PUBLISHED: November 30, 2018 • 3 minute read
"Lord, you and you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure."
Psalm 16:5 NIV
It is a constant struggle to live a balanced life. There are so many things that can happen in every season that can make it hard to keep the first things first. Living a balanced life has been and still is a continual learning process in my own life. I want to share my experiences in this area with you.
First, here is some background to my walk with the Lord thus far.
My relationship with God took off in the summer of 2016 which was when I was about to enter my freshman year of high school. I got saved when I was in early elementary school, but up until that point, I never understood that a deeper, more intimate relationship with God was possible. My prayer life in middle school was not very consistent or deep. But that all changed in the summer of 2016 when I believe the Holy Spirit gave me a revelation that I needed to read the Bible on a regular basis.
By the grace of God, I obeyed, and I felt peace that I had never felt before. I grew up in church and enjoyed Bible class at my Christian school. I understood the basics of Christianity, yet it never occurred to me until then that I should make reading my Bible a habitual practice. With lots of excitement, I began to get into God’s word, and I started to watch many sermons (I mean, MANY sermons). I would spend virtually all of my free time getting educated on what it means to have a close relationship with God as well as all of the events that took place in the Bible. Although I undoubtedly watched an excessive amount of sermons, this laid the foundation for where I am now.
During this time of watching numerous sermons, I also began to read many Christian books. I ended up absorbing so much new knowledge in such a short period that my brain and heart felt like they were going to explode. I became very overwhelmed and confused, but I had such a burning hunger for God that I could not stop. The year 2017 was a year of wrestling and hard growth for me, and it was not very fun at times. I would spend several hours a day crying because I felt so overwhelmed. I also felt very distant from God even though my hunger and desire for Him was stronger than ever.
Those several months taught me a valuable lesson: satisfaction is only found in God alone. I had accidentally turned things that are intended to act as pathways that lead to God into the destination itself. My desire unconsciously became the things that are related to God instead of God Himself. I began to realize this in the summer as I approached the start of my sophomore year and I was able to balance out my life a little more. I began to watch fewer sermons and read fewer books. There was still one thing that I had an unhealthy addiction to: Christian music. I have always loved Christian music. Even in middle school before my relationship with God deepened, I would still jam out to my favorite songs.
One evening in October, I was singing along to all of my favorite songs online as usual. In the middle of a song, I suddenly heard the Holy Spirit say, “Turn the music off; spend time with Me please.” I was hesitant, and unfortunately, I disobeyed and continued to listen to music until I went to bed. I did pray while I was in my bed that night, but I never got off my computer to spend alone time with Him as He desired. The next day I immediately repented, and since then, every time I go online to listen to music, I remember this occasion. It reminds me that alone, undistracted time with God is essential in cultivating a relationship with Him.
I am so thankful that God has given me the perspective to understand that I have become unbalanced so that I can continue to learn and grow. Learning to live a balanced life is an ongoing process. The biggest thing that I have learned is that to deepen our relationship with God; we must spend time with Him through reading His Word and in separate, undistracted prayer. He is the source of all fulfillment and satisfaction. When we seek Him, we will find Him. If we wander off occasionally and unintentionally make other things idols, we should repent and ask Him for the power to seek Him and Him alone. He is patient, and understanding of our weaknesses and He will enable us to continue progressing in our relationship with Him.