But he [Jesus Christ] answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that [which] proceedeth out of the mouth of God. – Matthew 4: 4
I am going to use this Scripture as a standard introduction for the rest of this teaching. You may wonder what I am talking about when I use the word “balance”. It is very simple and you will understand it completely within a matter of minutes. There must be a balance in the way a person lives, in particular, we are talking about two different subjects in the above verse. This is a serious teaching and it is very easy to understand, but is it that easy to apply? What sort of gets to me is when I try to watch what seems like a decent television show and then come the advertisements. Do you not notice the hilarity that is injected in the advertisements that are constantly repeated on your television? Almost everything appears to be funny and everyone is laughing. The pharmaceutical companies are on a rampage with their drugs for every single thing – even restless leg syndrome. There is no such damn thing and the enemy is propounding a drug for every possible feeling a person can experience. There are a number of these advertisements where the people are all laughing because they are sick. This is the insanity and the organized confusion that the devil propounds upon all of us. If we know enough, and the keyword is enough, of the Word of God, we do not find this form of advertising humorous, but repulsive. When a person is dealing with a sickness that they cannot believe to overcome, it is not a funny thing – it is not something we are all laughing and smiling about. Humor sometimes is the best medicine. There is a lot of truth to that. But you can’t only rely on acting like a damn fool to get better and to get healed. There is a time when you must be serious and you must face the opportunity in a serious manner. Now let’s get to the Scriptures and listen to what Jesus Christ said about a ‘balance.’
He said that “Man shall not live by bread alone”. What does he mean by this? Can it be taken literally? No, it cannot. Christ is using a figure of speech and to get his point across, he used the word ‘bread’. Bread is everything that almost everyone can identify with. Bread in this context is referring to the things that are of the world. This could be your job, this could be the material things you own, this could be your habits and hobbies, this can be almost anything that does not relate directly to the Word of God. Jesus Christ said that we cannot live by bread alone. Then he makes a statement, and he uses the word ‘But’. But always sets in contrast that which is said before. Christ said after his first statement about bread: “but by every word which proceeded out of the mouth of God.” Can we live in this world if we only read, teach, and learn the Word of God? This means that we will not have a job and we will not have any hobbies and we will do nothing but study the Word of God. We know from common sense that this is not possible.
Jesus Christ, in this verse, is stating that we must have a balance between the world and the Word. It is that simple.
I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable [or religious] service.
And be not conformed [fashioned] to this world: but be ye transformed [transfigured] by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. -- Romans 12: 1, 2
God is actually beggingly imploring you to present your bodies a living sacrifice which is holy and acceptable to Him. Then God goes on to say that this is your religious service. It is your duty to present yourself before God in this manner. Now take a look at the next verse.
God says to not be conformed or fashioned to this world. I, myself, am an absolute nonconformist because I know where this world comes from and I know who is the god of this world [see II Corinthians 4: 4]. How in the world can a person call himself a Christian and conform to the world that is presently run and controlled by the devil himself and all of his devil spirits? God will make a way for you to find the right road and there is always an ‘out’, if you know what I mean. There may be 100 ways to handle yourself in a certain situation. 99 of those ways are the wrong way to go. But if you’re in fellowship with God and you present your body a living sacrifice to Him, God will show you the one way out of the situation that you are in. If we conform to this world, we will always take the wrong road. But if we listen to Him and keep God first, God will always make a way where we will be more than a conqueror in every single situation in this life. I have experienced this many times. I am human just like you and I make mistakes. There have been times when things were going so well, that I just forgot about God. Then before you know it, the bomb would drop on me and the adversary would pull one of his deceptive and destructive tricks in my life. The key to doing your religious service to God is to get up every single morning and to open up your Bible, read it – maybe one chapter or one whole book. After you do this, you can pray silently or out loud to God and tell Him what concerns you during the upcoming day.
I have to tell you this one story before we move on. When you do what the above verse says, you walk with the proper balance in your life. I never forgot a believer friend of mine who told me his heart pertaining to this principle. He said to me that every morning that he gets up and he does not study and pray, he finds himself behind the eight ball all day long. I know what that’s like, do you? So why do we do such things? Because in some way we have become conformed to this world and tricked by our personal adversary. It’s a story I never want you to forget. Things went wrong all day long when this believer did not keep God first in the morning. This has happened to me many times. My car might not start and the first thing I do is get to my car. Believe me people, if you do God’s Word first and pray to Him, you won’t have any trouble and you will not lack the time to start your car. But if you start your car first and put something before God, you should know by now that this is referred to as idolatry. And during the rest of the day, you can’t seem to get your own life started. It’s really an amazing principle because it works with a scientific precision and mathematical accuracy every single time. So those two Scriptures in the book of Romans that talk about the renewed mind show you the contrast between walking with the balance (God first) as compared to conforming to what the world is trying to tell you what to do. And I want to say one more thing. When I use the word world, I am referring to the devil himself.
Now here is a trick that the adversary pulls on most of us at some point in time in our life and walk with God. This principle is very simple, but it is also extremely important. This has happened to me and as I once told you, I almost always teach on my actual experiences so that you can trust what I am saying to be true to fact. Here is the Scripture I want to go over.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. -- II Timothy 2: 15
That is what we are doing right now so that we can stand approved before God and we need not to be ashamed because we are rightly dividing the Word of truth. This term ’rightly dividing’ is one of the major keys concerning this website. But let’s get back to the word ‘Study’. There is a BALANCE as to how much we are to study as compared to the ‘bread’ that we consume. I am going to ask you an unusual question and I want you to be honest with me and with yourself and with God. Can a believer study too much? Believe it or not, the answer is a resounding Yes. If we love God with all our heart and soul, mind and strength, we sometimes feel in our senses that we can never study too much. If you have something in your house that needs to be repaired and is causing you and your spouse no end of problems, you should repair that item. If you think that we are to study from morning until night, you are mistaken. And there again is the title of this teaching. You need to establish a balance as to how much you study and how much you do not. Now I will tell you about myself in this area. At one time a congregation in Australia was depending on me for teachings. I would send them one teaching every week. I would begin at 4 AM in the morning every single day so that I could meet this deadline for this congregation. Before I knew it, I was beginning to experience burnout. When you are burning out and pushing too hard, you are the last person to see it. A person close to me had the nerve to tell me what I was doing and that I needed to take it easy.
So the purpose of mentioning to you II Timothy 2: 15 is so that you never forget my example. I am sure that this has happened to many believers because we love God to such an extent that we feel we can do anything to help Him. God knows that we need rest at times and it’s been my knowledge that we should rest one day a week. I am still working on that principle. We are not to do any type of work on one day of each week. So, in conclusion, I want you to know that not only can a person burnout with their five senses, but you can also burnout spiritually. Some people can push themselves to such a point where they need to drop out of college for two or three weeks to relax. I know of a person who did so. He was very intelligent and was a journal major at Penn State University. After he rested for three weeks, he returned to school with a different attitude it did not push so hard. There have been incidences where certain people, believers or not, had to sign themselves in to a psychiatric ward where they were given medicine to calm down their bodies and minds. I worked in a state mental institution and I saw that some people did not have the capabilities to wind down on their own, so they needed certain medicines that did the job for them. I won’t get into this, but the mental health field is greatly misunderstood. People are afraid, they are embarrassed and most mental health workers are the kindest people that you will ever meet. They genuinely care about their patients and many times you will not find this type of caring in a regular hospital. I could go on and on with many occurrences that I saw take place when I worked in this field. There are many mental health workers who could care less about the patients. That is why many people who were institutionalized almost never get discharged - it’s because nobody cares about them. When I was a psychiatric aide, the patients just loved me because they knew I cared about them. I sacrificed my job to see that a patient was discharged. The point again that I’m trying to make is that these types of people that get in these positions have no balance in their life. They either work too hard or to get emotionally too involved with someone and they start to break. That’s how important it is to achieve a balance in your life with God and with the world.
Let us now to go to some shorter examples of our subject matter. The book of Job has an interesting set of Scriptures in chapter 31.
If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. – Job 31: 5, 6
God recognizes a man’s integrity when he walks with a balance in his life. The first part of the verse says that if he walks with vanity, he shall be subject to deceit. Surely, we want to walk with a balance and not with vanity which will only result in a life of deceit. I think this example is simple enough, so let’s move on.
With a balance in our life, we are to do the following.
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity. – Psalm 62: 8, 9
Balance can be used with different meanings at different times in the Bible. God uses the word balance, at times, to judge people. That is the case in verse nine. I have used this example to show you the different ways that God can use the word balance. When He says that our ways are judged in the balance, He is referring to our overall lifestyle. And actually this lifestyle revolves around our overall balance of the world as compared to the Word. If we have too much of the world in our life, our ways are being judged by God and our balance. If you can picture a balance, like in the judicial field, our life is being weighed down very much to one side. There is no balance because we are probably putting too much time in the world as compared to giving the time that God justly deserves. The following statement somewhat shocked some people and I’m not going to look it up right now in the Old Testament. But we are actually to give God 1/7 of our time each and every day. That amounts to a little more than over three hours per day – almost 4 hours. How many of us can say that we give God this much time each and every day? So we must work on it – we don’t condemn ourselves for it. Condemnation is a sin if you can believe it or not. There are so many distractions in the world today that the enemy makes it difficult for us to concentrate on God. It takes discipline and constant effort to give God the time that He deserves.
Now the following has been on my mind for quite some time during this teaching. I must share it with you. You have a distinct relationship with God Almighty. It is like a spiritual fingerprint or spiritual DNA. Your ways with God and how you work with Him and how He works which you is unique. No one else has the same relationship that you have with God. This concept is referred to as Godliness. It is your true and vital spiritual relationship with God which is all yours and yours alone. That’s why it is difficult for me to teach a teaching like this that will be specific to an individual believer. But you should have a sense of freedom to know that your relationship with God is yours and yours alone. When you strive for this balance in your life, you are going to do it in a certain manner unlike everyone else. So I am teaching on basically general terms about the overall subject of the concept of balance. These guidelines are very useful to you, but you will remember that you will develop them according to your own relationship with God. Just for the sake of learning, I want you to see the end of verse nine where the word Selah is used. This is an old term and it means “Consider what I say.” Let us now try to find some more simpler examples and shorter Scriptures.
One of the greatest and well-known records in the book of Daniel pertains to the King Belshazzar. Remember, there was writing on the wall and the King could not get anyone to interpret it, with the exception of the great prophet Daniel. Let us read some of the interpretation in chapter 5 of the book of Daniel.
And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. – Daniel 5: 25, 26, 27
Then the king covered Daniel with a scarlet robe and put a chain of gold about his neck and claimed that he should be the third ruler of the kingdom. What happened to the King that evening? He was slain. You should read the record.
You see that this King did much evil in his lifetime and the wheels of God grind slowly but they grind finely. Eventually the King got what he had coming to him. I look at the ironic ways this happened. When the King called David to interpret the message, that message resulted in the death of the King.
I am trying to show you that the King’s balance was way out of line and God said that He was to judge Him according to how he weighed in the balances. This just goes to show how important it is for us to achieve a balance in this world. I cannot assist you completely with the exception of this type of teaching. You know when you are going too far in one area and you know when you’re not studying enough of God’s Word. I can only believe and help you to place ideas in your mind. How often do you hear teachings about balance? Not too often, am I correct? The way the world is going we need to have more self-discipline than we ever had before because of the influx of endless distractions. They are on the television, they are the result of the great influx of cell phones, all types of computer games, gambling even online. We need to get sharp people because the enemy is giving it all he’s got because his time is getting shorter and shorter and shorter. Look forward to the third heaven and earth. Learn Scriptures by heart so that we when you run across a situation that you don’t know what to do, that Scripture is right there on your heart. When you feel doubt about a task, remember: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. When you are thinking about worldly things all day long, remember the Scripture and say it to yourself:
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. -- Colossians 3: 2
Knowing Scriptures such as this one will help you to achieve your proper balance. Think above on spiritual matters and things of God. If you are distracted all day by things of the world, this Scripture will help you greatly to achieve your balance that is so necessary every day. I chose this teaching because it was different – because I don’t believe you’ve heard a teaching like this before. And yet it is so important that we must live our lives standing approved before God with the proper balance. Remember, that most of the time, our balance is shifted more towards the world. How many people do you know that talk about the Bible when you’re at your job? Everybody has been taken away by the enemy in all of his devices. I am going to repeat them again: television, cell phones, computers, trucks, gambling. I’m going to say something because I speak the truth for God. All lotteries are from hell. Notice how nice and cute the advertisements are. They are from hell. If you are buying lottery tickets, you are wasting your time and your money and you are being made a fool of by the world. So “keep scratchin” until you scratch the brains out of your head if you have any left. It’s time to get serious people. The enemy is serious and he is trying to ruin your life and that is why so many people are going into high schools with shotguns and shooting innocent people. There is a spiritual reason for this happening. Students are so depressed and lonely and left out that they go insane. There is no balance there. I can only reach so many people with this website, but when I began it, I said to God, “God, I just want to reach one person – just one person.” And I believe I’ve reached thousands because I asked God in a humble manner to help me. You should do this yourself – ask God in a humble manner for what you need and I will bet you, if I were a betting man, that He will answer your prayer. God bless you. I have done my very best to help you, now you must do something on your own. You must study and achieve a balance in your life. Selah.