The Battle for Balance – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

The Battle for Balance

Job 31:6 Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.

Intro: Last year in October, I preached a message entitled “The Balanced Life”. Today’s message is completely different.

Achieving balance and maintaining balance; living a life of balance is a continual battle.

               A. Job’s Resolve – vs. 1-4

               B. Job’s Request – vs. 5, 6

               C. Job’s Restitution – vs. 7, 8

I believe that God is interested in us having the right balance.

  • Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
  • Proverbs 20:23 Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.

If there is anything that I struggle with today it is finding balance.

I feel torn most days.

Paul lived in the same place. He said it like this:

Philippians 1

  • 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
  • 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
  • 25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
  • 26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

People are watching our life.

We need self-control and moderation.

  • Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Self-control (TEMPERANCE) is a sign of spirituality.

  • Galatians 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (fruit of the Spirit)
  • 2 Peter 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

Jesus Christ was our prime example of balance.

John 1 tells us that He was full of grace and truth.

  • John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

He was 100% God and 100% man.

If anybody demonstrated balance, He did. We can too.

There is a Battle for Balance when it comes to:

I. Your Resistance

Romans 13

  • 1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
  • 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
  • 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
  • 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
  • 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

What does God’s word say about resistance?

There is a Battle for Balance when it comes to:

II. Your Relationships

Sometimes, the struggle to know what to do is very real.

Unsaved family members.

Unbelieving friends and co-workers.

Again – Jesus demonstrated an amazing example of this.

His EXHORTATION:

  • Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

His EXAMPLE:

Matthew 12

  • 46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
  • 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
  • 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
  • 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
  • 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

But watch his response on the cross.

John 19

  • 26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
  • 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Where does one find the balance in the relationship challenges of families and friends?

  • Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

But notice Jesus’s example:

Mark 2

  • 15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.
  • 16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?

Key Thought: If a relationship is a weight, it’s got to go.

  • Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

There is a Battle for Balance when it comes to:

III. Your Response

Nearly every day of our life, we are confronted by people that are either curious, confused, or confrontational about our beliefs and positions.

We are constantly being placed in a situation where we have to respond.

We need to find the balance when it comes to our response, depending on the case.

We know are always supposed to have an answer ready.

  • 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

We need to know WHEN to respond.

Proverbs 26

  • 4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
  • 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

We need to know IF to respond.

Isaiah 53

  • 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

John 19

  • 7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
  • 8 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;
  • 9 And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.

Pilate was afraid, confused and wanted to know more.

But Jesus gave him no answer.

We need to know HOW to respond.

  • Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Speech with GRACE, seasoned with SALT.

These are two different things.

Conclusion: So how do you find the balance? Every situation is different. Every battle is unique.

There is only one way you and I can win the battle to be balanced in our Resistance, our Relationships and our Response. You and I must be filled with the Spirit. This is not an over-simplification. This is the only way.

Spirit-filled, you will win the Battle for Balance in your RESISTANCE.

  • James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Spirit-filled, you will win the Battle for Balance in your RESPONSE.

Luke 12

  • 11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:

12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.

Spirit-filled, you will win the Battle for Balance with your Relationships.

Galatians 5

  • 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
  • 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.