A Balanced Growing Life
God wants you to thrive so you can lead a positive life in a negative world. But people tend to be creatures of habit. We often gravitate toward what is safe, not necessarily what is good. Or we settle for mediocre rather than pursue what is best.
To flourish in all areas of your life, you have to want to be successful. You must desire more for every area of your life—especially spiritually. And that involves a willingness to obey God’s plan and principles. The Lord will satisfy the heart that is hungry for Him and His will.
- Read Psalm 1:1-2, paying attention to the verbs in the first verse. What would it indicate if a person were to walk, stop and stand, then sit with the ungodly? (Note: This passage is not talking about spending time with unbelievers so you can be a witness to them. Rather, it has to do with allowing oneself to be influenced by the ungodly.)
- How does this verb progression apply to gradually establishing bad habits?
A. Making a Life Wheel
Setting objectives is important; if you don’t determine your priorities, other people or circumstances will choose them for you. One way to record goals and evaluate your path is to make a life wheel. Draw a circle on a large piece of paper. At its center, draw a smaller ring and write “God” within it. Then divide the outside circle into four even sections. Label these “Family,” “Social/Recreational,” “Business,” and “Spiritual.”
Next, identify goals for each area of your life. Find photos of your family and friends, or cut out magazine pictures, that represent your goals. For instance, someone who wants to spend more time with his wife and children would include pictures of his family spending time together. Draw a picture if you can’t find an image that fits your goal.
After you complete your wheel, put it in a place where you can refer to it often, such as inside a closet door.
B. Why make a life wheel? It can help in five ways:
1. Visualization: The wheel is based on the goodness of God. Remind yourself always that “the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” (Ps. 33:5). Ask the Lord to rule over your imagination and to provide a glimpse of His plan for you as well as the blessings He desires to give you.
- How did God describe the plans He had for the Israelites (Jer. 29:11)?
- List at least one instance in which the Lord’s will for your life was better than what you would have chosen for yourself.
2. Expectation: The life wheel is based on the promises of our heavenly Father. As you visualize and identify your goals, you are in a better position to ask God specifically for what you truly desire and then to look for His answer or provision.
- According to James, why don’t we have more of God’s blessings (4:2)?
3. Motivation: Aim to see your life as the Father sees it, and then act on what He guides you to do.
- Many people believe that God isn’t personally interested in their lives. Is this a biblical idea (Ps. 32:8)?
- Look at the wheel you made. How many of your goals were prompted by the Lord’s guidance? How many sprang primarily from your desires?
4. Meditation: The wheel centers on submission to the Father. As you meditate on His Word, you learn more about the goodness of God and His plan for your life.
- Read 1 Thessalonians 5:11-21. How can you apply this verse to your goals?
5. Realization: The Lord will faithfully guide you into all truth.
- How can Romans 8:28 provide reassurance of God’s intentions toward you?What things in your life do you think the Father will use for your ultimate good, even if you can’t see His final purpose right now?
Take a few moments to pray. Ask the Lord to reveal how He wants you to cooperate with Him this week in bringing about His good purposes in your life.
C. Life Evaluation
The wheel provides an opportunity to evaluate your life at a glance. If you have many goals in one area of your life but very few in another, your priorities might be out of balance. (Note: Some areas of your life may have fewer aspirations of greater importance. In a balanced life, it’s the quality of goals that count—not the number).
After you have made your life wheel, answer these questions:
- What area of my life have I overemphasized in the past?
- What have I neglected?
- What are the results of imbalance in my life?
If your wheel is unbalanced, begin by thanking and praising God for His goodness and His many benefits to you. Then ask Him to highlight areas of your life that need adjustment. As you look over your wheel, you are likely to feel drawn to a particular goal. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom about this specific area. As He leads, change priorities and readjust the goals until you feel that your life is on course with God’s agenda.
Conclusion: A life wheel can help you evaluate yourself and develop a greater dependency on the Lord. That’s one reason to construct it as a circle—let it remind you of God’s desire for you to be whole. True prosperity is always rooted in wholeness, growth, and fruitfulness.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit, who helps and guides me in becoming all You want me to be. Please reveal to me any areas of my life that are out of balance, and show me the priorities You want me to have. Amen.