A Balanced Life (More of Him, Less of Me)

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Notes on Francis Chan’s
Forgotten God

Variety. Balance. Moderation.

Buzzwords for healthy eating. Buzzwords for healthy living.

Try lots of different things. Have them in proportion. Don’t have too much of anything.

I’m by no means perfect, but this is how I try to live–finding a balance between the hundreds of things that attract my interest, trying to moderate my affections and attentions.

I find this spilling over into my spiritual life, where I’m constantly trying to find a balance–between holiness and grace, between spirit and truth, between orthodoxy and relevance.

But this is where I go wrong–and where Chan’s words hit me:

“When we are referring to God, balance is a huge mistake. God is not just one thing we add to the mix called life. He wants an invitation from us to permeate everything and every part of us. In the same way, seeking a “healthy balance” of the Holy Spirit assumes that there are some who have too much Holy Spirit and others who have too little. I have yet to meet anyone with too much Holy Spirit. Granted, I’ve met many who talk about Him too much, but none who are actually overfilled with His presence.

When it comes to God, I don’t need variety. Deuteronomy 4:35 says “…the Lord Himself is God, there is none other beside Him.”

When it comes to God, I don’t need balance. I don not need to walk a fine line between which character attribute I emphasize and which I de-emphasize. I need to emphasize them all.

When it comes to God, I don’t need moderation. I need everything.

When it comes to God, I need to see Him entirely, experience Him completely, and cling to Him wholeheartedly.

The imbalances I see in those who emphasize holiness to the exclusion of grace or spirit to the exclusion of truth are not solved by running a balancing act between the two. They are solved by emphasizing God to the exclusion of all else.

Imbalances come when I try to pick and choose between radicalism and stagnation–when instead, I should be choosing God.

Imbalances come when I, a human, try to balance God instead of recognizing that God needs no balancing. I need God. Period.

It is not possible to have too much of God. Imbalances occur not when I have too much of God (or even to much of a specific one of God’s attributes). Imbalances come because there is too much me.

My goal in life, then, should be like John the Baptist’s: that He would increase and that I would decrease. My goal should be to have all that He is, to embrace Him fully, to let Him take over my life.

It is not possible to have too much of God.

Lord, I repent of placing myself in Your place, trying to be the judge weighing You on my balance. I see now that the opposite should be true. You are the judge, the arbiter of right and wrong, of balance and imbalance. You are all that is good–and I have only to embrace all of You for my life to be balanced. I repent of picking and choosing which parts of You to embrace. I repent of trying to choose how much of Your control I’d allow. And today I choose to desire all of You. I want Your exclusive reign over every part of my life. I offer my life to You. Take it–until all that remains is You.

(See more notes on Forgotten God here.)


Reader Comments (2):

  1. Casandra says:

    I had a friend ask me about this book the other day, wondering if I’d read it. I haven’t. It sounds really good though! I was thinking about picking it up, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

    This is encouraging, though. I want all of God.

  2. Sandi says:

    I found your post this morning and wow, was it what I needed. Thank you.

Leave a Reply