You may not have majored in chemistry in college, and you may have avoided taking chemistry class in high school, but there is no avoiding chemistry! The Periodic Table of elements is a “menu” of what makes up our world. Those one hundred plus elements, plus thousands more man-made chemicals, are all around us. And, by default, they are in us as well—especially many man-made chemicals that can be harmful to human health. Chemicals are everywhere.

            We live in a chemical world and there is no going back.


An Elemental Kingdom

            If we live in a chemical world, we also live in an elemental kingdom. By that I mean, just as our physical world is a mix of chemical elements, our spiritual world—the Kingdom of God—is a mix of spiritual elements. If there are currently 118 chemical elements on the Periodic Table. Could we not name just as many, or more, spiritual elements that make up life in the Kingdom of God?

            Think about it: Paul lists nine examples of the character of Jesus Christ that the Holy Spirit wants to manifest in us (the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23—and there were certainly more than nine aspects of Christ’s character). Then there are spiritual gifts, discussed four times in the New Testament (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-14, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4).

            Besides spiritual fruit and spiritual gifts, think of all the other spiritual dynamics in the Kingdom of God: generosity, sacrifice, repentance, forgiveness, humility, honesty, submission, power, obedience, courage, commitment, trust, consistency, compassion, empathy, edification, growth, passion, sympathy, wisdom, boldness, witness, desire . . . we could go on and (Galatians 5:19-21). In short, one need only look at the multi-dimensional life of Jesus Christ to get a picture of not only the many, many elements of life in the kingdom but what those elements look like in perfect balance.

            We also see many examples of what happens when spiritual formulas are mixed incorrectly and erroneously—when spiritual elements get out of balance:

            When love and edification are missing. The apostle Paul praised the Corinth church for their eagerness to manifest their spiritual gifts. But he pointed out the imbalance in the practice of their gifts. They had promoted a gift that built up one person (tongues) instead of a gift that built up the whole church (prophecy) (1 Corinthians 14:5-12). And they had failed to include love in their spiritual formula—the most important element of all (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 13). The result was carnality and disorder (1 Corinthians 14:33).

             When fear ruins a witness. On the night of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest in Jerusalem, Peter acted boldly in the Garden of Gethsemane as a defender of Jesus (John 18:10). But later, the element of courage in the formula of his life was replaced by fear of personal harm—and three times Peter denied knowing His Lord (Matthew 26:69-75

            When lust and power replace respect and generosity. When King David of Israel observed the wife of one of his faithful soldiers as she bathed, he desired her and took the woman for himself. His adultery, and complicity in the murder of her husband, temporarily marred the formula for kingship: power—service, humility, and respect toward others. Nearly a year later, David repented of his sins and was forgiven. But allowing the elements of his life to get so out of balance remained a black mark on his legacy (2 Samuel 11-12).



A Simple (not Simplistic) Formula

            The challenge of balancing the elements of the spiritual life is more complex than that of balancing chemical elements in the laboratory. Why? Because of the constant battle between “flesh and Spirit” in the Christian life (Galatians 5:16-17). Fortunately, there is a simple (not simplistic) solution: remaining filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). As the Holy Spirit manifests the perfectly-balanced life of Christ in us (Galatians 2:20), the elements of the Christian life (the life of Christ) remain balanced in and through us

            Whether in the laboratory or in life, one thing is indispensable: skill—and that is the original meaning of the Hebrew word for wisdom. Biblical wisdom means living life skillfully, balancing the elements of the spiritual life in a way that bears abundant fruit to the glory of God.

            Instead of pulling out your old chemistry textbook, pull out your well-worn copy of God’s Word as we pursue wisdom in balancing the spiritual elements!



David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church and the founder and host of Turning Point for God. For more information about Dr. Jeremiah or Turning Point, visit