Daily Devotional

Finding God’s Balance in Life…

The pace of life can often be overwhelming.  We often require more and more from ourselves until we begin coming apart at the seams.  I know that I have found myself at that place at times in my life and ministry.  It seems everyone else is handling life just fine, but I would feel guilty for taking time to enjoy life and rest.

It seems like we live in a work-worshiping world.  There often are unrealistic standards of high achievement.  We feel the need to perform, to compete, to produce, or to accomplish the maximum, even if it means working 12–15 hours a day.  Expectations are high and realities are low.  Failure is not an option.

The thoughts of working at unrealistic standards were instilled in me by other Christian ministers in college and seminary.  I remember being told during chapel and classes that we should have the attitude that, “I would rather burn out than rust out.”  But I concluded that either way you are out!  So, God, You must have a better way!

As Christians, we often find ourselves working to gain God’s approval.  The more we do, we wrongly conclude, the more acceptable our lives become before the Lord.  The reality is that we are already totally accepted in God’s Son.  We need to ask ourselves, “What are we trying to accomplish by long hours, exhaustion, etc.”  God already has accepted us in His Son.  We can’t work to earn greater approval!

God wants us to learn to be still before Him.  “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”  (Psalm 46:10) To be still before God means to stop striving and relax.  The Psalmist was telling Israel that God was their fortress and protector.  All their striving would not protect them.  In the same way, we will never enjoy God’s protection and really come to know Him, if we keep racing through life trying to do things our way and in our own strength.

Jesus is our example as we see Him training His disciples.  “Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat." (Mark 6:30–31) Christ’s life was one of balance. He accomplished everything the Father had sent Him to do. “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.”  (John 17:4) Jesus did everything the Father wanted Him to do while here on earth.  Were there still people who needed healing?  Yes.  Were there still people who needed to hear the gospel of the kingdom?  Yes.  But Jesus had finished His work.  There were no ulcers for work undone.  He wanted His disciples to learn that, so He took them aside from the crowds to rest.

So how can we bring this balance into our lives as God desires for us?  We need to let God handle the things He has promised to handle.  Let God be God.  We should deliberately stop being absorbed with endless detail.  Don’t sweat the things only God can handle.  Each morning we need to deliberately decide not to allow worry to steal our time and keep us from leisure.  We should plan our day so that there are moments within it to step back and rest a little.  It will make our day more relaxing and help those who must work with us not to be so tense also.

Today, start seeking a proper balance of work and leisure.  For this to occur, Jesus Christ must be in proper focus.  We need to plan for it.  Someday, the time we spend with family and friends will be far more important than the hours we spend at the workplace.  Don’t wait until it is too late to find God’s balance.

Today, we need to let God lead us.  He wants us to enjoy the life He has given us.  God wants us to rest…relax…and enjoy life.  What do we need to do today to begin planning for this balance in our lives?

Prayer:  Lord, it is so easy to get wrapped up in my work.  Help me to see that I should slow down and listen to Your voice to come aside and rest awhile.  Thank you, Lord, for accepting me the way I am.  You don’t want me to try to prove myself, but to rest in Your acceptance of me.  Help me to bring a proper balance of work and rest into my life.  Amen
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New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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