Finding Balance in Life: Finding the Key

The Balanced Life:  Finding Balance in Our Relationship with God.
Ecclesiastes 5:1-7
“Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools.”

Solomon’s quest for meaning and balance in life now brings us to the central point governing a life of significance.  The key to balance, meaning, and purpose in life is a right relationship with God.  However, we must recognize that even in our relationship with God, sin can corrupt our pursuit so that instead of drawing us to God, it can also lead to a further pursuit of what is meaningless.

Wisdom starts with a teachable spirit before God.  Solomon warns us that we are to enter into the house of God with a desire to hear rather than merely go through the religious rituals. This speaks of a teachable spirit and an attitude to seek to hear from God and obey Him.  In contrast is the fool who merely goes through the rituals.  The fool comes to the temple to offer sacrifices and perform religious ceremonies rather than obey God’s law.  In verse 2, Solomon is not condemning prayer but empty words and practicies not grounded in an attitude of submission and obedience.  We need to recognize “that God is in heaven and we are on the earth.”  To have a proper perspective of God, we must never forget who He is and who we are.  Throughout scripture, we are repeatedly warned that we must recognize that God is infinitely exalted above us.  We cannot question Him or presume to speak for Him. Instead, we must listen and respond to His word. We are reminded in Isaiah 55:8-9, ‘”For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways, My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.’”  

Finding balance in our spiritual lives begins by surrendering entirely to the will and purpose of God and living in obedience to Him.  Solomon would summarize, “Listen to God and stop giving Him your opinions. Stop trying to change His word to conform to you.”  We display our complete folly when we presume to instruct God by rejecting His word.  Only a fool would think we have achieved the spiritual insight to inform God and correct Him.  Remember, "He is in heaven, and we are on the earth.”

Keeping our relationship with God also prohibits us from trying to bribe God with vows or trying to justify our actions by later saying we made a mistake. We must remember that God holds us accountable for our words and actions. When we stand before Him, He will judge us by His standard and His word (vs. 4-6). We will not be able to make excuses in the presence of God to minimize our disobedience.  

So, how do we find balance before God and live in the right relationship with Him?  The answer lies in the book's theme, “Fear God.”  The first order of business for a meaningful life is the fear of God.  Without the fear of God everything else becomes twisted and corrupted. This becomes the linchpin for balance in all of life.  Apart from the fear of God, everything else becomes distorted.  This fear of God is more than just emotional apprehension; it is a deep reverence for God that leads to obedience to Him. It is a fear that does not cause us to flee away from Him but draws us to Him in humble surrender. If your life is disjointed and unsettled, start by listening to God through His word and responding in obedience, for this is the foundation for discovering meaning in all things.  

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