I think I've mentioned before that I've been on a path lately of learning about balance. It wasn't something I was looking for, but seems to be hitting me on all sides.
I'm currently camped out in the New Testament (surprised?!?) and this morning was reading through the passages in which the Pharisees are nit-picking everything Jesus does and telling him he's disobeying the law of the Sabbath.
After reading, I spent some time journaling prayers in response to what I read. In doing so, I started thinking about how the Pharisees didn't get balance. They lived on the side of legalism. And then there were other folks who lived on the side of...I'm not sure the word...doing whatever they wanted damning the consequences. As I was basically judging the Pharisees' ridiculousness in my head, I realized I can be a Pharisee just as easily as I can be a loose cannon (that's what we'll call them today :)).
I started to think about pendulums, specifically the ones with magnets at the bottom. At rest, they just hang there in the middle, steady and confident, connected to the stabilizing magnet. When give in to a push, they swing wildly from one side to the other, while still trying to reconnect to the magnet. Eventually they tire and settle back into the middle until they get another push.
I feel like this is me. Something will happen, or a temptation will arise, or I become impatient and allow the push to set me into motion, pulling me away from the Magnet. Sometimes I'll swing to the loose cannon side and decide not to care what the Magnet thinks, and then other times I'll swing to legalism and attempt to control everything with rules and regulations. Regardless, both detach my heart from the Magnet and leave me swinging about wildly.
Obviously this will occur throughout life since I will still sin and struggle, but how do you fight it? How do we live in balance? Balance being the place where we live with grace, love, and forgiveness, but also where we recognize that God's best doesn't always align with loose cannon-flesh side.
Then I realized it. The Holy Spirit. Le Saint-Esprit.
Only through the Spirit can we live in balance as it's not natural. Only through the Spirit will we remain connected to the Magnet as we're prone to swinging. And the only way to live in the Spirit is to know him. To talk to him. To read and write his words on our hearts. To be quick to listen and slow to speak or act. To intentionally pray and patiently wait for answers. And to do all of this daily.
And then I thought, holy cannoli, the FULLNESS of God lives IN me! I mean, I know that, but I just sat there for a minute and let it sit on me. The Spirit that has the power to save souls, raise Jesus from the dead, intercede on my behalf, a part of the trinity...lives in me. Why the world do I so often and so easily discount that? Why do I easily freak out, second guess, or worry?
Literally at this moment, that Chris Tomlin song that says "and if our God is for us, who can be against us" came on and I had to laugh. No joke.
Most of the time I have no idea what to do. Literally this morning I prayed for several people and told God I have absolutely no clue how to best love them through hard things they're walking through or maybe I don't even know what they're going through but feel led to pray for them. I asked for guidance, a loving heart, boldness, and confidence to not second-guess. Now I wait and trust that the Spirit will provide as he loves these people WAY more than I ever could.
The key to balanced living is the Holy Spirit. Don't discount his power. Don't discount that, if you know and walk with Christ, he's there to help you live out what God instructs. What a gift.
Let's walk in the power of Le Saint-Esprit and see what mighty things the Lord can do.