Led by the Spirit - A Family Devotional


Let Josh McDowell help teach your kids why knowing the right thing to do is only the first step. Doing the right thing is another.

Knowing the right thing is only the first step. Doing it is another.

Bible Reading: Galatians 5:13-16. 

I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves (Galatians 5:16).

“Strike three!”

The umpire raised his right hand in the air, and Kasey banged her bat on home plate. Then she turned and walked back to the bench, her shoulders slumped and her face a picture of dejection.

“What happened, Kasey?” the coach asked. “You never even swung at a pitch.”

“I know what to do, Coach,” Kasey said. “I do it in practice all the time.”

“I know,” the coach said. “I know you can hit the ball.”

“But I get up to the plate during a game and I can’t do what I want. I know what to do: ‘Keep your eye on the ball.’ ‘Keep your elbow up.’ ‘Nice level swing.’ I just can’t seem to do it.”

That evening, Kasey told her Grandpa about her problem. “Boy, that sounds familiar!” he said. “You had the same problem?”

“Not with baseball, no,” Grandpa said. “But it’s not so different. See, my problem-like most people’s-is with doing the right thing. I know what the right thing is. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ ‘Do not lie,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not covet.’ But knowing the right thing is only the first step. Doing it is another thing entirely.”

“So when did you learn to do the right thing?” Kasey asked.

“Never. Nope, never. My sinful nature doesn’t want to do the right thing. The only way I’ve ever found it possible to do the right thing is by living my life according to the Spirit. That means committing myself early, every day, to his control, and then trying to stay in step with him all day long.”

“Committing yourself early...,” Kasey whispered.

“Yeah, just like in hitting. Your problem may be that you wait too long to commit yourself. By the time the ball gets to the plate, it’s too late to swing.” “Hmm...,” Kasey muttered.

“And don’t forget to take a little step in the right direction as you commit yourself.”

“Are you talking about baseball now, or about doing the right thing?” Grandpa smiled. “Both,” he said.

TO DISCUSS: What does it mean to “live in the Holy Spirit”? How can you begin today to commit yourself early, every day, to his control? How can you stay in step with him all day long?

TO PRAY: “Holy Spirit, thank you for guiding us. We want to stay in step with you each day.”

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