The thought of being balanced brings to mind the high wire act of a Circus Performer. I can picture the tight rope walker high above the crowd gently tipping across the ropes with a long pole. He stops for a moment, wobbles and then gently journeys on. On the contrary when I think of being spiritual I see tall grass blowing in the wind, a trickling stream and a beautiful blue sky. Yes, peace and tranquility are the first thoughts that come to mind when I hear the word Spiritual. How you may ask does a tight rope walker and a trickling stream lead to spiritual balance.
Well, let’s consider our relationship with God. Just like the tight rope walker we have to be totally focused on our mission at hand. That mission of course is being in a saved relationship with the LORD. In the same way the tight rope walker can not waver or steer to the right or left, we also can not veer off course lest we fall.
The tight rope walker may stumble along the way, but by using his balancing bar he is quickly able to regain his focus. One slip of the foot could result in severe injury or even death. The same applies to our walk with God. Although we will always have our struggles as long as we hold on to our balancing bar, the word of God, we will be able to always regain a steady course. However, when we mishandle or let go of the word of God our fall will result at times in severe damage to our spiritually or may even lead to spiritual death.
Walking a tight rope requires daily intense training and dedication. A performer does not just get up one morning and begin to walk high above the ground. No, they have to take small steps that involve seeking help and guidance, hours of study and learning to master the art of concentration. This is also how we should approach our spirituality. Through prayer, reading and meditation we begin to develop our relationship with God.
Having a great prayer life requires us to be totally surrendered to the belief that God is in control of our life and through all things he works for the good. but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Psalm 66:19. God is there. He sees all and knows all but he also wants to hear our hearts. He longs to have us come to him as the Father he is and present our requests to him.
May my prayer be set before you like incense: may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2. When we bow to pray our desire should be on worshiping God. It is a great thing to be able to go before God and know that he longs to hear from us.
We receive great strength from prayer. While it is very humbling to bow before God, it is also very uplifting. Consider Luke 11:1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “LORD, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” The disciples saw how Jesus had to spend time with his father in prayer and they also saw the strength that was gained. They asked to be taught to pray. Jesus at this point gave them the outline of prayer by reciting what is today known as the Our Father or the Lord’s Prayer.
Let us however, look at the blue print itself. We see that the first aspect of prayer is adoration. To simply spend time adoring God for all he is and all he has done and is capable of doing. Next we see confession. A total openness regarding where we are spiritually, of course God already knows but it is so humbling to cry out to him. It puts an entirely new light on what we are going through. Then there is thanksgiving. When we begin to focus on what God has done for us and for those around us we begin to see how deeply God loves and protects us. Even though things may not be going according to our plans, once we begin to put into prospective all that God is doing we gain the security and comfort of knowing he will always be there and has always been there. Lastly, there is supplication. It is at this point that we express out wants and desires to God. How refreshing it is to freely express our longings to God free of the stuff that clogs us up.
While praying is our way of communicating with God, we must be devoted to the daily reading of his word. As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. Acts 17:10-12. While it is great to read a good book or listen to a dynamic sermon, our desire for a relationship with God should compel us to want to attain a deep understanding of his word. Not an intellectual sense of the word but a deep ingraining that will enable us to see his word and apply it to the very core of our being. We will develop an ability that will allow us to begin to apply the scriptures to our daily life in any and every situation. After all it is through his word that we gain the wisdom and knowledge needed to make it through this life. Let me understand the teaching of your percepts; then I will meditate on your wonders. My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law. Psalm 119:27-29. How wonderful it is to truly appreciate all that God’s word can do for us.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, Deuteronomy 11:18-20. God’s word should be the center of our homes, our families our very lives. We should use every opportunity to not only apply his teachings to our own lives, but also instruct those we love on how to apply them to their lives as well.
Very overwhelming you say. Yes, at first glance it may seem that way. However, God has given us clear examples in his word on how to achieve the renewing we may need.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35. You see the first key is to get up! Sitting around or laying around attempting to gain those extra moments of sleep will not provide us with what we need to gain the spiritual strength we need to make it through the day. The scriptures tell us that to be like Jesus we need to start our day by finding that quiet place to kneel before God.
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31. Again we see the importance of going off to a quiet place to refresh ourselves. We are human and humans are not perfect. We should not take on the mentally that we have to fix everything and everyone around us and that to do anything less would be unspiritual. Jesus saw the need for his disciples to rest. We should never feel guilty when we need to take time to focus on renewing ourselves.
So you see, just like the tight rope performer we too have to implement consistent practices into our lives. Without daily prayer, reading and meditation we will never be able to attain the Spiritual Balance that God intends for us.
About Author: Dr. Crystal M. Consonery is a Certified Faith Based Clinical Counselor, Life Coach, Speaker and Founder of Kaleidoscope Outreach, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing counseling services to individuals who due to a lack of finances or insurance go without the help they need. She is the Host of Coffee with Crystal on Blog Talk Radio, the author of the 30-day Women’s Devotional A Transcending Peace and the soon to be released Devotional From Mommy with Love. A native of Donaldsonville, LA she currently resides in a suburb of Metro-Atlanta with her husband and two children.