24/7: THE RHYTHM OF LIFE (Episode 2)

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24/7: The Rhythm of Life (Part 2)

September 16, 2018 | Pastor Steve Pixler

MESSAGE NOTES 

INTRO: The central ideas underlying this message series are laid out in the series title: “24/7: The RHYTHM of Life: Finding BALANCE in the BUSY.” 

  1. 24/7: God created the world in a 24/7 pattern, and the balance that we need so urgently is only found by developing patterns of behavior—habits, disciplines and routines—that happen DAILY and WEEKLY. (And that extends out to monthly, yearly and lifetime patterns.) 

  2. RHYTHM: The daily and weekly patterns create a rhythm of life that strikes a balance and maintains it over time.

  3. BALANCE: The daily and weekly habits, the disciplines that we develop, create ongoing, repeated adjustments that allow us to balance the various responsibilities and pleasures of life without becoming rigid and legalistic about our disciplines. 

  4. BUSY: Life is chaos, life is crazy. But the only way to tame the crazy is to develop patterns of behavior that harness the energy of the chaos and bring it under the dominion of the Holy Spirit. 

The Father is passionate about YOU developing a 24/7 rhythm for life that brings balance to the busy.

Matthew 11:28–30 (The Message):  “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

In Message 2, we have two main points to cover:

  1. First, get this: life balance flows from soul balance. We must be balanced internally before life can be balanced externally. It is impossible to tame the the crazy outside until we tame the crazy inside. 

  2. Second, let’s take a closer look at how we develop a 24/7 pattern of disciplines with an emphasis on one core discipline: conversation with God. 

SOUL BALANCE 

The first thing to understand about SOUL BALANCE is that we exist as “tripartite” beings: spirit, soul and body. This means that we exist within two realms, the spiritual and the physical, and our soul (our conscious self) sits astride them both. 

In order to achieve “soul balance,” we must develop both our spiritual and physical health. Health comes from diet and exercise, what we take in and what we put out. This is true both spiritually and physically. 

Some people emphasize spiritual health while ignoring their physical health, and others emphasize physical health while neglecting spiritual health. Both extremes intensify the imbalance of the soul and deepen the “crazy” (neurosis, psychosis, pathologies).

The soul sits astride the spiritual and the physical, and it is also tripartite: mind, will and emotions. As we achieve spiritual and physical balance through daily and weekly Spirit-filled rhythms (disciplines), our soul begins to settle into its own internal balance.

EMOTIONS: The emotional chaos that erupts out of the “crazy” starts settling down into self-control, into emotional intelligence.

It is interesting how many of the fruits of the Spirit are emotional: 

Galatians 5:22–23 (ESV): But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

WILL: When we achieve spiritual and physical balance, our will—our volition, our decision-making power—comes under the will of the Holy Spirit, and our decisions start flowing out of God’s wisdom rather than selfish impulses that are harmful to us and those around us. 

Ephesians 2:3 (ESV): Among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 

MIND: When we are spiritually and physically balanced, our mind experiences “renewal.” The renewing of the mind liberates our mindset and worldview from the prevailing spirit of this age, the dominant way of thinking imposed on us by family, culture, the media, education and entertainment. 

Romans 12:2 (ESV): Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 

When we achieve “soul balance,” our feelings, decisions and thinking all settle down into a wise, peaceful perspective on the chaos around us. We can get “outside” the drama and objectively watch it go by. And this Spirit-led perception of life allows us to rise above the drama and see creative solutions to tame the crazy.

If we remain unbalanced, teetering and tottering, veering wildly back and forth between the spiritual and physical chaos, we cannot get a good grip on the reins of life. 

As we quoted last week, “God has called us to a life of peace” (1 Corinthians 7:15). The Father is passionate about our “balance in the busy,” and his Holy Spirit partners with us as we develop disciplines in the daily. 

The Creation Story is a powerful metaphor of how the Holy Spirit hovers over our chaos to help us bring forth cosmos. 

  1. Chaos: the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. 

  2. Holy Spirit: The Spirit of God hovered over the waters, brooding in creative contemplation. 

  3. The Word: “And God said...” The Word of God penetrated the chaos and brought forth cosmos. 

  4. 24/7: And the cosmos that God brought forth emerged in a 24/7 (daily/weekly) pattern. 

Soul balance is achieved by partnering with the Holy Spirit as the Word of God commands order out of disorder and arranges our world in a healthy 24/7 pattern. 

DAILY DISCIPLINES

The rhythm of life is found in the habits, the disciplines, we pursue daily and weekly. The balance of life is found pursuing these disciplines both spiritually and physically. 

What are some of the disciplines we should pursue daily and weekly?

PHYSICAL: diet, exercise, medical attention, rest, recreation, etc. 

SPIRITUAL: prayer, worship, church attendance, generosity, fasting, journaling, solitude, silence, etc. 

**Stop and think about the disciplines that you should put into practice starting NOW. 

There is one specific daily/weekly discipline that the Holy Spirit has emphasized during preparation for the message: 

Conversation with God

Conversation requires two things:

  1. Talking: Talking to God is prayer. Prayer includes petition and proclamation, asking God to work and then declaring what he has promised to do. 

  2. Listening: Listening to God is reading the Bible and listening for his voice. It is recognizing when God speaks through dreams, through wise counsel, through the preached Word and through the “inner voice” of God within our heart. 

We are being drawn by the Holy Spirit into an ongoing dialogue with our Father. Conversation with God is much more than just morning devotions or evening prayers, though it may begin there. Conversation with God is about walking in daily, weekly communion with God that hums under the surface of every moment, whether awake or asleep. 

HOMEWORK: This week, practice talking to God like most of us talk to ourselves. Just engage the Father in conversation throughout the day. 

Develop the habit—the rhythm—of talking to God everywhere you go and everything you do. Include him in your emotions, bring him in on every decision, and consult him in your thinking on every part of life. 

And a sense of peace (shalom, wholeness) will emerge out of this daily conversation that will pervade every area of your life. There is no way to exaggerate the lifelong impact of this one simple discipline. Start a daily conversation with God and see how the Holy Spirit will recreate your life. 

CONCLUSION

Let’s wrap up with the scripture we started with:

Matthew 11:28–30 (The Message):  “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

This is where the balance begins.

Life is a dance. Find your rhythm. 


small groups study guide (Session TWO)

Be sure to review the notes from Episode 02 (above) and listen to the message if you have not already.

There are two main points from Message 02:

  1. Soul Balance

  2. Conversation with God

SOUL BALANCE

  1. You are a “tripartite” being. Briefly discuss what it means to be “tripartite,” and the three parts of your being (spirit, soul and body).

  2. You exist in two realms: spiritual and physical. What is the difference between the two?

  3. Your soul is also tripartite. Briefly discuss the three parts of your soul and how each one differs from the other (mind, will and emotions).

  4. How do we become balanced spiritually and physically?

  5. How do we become balanced in our thinking, decisions and emotions?

CONVERSATION WITH GOD

  1. Briefly list a few spiritual and physical disciplines.

  2. What does it mean to have daily conversation with God?

  3. Share examples from your own experience about how walking and talking with God daily has transformed your life.

  4. Discuss practical ways you can implement the habit of conversation with God.

  5. Pray for one another as a group to release grace for spiritual and physical disciplines.