Keeping in Step
Have you ever tried to walk up hill in snow? Not an easy task, if you are the first one to attempt it. But if you find a path that someone has walked before you, the climb up the hill is made much easier by walking in the footsteps of the one who came before. Galatians 5:22-23 says: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
How often have we read that list as a check list and found ourselves lacking?
Love? Depends on the person.
Joy? I am happy most of the time.
Peace? Sure, when things are going well.
Patience? I have some, until somebody makes me lose it!
Kindness? I am a pretty nice person.
Goodness? I am better than some people I know.
Faithfulness? I usually do what I promise most of the time.
Gentleness? Depends on how you define it.
Self-Control? There are areas where I could use some more. Doesn't everybody?
Often reading this list leads to conviction and determination to work harder. Quickly the burden of trying to be more loving, more joyful, more peaceful, more everything becomes overwhelming. It feels like trying to walk up hill in snow.
We must put our feet in the nail-pierced footprints of Jesus, according to Galatians 5:24. "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there" (NLT). That's our motivation and power. Galatians 5:25 tells us, "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." What sweet relief comes from knowing that my job is not to produce the fruit but to keep in step with the Savior, in alignment with the Spirit who lives his life in me and who produces the fruit.
We have all experienced glimpses of being in step with the Spirit. Think back to that situation when even you were impressed by the level of grace and love that was coming out of you in a certain tough situation because that wouldn't have been your normal response. Rather than it being surprising, God wants it to be the norm, the natural flow of being in step with him.
For today, I bless you to bring your spirit, soul, and body in step with the Spirit, so that your true beauty, the beauty of God's Spirit living in you, may show forth. He has given you the good gift of himself in you. He makes you more like himself as you let him transform you into his image. The Holy Spirit reaches into the deep places of your inner being and expresses himself through you. "As this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives" (Galatians 5:25 The Message). Living today by the Holy Spirit and following his life in every part of our lives, bearing the fruit of the Vine.