Do you ever feel out of balance? Emotionally, mentally, physically, relationally, spiritually? I do. And I don’t like it. Not one little bit.
A long time ago, I asked God (naively, albeit sincerely) to hold me tightly. I told God that I didn’t want Him to give me even a short leash. I told God I didn’t want any leash, no slack – in the connection between Him and me – at all. I asked God to hold me tightly, firmly and constantly so that I would know and sense His love, His leading and His correction continually and immediately in my life. Like I said, that was a naïve, albeit sincere prayer. God, who is never naïve and always sincere, answered my prayer. Happily. Quickly. Strongly. I believe it was God who moved me to pray that prayer in the first place. It lines up so fully with what God wants for each of us. It is in full agreement with “God’s good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. – Leviticus 11:44
…to those sanctified in Christ and called to be his holy people… – 1 Corinthians 1:2
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. – Galatians 5:25
Yes, God answered my naïve, sincere prayer just as I had asked. (You’ve heard: Be careful for what you ask!) The hold God has on me almost feels like a heavy, strong, metal ring, that is invisible to the eye but pierces right into my chest, right through my heart and into my innermost being. And, there, I am held tightly by the nail-scarred and fully loving hands of my Lord Jesus Christ.
Having God answer my prayer that clearly, fully (and strangely) really is great. Really. Yet, one of the biggest effects of being held so tightly is that I am highly sensitive to being out of balance – out of shalom – with my God. Out of balance – out of love – towards others. Out of balance – out of care – for myself.
Whenever I’m thinking, saying or doing things that aren’t following God’s leading, God’s good, pleasing and perfect will (And that is still way too often! Darn it!), I feel so out of balance – so out of God’s shalom. It is then that I feel God giving me a good hard yank on the ring attached to my heart. Yanking me back to God’s perspective, to God’s purpose and plan for my life. Yanking me back so that I will get God’s point and get myself back on His path very quickly, following Him very closely. No leash! No leeway!
God’s yank on my heart is actually God’s passionate, protective, incredible love for me and His faithfulness to hold me tightly, just as I asked Him to do! God is my balance. God gives me my truest life, my greatest freedom, my deepest shalom. And, yes, sometimes God gives it to me through a good hard yank!
May God’s powerful, unfailing love always give each of us a good hard yank on our hearts so that we will walk and live – emotionally, mentally, physically, relationally and spiritually – in God’s loving and perfect balance! No leash! Know balance!