Posted on this site 7th April 2007
LEARNING THE IMPORTANCE OF BALANCE
BY: STACY R. WOOD, JR.
WHAT IS THE NEED FOR TRUE BALANCE?
"A false balance the Lord hates; nothing but perfect weights will delight Him" (Pr. 11:1). The Lord stirred within me a recognition of the necessity and the importance for true balance in the life of the believer. Many believers often misconstrue the quest for harmony between the confession and the character of oneís life as legalism. Some consider the mere mention of balance detrimental to the ideas and teachings of the kingdom. Moreover, some believers count the need for balance in teaching and life style as insignificant in this present hour.
Whatever is not a true balance is a false balance - there is no middle ground. In the words of Proverbs 20:23, "a false balance is not good." Nature itself readily reveals the importance of being in balance. The unbalanced things of creation become categorized in one of two groups. When a thing is out of balance with itself we call it a "freak of nature." On the other hand, if the lack of balance is between two separate things, most likely, at least one will become extinct.
WHAT IS A BALANCE?
In both Hebrew ("mozen") and Greek ("zugos") the word for balance is always used in the plural. The biblical usage clearly identifies a pair of scales. The balances of antiquity were simple bars suspended at the middle with pans on each end. In one pan the weight or stones were placed and in the other the substance that a person was purchasing. For the thing that a person was purchasing to reach the just or full measure both pans needed to rest in a level or equal position with one another.
WHAT DOES GOD USE FOR JUST WEIGHTS IN HIS BALANCES?
"This is the inscription that was written: mene, mene, tekel, parsin "This is what these words mean. Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Tekel: you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians." (Dan. 5:25ff).
The Hebrew word for weight ("eben") clearly defines a stone for building. In ancient times a skilled craftsman made weights for the scales by breaking a building stone into small pieces. Then they ground and shaped each stone fragment until it became a perfectly accurate measure. According to Proverbs 16:11, "A just weight and balance are the Lord's: all the weights of the bag are his workmanship."
Again Proverbs 20:23 says, "A false balance is not good." However, by experience we recognize the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God's building stone. He is THE LIVING STONE--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him (1Pe. 2:3f). God caused Him to become crushed and broken because He had weighed the human race on the scales and found wanting. The lack found in humanity disqualified them from being a just measure for the groaning creation (Isa. 53:3ff, 10; Heb. 5:8f). God's uniquely begotten Son, Jesus, learned obedience from what he suffered. Furthermore, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him (Heb. 5:8f).
Those whom God foreknew he also predestined conformed to the
likeness of his Son that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. This
speaks of every facet of God's character and divine image brought to precision
in the body of Christ. As His handiwork, God created us in Christ Jesus to do
good works. God prepared these works in advance so that we might do them. As
living stones we also become perfected through the things we suffer. It is
through much hardship that we enter the dominion of the Father. The body of
Christ becoming the multifarious stones of exactness, the just measure of God,
by which He calculates all things. That is, many sons becoming shaped by God
into the weights of perfection, by which all will become measured. (Ro. 8:29f;
1Co. 10:4 12:12f, 27; Gal. 3:16, 29; Eph. 1:18ff, 2:10;
"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation" (1Pe. 2:1-10).
WHAT CONSTITUTES A FALSE BALANCE?
The primary opportunity for deceitfulness lay in deceptive stones and not in the thing purchased. When the craftsman makes the stones to look like the real thing, but shaves them slightly to make them a little lighter, they produce a false balance. While everything seems correct, the thing weighed actually falls short of the truth. The following lists some deceitful weights most often accepted by people, in the place of God's perfect measure: religious traditions, forms, dogmas, sectarian views and unsound teachings emphasizing humanity rather than the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.
WHAT IS GOD WEIGHING IN THE BALANCE?
In one pan is found God's divine standard, Christ Jesus, while in the opposite is placed God's purchased possession (Greek "peripoiesis": acquisition; property).
Now we, who believed in Christ Jesus our Lord after hearing the good news of the happy God, were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. The sealing of the Holy Spirit is the earnest or pledge of our inheritance "until the redemption (Greek "apolutrosis": releasing; deliverance) of the purchased possession" (Eph. 1:14).
We see two things here: first, what God has acquired or purchased for Himself is yet to become manifestly delivered. Second, until God fully releases the purchased possession, we do have the earnest or guarantee of our inheritance or privilege in God.
God's desire is not merely to purchase us for Himself. He plans to deliver us from all that does not fit the criterion or "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13; 1Ti. 2:4). Thus, man's attitudes, walk and works are placed in the balance pan and measured with Christ Jesus, God's uniquely begotten Son. However, just like Belshazzar we are found deficient and inferior: we are either heavy with flesh or light because of being puffed up and high-minded (Dan. 5:27; Ps. 62:9). Yet, even with our inability to measure up, we never lose hope because WE SEE JESUS, who is the firstborn of ALL creation. (Heb. 2:6ff; 1Jo. 1:7ff; Col. 1:15; Rev. 3:14).
We are not placed into the balance pan so God can reject us when all our faults become evident in the light and glory of Christ Jesus our Lord. Instead, God weighs us so that He can deal with whatever lack or superfluous thing shows up in our life. Therefore, pay close attention as God weighs four distinct areas of our spiritual lives with Christ Jesus our Lord.
WHAT SPIRITS DOES GOD WEIGH?
"All the ways of man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits" (Pr. 16:2). Man justifies his lifestyle with religion by reciting a few ethereal notions from the Scripture. Then, satisfied that all is well, he sits back at ease, believing himself to be what he is not. For example the Bible says, "he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit." Some add to this passage another verse that says, ďas He is so are we in this world." Often the conclusion states that since "God is spirit" we are also "spirit" and the only "God" the world will ever see. This thinking causes some to believe they are void of any potential of being carnal, soulish, or sinful. (1Co.. 6:17; 2Co. 7:1; 1Jo. 1:10; 4:17).
It was Paul who told the church that they were "one spirit" with the Lord. He went on to write in his next letter, "let us cleanse ourselves from all pollution of flesh and spirit" (1Co.. 6:17). What could he have possibly been referring too? The Holy Spirit or the Spirit of the Lord could not become polluted or blemished!
The reference to spirits in Proverbs 16:2 is referring to attitudes of the heart. Often, when we believe we are doing well in the Lord we find ourselves having to deal with our attitudes or dispositions, usually concerning our relationships with other believers.
SOME ACCEPTABLE ATTITUDES!
When we look at Jesus, we clearly see how our attitudes ought to be. We could possibly sum up the balance for our spirits or attitudes in four thoughts:
First, we must manifest a broken and contrite spirit (Ps. 34:18; 51:17): That is to become torn, broken, crushed and cast down for the sake of groaning creation. Yet, we are never to become utterly destroyed. This kind of brokenness releases the sweet aroma of Christ in those being saved and in those who are perishing. To one we become the aroma of death, with respect to the death which works in them; to the others we become the aroma of life, with respect to the life working in them (1Co.. 10:16f; 11:24; 2Co. 2:15f; 4:7ff; Isa. 53:10).
Second, we must become humble or poor in spirit (M't. 5:3; Pr. 16:19): This means to be low, to sink, to bow down, becoming abased. Moreover, it means we should not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. By practicing this attitude we can help to make many rich in Christ. A person with this attitude considers even the sinner of more value than himself. Yes, all others become more important than any reward, which may be his (Isa. 57:15; Ps. 138:6; Pr. 29:23; Ro. 9:2f; Heb. 12:2f).
Third, one must practice showing a right spirit in everything with which he becomes involved (Ps. 52:10): This speaks of becoming established and fixed upon the Lord. Moreover, a right spirit causes one to walk according to Godís purpose, fully prepared and ready for whatever is ahead. The "wild ass nature," that keeps people running after their own pleasure, comes to a full end with this attitude of heart. It is time to become settled in the place where God is pleased to position us in the body of Christ. Yes, the time has arrived for the believer to begin looking to flow in one accord, one mind and in one direction with the corporate man. In observing such an attitude of oneness, the world will find the stability and confidence needed to believe God Who loves them and has sent the Lord Jesus Christ (1Co.. 1:10; 12:13, 18; Eph. 4:3, 13ff; Ph'm. 2:1ff; Joh. 17:23).
Finally, we need a free spirit (Ps. 51:12). This means to have a noble attitude and willingness to do and to bear whatever is necessary to see creation set free. Never again to say "NO!" or "I don't feel lead!Ē A free spirit enables one to have a cheerful outlook on life. Moreover, it encourages us to look for a place to become a useful, functioning part of the corporate ministry. No longer doing things for what we can get out of it. Moreover, not doing works so people can see the good that we do. The only goal for doing a thing is to help loosen creation from their disappointing misery. Hallelujah!
WHAT IS THE CORRECT PATH?
"The way of the just one is a level way; You, Most Upright One, do weigh the path of the just" (Isa. 26:7). The path of the unrighteous broadens and becomes progressively more permissive to the flesh. Many fill this path believing they have found the correct path. Filled with good intentions, they continue their walk until it ultimately leads to their ruin and loss. (M't. 7:13ff; Ro. 1:16ff). On the other hand, God has created a perfect path for the just to walk within. It is a way which becomes progressively narrower until no distinction exists between the walk the just and the way of God. It is a walk which is wholesome and orderly in every expression.
However, to walk in spirit does not come instinctively, without effort. It is true. Our life in spirit is a gift from God. It is also true that God has established us as His children according to His own will through the word of truth (Jas. 1:17f). However, just like a child, we must learn and practice walking uprightly before God. Galatians 5:25 says, "Since we live in spirit, let us also walk in spirit." The Greek word for walk in this passage ("stoicheo") means to walk orderly, keeping in step and in line.
God forbid that any of us should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through the cross God has crucified the world which appeals to the lust of the eyes, the craving of the flesh, and the pride of life. Moreover, it is through the cross that we have been set free from the power of sin. Moreover, through the cross it is no longer we but Christ who lives (Gal. 2:20; 6:14; Ro. 6:1ff, 12f).
Remember, in Christ Jesus, neither the legalistic religious traditions nor the non-legalistic religious traditions are of any value. It is the new creation, which enables us to measure up to the fullness of Christ Jesus. Now, as many as will walk orderly, keeping in step with rule of the new creation, as seen in the life of Jesus, will balance perfectly before God (Gal. 6:14ff).
WHAT SHOULD OUR ACTIONS BE?
"Do not multiply your haughty words; let not arrogance come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed" (1Sa. 2:3).
Actions are what produce works or deeds and God weighs every action. He knows when we do a thing for what we can get out of it. He also knows when we are not doing anything for fear it will not be what He wants. God weighs both our accomplishments and our lacking on His scales. The hidden motive of our hearts becomes evident as God weighs our life upon His balance (M't. 7:19ff; 25:14ff; 25:34ff).
Jesus Christ is the foundation, the Rock, the very Corner Stone of those called out of darkness and sin. The foundation is a person: not a doctrine, a revelation, a prophecy, a tradition, or a religious form. When we see Jesus - and the Father unveils him in us the Word of God declares. - we discover why the Lord called us out of an unbalanced life style.
God is again building His house in the earth. Although He is using living stones of humanity, it is a house made without carnal ingenuity. As Jesus, God has brought forth us too, to become builders with God. Thus, to produce nothing out from the life of Christ, which God reveals in us, is even more serious than doing the wrong thing out of a right motive.
Now, God weighs of manís works in the balance with His uniquely begotten Son, Christ Jesus. If we take the seed of Christ and plant it back into the earth again so that it might multiply; if we minister the word of reconciliation to the untold multitudes; God will reward our actions by causing His glorious temple to stand completed in our generation. The glory of this corporate house will transcend the glory of all the former houses of God which the hands of humanity have built. (1Co.. 3:8).
The reward depends upon the building materials used to establish His house. Wood, hay and stubble becomes reduced to ash in the fire of God's proving. The ashes will weigh light upon the balances, like all the vanity of human centered efforts. Man's works being as wood, hay and stubble speak of using God's seed to promote human personalities (wood). The hay illustrates an area closed in for feeding. This speaks of a people that have no vision to reach the world for Jesus. The stubble suggests the effect of the most worthless form of unprofitable teaching on the lives of those who hear it.
If all we do is follow ministry personalities and consume every fresh blade of revelation which comes our way, our lives will become as stubble. This is because we did not balance what we received by planting for a seed to bring forth a new harvest. Remember! An inward growth without an outward reach produces stagnation. Stagnation produces paralysis and paralysis results in lifelessness. God will save all those who build with these materials as through the fire with nothing but ashes to show for the actions of a life time.
On the other hand, those whose works produce gold shares the Divine nature of Jesus Christ into the lives of regenerated humanity. Those whose works produce silver have brought the good news of redemption to the prisoners of disappointment and misery. The precious stones speak of all those who find the heart of the High Priest who wears the breastplate, close to His heart. They help to polish and place the living stones where the Lord is pleased to set them. These find their works become even more precious through the purging fires (1Co.. 3:11ff). So, let us abound in every good work! Hallelujah!
WHAT IS THE CONCLUSION?
Jesus is the pattern for our life. We are to grow up into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13). His death and resurrection were not merely to save us from some "last day bar-b-que,Ē but to manifest the reality of being a new creation man. He displayed the attitudes we are to have, the way we are to walk and the work we are to do. So let your attitude, walk, and work come into perfect balance with the stone of God's making, Christ Jesus our Lord.
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