22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:22-26
Paul writes to the Christians in Galatia so they can know how Jesus changes lives. Its not through a proliferation of rules. Rather change comes through the regeneration of a life in the power of the Gospel of Jesus. Grace poured into our life by the Spirit of God: “we live by the Spirit.”
Now our life is lived in response to Jesus.
Now, we can “keep in step with the Spirit.”
I like to walk. Quickly. My drive is fuelled by the need to exercise and the desire to get there. However, I am able to adjust when in the company of others in order to be with them. As we start out we may each want to insist on our own pace; but soon we are in step with each other. If I am fighting against the pace, it feels like death. So it is with the Spirit of God.
If I am mindful of the Presence of Jesus with me during the day then I adjust my pace, my attitudes, my actions in order to join Him and to keep up with what He is doing in the world around me. When I am in step with Him I can bear the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
You will know it when I’m not in step with the Spirit when you see conceit, provocation, and envy. How to get back in step? As soon as you become aware: pause for prayer, confessing the sin, and accessing the Gospel for the occasion. Highlight the Cross of Jesus in your thoughts, considering Him who endured sinful people. Then, relying on His grace, move forward in His love and power.
Left; Left; Left, Right; Left; Left…