn’t intentionally seek out to live a balanced life, but He did stay close to the word and connected to God. We can strive towards a balanced life by doing the same. Just by continuing to pray, read the word, and worship Him, we are living towards a balanced life.

Author | Ellyzsa Valencia

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