Finding Balance in Spiritual Growth

A journey of spiritual growth is an endeavor that many of us undertake eagerly, seeking to deepen our connection with our faith and with the Lord. However, in our eagerness to grow, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the plethora of activities and commitments that often accompany such endeavors.

This was the experience for many members of our local church community when we kicked off a new sermon series aimed at promoting discipleship. The series began with a challenge to read through the New Testament in just 90 days. Excited about the prospect of diving deeper into scripture, many of us eagerly embraced the challenge. However, as the weeks progressed, what began as a simple commitment to reading the Bible quickly snowballed into a laundry list of additional tasks and responsibilities.

In addition to reading assigned chapters each day, we were also asked to write reflective S.O.A.P. journals, memorize weekly verses, pray the Lord’s Prayer daily, cultivate spiritual friendships, and gather together regularly. While each of these activities are undoubtedly valuable and enrich our Christian walk, for many, they began to feel burdensome and overwhelming.

The Christian life, as Isaiah 40:29-31 reminds us, is meant to be a journey of renewal and strength, not one weighed down by endless tasks and obligations. The passage speaks of finding strength in the Lord, of soaring on wings like eagles, of running without growing weary, and walking without fainting. Yet, how can we expect to soar when we are bogged down by the weight of our own self-imposed expectations?

It’s essential to remember that spiritual growth is not a checklist to be completed but rather a journey to be embraced. Just as our physical bodies require rest and recuperation, so too do our spiritual selves. We cannot expect to find renewal and strength if we are constantly pushing ourselves to the brink of exhaustion.

For many of us, myself included, the foundation of our Christian walk lies in three fundamental practices: reading/studying the Bible, prayer, and meditation. These are not tasks to be checked off a list but rather disciplines to be cultivated over time. Just as a garden requires patient tending and care, so too does our spiritual life.

Moreover, it’s essential to recognize that our journey with the Lord is not always linear. There will be seasons of abundance and seasons of scarcity, times when we feel strong and times when we feel weak. It’s okay to stumble, to fall short of our goals, for it is in these moments of vulnerability that we can truly lean on the strength of the Lord.

Ultimately, our strength comes not from our own works but from the Lord’s power. It is through our trust and reliance on Him that we find the courage to soar, unburdened by the weight of our own expectations. As we navigate the ups and downs of our spiritual journey, may we find solace in the knowledge that we are held aloft by the unwavering love and grace of God.