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            Outside my kitchen window there hangs a small birdfeeder filled with a homemade suet mixture.  A number of birds like to visit this feeder throughout the day, but, the most consistent patrons are a pair of Downy Woodpeckers.  It's always fun to watch them maneuver their way across the feeder.  As the suet gets lower, they must find some pretty acrobatic poses in order to keep their balance while feeding.  Many times they will use their tail feathers, making a V formation with their body, to accomplish this.  Who would have ever thought a bird would use its tail like that?

            Sometimes our lives demand that we perform a balancing act.  All sorts of things can fight for our attention and pull us off balance.  Demands at work, home, and our own desires can cause us to tilt, slip or fall into unbalanced and unhealthy behaviors.  The Bible says there is only one way to keep our lives balanced and that is to seek God and His ways first (Ps. 123: 1-2; Prov. 2: 1-7; Is. 55:6; Matt. 6:33; Col. 3:1-2; Phil. 4:18).  The concept here is not much different than unbalanced wheels on a car.  Wheels that are balanced assure you that your vehicle is safe.  But unbalanced wheels not only wear out faster, they can even cause accidents.  If your inner life is not balanced, your outer life will not be either.

            So how about a spiritual check up this week?  Ask yourself some of the following questions to see if your life is balanced as it should be.  If it is, GREAT!  If it isn't, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to healthier choices for the balance in your life and seek out a Christian friend whom you can trust and ask them to keep you accountable as you fine tune your balance.

            1.  How is my relationship with God?

            2.  Have I been reading my Bible?

            3.  What has God been saying to me as I read His Word?

            4.  Where have I been resisting Him these days?

            5.  What is the state of your perspective and desires?  Tempted?  Dealing with fantasies?  Entertainment?

            6.  What challenges do you see yourself facing in the coming week or month?  In what ways will you meet that challenge?

            7.  What things take priority over spiritual matters in your life?  Why?

            8.  Are there any unresolved conflicts in your circle of relationships right now?  Are you able to reconcile them in a Biblical manner?

            Gordon MacDonald wrote, "If the private world of a person is in order, it will be because they are convinced that the inner world of the spiritual must govern the outer world of activity."  No one knew this principle better than King David.  After a disastrous encounter with Bathsheba, he was confronted by the prophet Nathan and then wrote Psalm 51.  If you should find yourself "unbalanced", follow David's footsteps and then rest on the promise of 1 John 1:9.  No one said the path of a disciple would be easy, but with God's grace, it can be balanced.

Ann LeFevre  2/20/2011

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