Our focus determines our balance

I attend a boot camp class a couple of times a week after work. At the end of each class, we do some intense stretching. Some of this stretching requires a lot of balance to do if effectively. Unfortunately, God did not gift me with tremendous balance and flexibility, so sometimes I fall out of the stretches. A while ago, we were in the middle of one of these stretches, and I was struggling to hold the necessary pose. The instructor came over and told me to simply pick a spot far out in front of me, and to just focus intently on that spot throughout the stretch. She told me not to look down at my feet and focus on keeping them in place, but just to focus on the spot in front if me and I would stay balanced. To my amazement, I was able to hold the pose when I followed her instruction.

Recently, we were stretching near the end of a class, and I was holding that exact same pose. As I sat their peacefully balancing in the stretch, the Holy Spirit showed me something. He showed me that this is exactly how God wants us to walk out our relationship with Him. He doesn’t want us so focused on the circumstances and trying to make the perfect decision each and every moment. In other words, he doesn’t want us constantly toiling to perfectly balance our life. Rather, he wants us to shift our eyes, or our focus, to Him. As we focus on God – His plans, His holiness, and His glory – everything else will naturally balance itself out. This is because the thing that we hold up as our primary focus will ultimately be the motivator behind each and every decision we make throughout the course of our lives.

I hear a lot of people talk about how important it is to live a “balanced” life. I also hear a lot of different sources of influence trying to tell us how to properly balance our lives. For example, some might argue that we should spend 50% of our time working, 20% with family, 10% serving in our community, and make sure to leave 10% for our own enjoyment. Others might say, you should spend 50% serving, 25% with family, and so on. While I agree that it is important to live a balanced life, this approach is simply not effective. This would be the spiritual equivalent of focusing on our feet instead of that spot out in front of us. In this approach, we may find ways to balance ourselves for a period of time, but as seasons and circumstances change we will undoubtedly topple over.

In Hebrews 12: 2-3, God’s word says, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” 

God knew that it was going to be a challenge for us to stay balanced in this life. He knew that we would be faced with ever changing circumstances, conflicting world views, painful loss, and so on. He knew that staying balanced and on mission would be impossible if He left us to fend for ourselves; trying our hardest to navigate through all of those things. Therefore, He provided a solution. He gave us a new point of focus. God gave us His Son, Jesus, and instructed us to spend 100% of our time focused on Him, and what He did for us. With that as our focus, everything else will balance itself out properly. We will operate with the right priorities, giving most of our time to the most important areas, but also having the flexibility to move and change those priorities when He encourages us to do so.

So I ask you today, where is your focus? Are you too focused on your schedule? Are you beginning to get weary as you try to impress God and others with your unmatched ability to perfectly divide your time across all your obligations? Or are you simply running with Jesus? Are you walking out every moment aware of His presence and listening for His direction? Or maybe you are standing there just the way God intended it; peacefully balanced with your eyes fixated on God and able to bend in whatever direction you are needed, but never in danger falling over.

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Written by Brian Maisch

I have a heart for setting people free from spiritual bondage and world oppression. I believe that the radical love of God manifested through his people can transform the world, and I believe that journey begins with us on our knees in a place of humble submission to God’s will.