For my birthday long ago, James bought a set of new tires for my car. Driving home with my practical gift, he noticed a slight bump. After waiting a few days, he returned to the auto store to check it out and learned the tire was out of round.

“That’s ridiculous!” I said. Being an English major, I know stuff about grammar and language. Round is one of those words incapable of comparison. If something’s round, it can’t be more round or less round. That doesn’t qualify as round. I learned a round tire can indeed be out of round. My new tire couldn’t be balanced or fixed. It had to be replaced.

Years later I appreciated that experience after hearing someone say trying to balance life without Christ in control is like trying to balance a tire that’s out of round…it can’t be done.

Trying to balance life without Christ in control is like trying to balance a tire that’s out of round…it can’t be done. Click To Tweet

Christ is the source of a balanced life.

He called it the abundant life (John 10:10). I call it the  maximum life.

At age seven, when I called on Christ as my Savior, I didn’t understand the concept of complete surrender—acknowledging Christ as Lord and master of my life. I’d left a successful career at the local newspaper to start a wonderful new life-chapter—motherhood. My parenting goal was perfection—an unrealistic expectation. Disappointed in myself and wondering how to access the patience and joy guaranteed to those who live by faith, I began searching for the source.

I discovered those qualities are part of the cluster of fruit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—produced by the Holy Spirit when we surrender absolute control of our lives (Galatians 5:22-23).

In prayer I placed my whole life in God’s hands, trusting him to guide my steps and fulfill his purpose. Going forward, I wanted only to please the Lord, yet often I felt like a failure. He drew me close and let me know he didn’t require perfection, only a heart wholly seeking him and willing to obey.

Obedience is only a problem when the Lord asks us to do something we don’t want to do. Click To Tweet

Obedience is only a problem when the Lord asks us to do something we don’t want to do: love our enemies, forgive because we are forgiven, put away anger, choose wholesome thoughts, count trials as joy, deny the flesh, rejoice in weakness, praise by a decision of the will. Those concepts aren’t popular with our human nature.

Struggling with discouragement, negative thinking, anger, fear, low esteem, and forgiveness, I limped along faking joy. Learning to apply Scripture to my daily life, I stopped depending on circumstances to bring me joy. Joy is what God brings to my circumstances.

Getting God’s perspective changed mine.

How do we get his perspective? Spend time talking with God and reading his Word. Read the Bible as a love letter. It’s our guide to knowing God intimately and our handbook for daily living. Read enough to get caught up in the story. While reading a familiar passage and knowing what happens next, sometimes I can hardly put it down.

Reading is the beginning. Choosing to apply biblical teaching to our daily walk is life-changing…key to maximum living.

Are you running low on faith? Here’s a verse to memorize.

Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth

by your great power and outstretched arm.

Nothing is too hard for you.

Jeremiah 32:17 NIV

Now…believe it! Apply it by repeating that truth to yourself in every circumstance! Nothing is too hard for God!

(Adapted from I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life)

© Dianne Barker 2019

Please tell me how God used a Scripture verse to encourage you in a hard place! And I’d be grateful if you would share this with your friend-list!

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