It has been said that when our lives are in balance, we evenly divide our energy into four areas: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Much is made of physical health in our rather health-conscious culture and fortunately mental health is receiving more attention, though we still have far to go. Unfortunately, in our increasingly secular-minded American lives, we often attempt to satisfy our emotional and spiritual needs by the transitory resources of the world. Though God has given us tremendous blessings that make life enjoyable and meaningful and which are to be appreciated with a proper perspective, in the end they cannot bring the same satisfaction as a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is because our Lord is the only One Who is constant and will never let us down. When all else fails, He remains. He is the only One who can permanently provide “peace… which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7, ESV).

In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus describes a wise man who built his home on rock and the foolish man who built his on sand. When the wind and rain came, the wise man’s home withstood the storm and the foolish man’s fell. We all must ask ourselves: what or who is the foundation of our life, where do we place our trust, and on what/who do we depend. Jesus taught us not to “lay up… treasures on earth” (Matthew 6:19, ESV) not because they are necessarily bad things but because they do not ultimately last.

Nothing is more important than a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus taught us:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, ESV).

When we truly embrace Jesus as the Lord of our lives we are able to view life from His perspective. We know where to turn for guidance and strength, and how to make sense of suffering and gain the courage to persevere. We carry His love inside us—a love that can impact all those around us. Jesus declared to us that He is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6, ESV). All too often we turn to other sources as we struggle to find our path,  the truth about our world, and the means to build a life. In the end, Proverbs 3:5-8 stands as a truth we can depend upon without fail:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make  straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

As Jesus began His earthly ministry, He told us how to become His disciples, life-long learners who embrace Him as the Lord of their lives. In Mark chapter 1 Jesus taught us to repent, believe in the Gospel, and follow Him. To repent means to regularly clear out the junk that accumulates in our spiritual attics so that we will live out the beatitude, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8, ESV). We will be inspired to do this because we believe in the Gospel, which is described in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” With this assurance, He then calls us to follow Him wherever He leads us, not just physically, but in our hearts and minds as well.

I pray that all of us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, will truly experience what the psalmists sang about so long ago, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1-2, ESV). Why such yearning for Him? It is because “He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:3, ESV). I leave you with a final thought from the Apostle Peter, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9, ESV).

by Pastor Steven Grant