Dear Friends -
What is the target of your life? Very often we don’t have a conscious, or deliberate goal that guides our most important decisions. We may ask at some point, “What do I want to do for a living?” and that is critical, but our job or career is not the same as our life. We may ask, “Do we want children?” and that demands our serious answer, but having children is a part of the whole of life. What is the target you aim for in your life.
In Galatians 5 Paul lists the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Calling these virtues fruit of the Spirit means the Holy Spirit produces them in the lives of Christians. They are not the result of human effort alone. Each quality comes from the Spirit living and working within us. Paul reflects the perspective that Jesus described in John 14. He said, “Abide in me and you will produce abundant fruit.”
Then Paul wrote, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25) That phrase “keep in step with the Spirit” fascinates me.
“Keep in step” suggests two things to me. First, it suggests the direction in which we are moving. When a body of soldiers is moving from one place to another together, they march, they match themselves to the step another. Keeping in step with the Holy Spirit suggests the same image, matching ourselves to the Holy Spirit. When we have choices to make, we chose to go in the Spirit’s direction. Since love is an attribute of the Spirit, we keep in step with him, turning away from anger, conflict, and self-serving action, and move toward reconciliation, understanding and cooperation.
“Keeping in step” also suggests that we keep moving. We keep marching, we keep putting one foot in front of the other. You can’t keep in step if you stop.
Stopping is perhaps the biggest enemy of continuing progress. It’s hard to press on, and easy to quit. But the attitude that makes the difference in the long run is the determination to keep on keeping on.
So when you look at your life, what is the target you are aiming for? Is your goal to love God with all you are, and love your neighbor as yourself? Is your goal to be as much like your Master Jesus Christ as is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit? Or is your goal earn a living, (important but not everything), enjoy comforts and entertainments (good but not all there is)? Think about it so that you can decide what your goal is, what reaching the goal would look like, and how you expect to get there.
Keep in step with the Spirit and you will move toward the goal of Disciple-Living.
- Pastor Byron
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