Who knew the Bible said so much about balance? I didn’t really think of it before, but I’ve been learning a lot on this and other topics. Here are some interesting things that have jumped out at me so far. Most of these are things I’ve already known, but it’s good to get a reminder every now and then.
When I was first reading in Genesis, I thought to myself that I wasn’t learning much about balance from this book. God quickly reminded me of the beginning … on the seventh day, He rested. We need rest. Enough said!
Acts 6:1-7 tells about the disciples dealing with some widows not getting the food they were supposed to be getting. They decided that it was not the best use of their time to “wait on tables.” Their ministry was to pray and proclaim the word of God. So, they delegated. They chose seven others to work on the task of feeding the widows. Obviously they still considered it an important task to care for widows, but they could not do it all. We are not to do it all ourselves. We should stick to our calling and primary responsibility and let others come along side to do other work that takes us away from our focus. [On a side note, the seven men chosen to take over the widow ministry were chosen because they were known for being full of the Spirit and wisdom. They weren’t experts at food distribution, they were God seekers. I saw a quote on Facebook that said “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” A second note: if my pastor’s primary calling is proclaiming God’s Word, he should not be expected to do everything else or serve everywhere in the church.]
Back to Genesis … God asked people to do wild things, crazy things, things that are not logical or that fit into a perfectly balanced life. Noah built an ark. (Seriously, what would you think if your neighbor started building a gigantic boat in his back yard?!) Abraham believed that he would be the father of nations, even though he and his wife were too old to have a child. Abraham obeyed God and prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. I haven’t gotten this far in my reading, but I know that Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. Joshua and the Israelites defeated Jericho, not with a battle, but with walking and trumpets. Gideon defeated a gigantic army with only a few hundred men, some torches and jars! The list goes on.
There are many stories of people doing crazy things because God asked them to, not because they were logical or fit into some sort of career goals. This is where I think God throws balance out the window. He asks people to do things that don’t make sense to the human mind, and then He shows up and does amazing things. For the follower of God, it becomes an act of obedience, trust and faith.
Back in Acts, I was struck by the wise words of a man named Gamaliel. He was a respected Pharisee and teacher. When the apostles were preaching about Jesus and stirring up controversy among the religious leaders, Gamaliel told some of the men not to worry. He said there had been several other men who had preached things, gained followers and were then killed. He advised the others to leave the apostles alone. “For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:38-39)
I love this! I can plan and prepare and study and think about having balance in my life, but if it is only from me, it’s worthless. I can do lots of things, even really good things, but if they are of human origin, they will fail. When I am seeking God daily (back to Psalm 1) I will come to know what He wants me to do. This brings us back to some of the crazy, wild things God asked people to do. The key is that they originated in God, not in man. When God asks me to do things, I should obey. The key is to find out if I am listening to God or just coming up with my own ideas.