Take a moment to read and think about this passage from Galatians:
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16-25)
The Apostle Paul gives us all an important reminder here that we must “keep in step with the Spirit.” When I read this phrase, I imagine walking along a trail with a friend. I want to walk alongside my friend the whole way so that we may talk with one another, but if I fall behind or walk too quickly, my friend and I will not be “in step.” To stay in step, I have to measure my pace and always try to match it to that of my friend. If I find myself falling behind, I will quicken my pace to catch up. If I notice that I am walking too fast, I will slow down and wait for my friend.
This imagery translates well to the idea of walking with the Spirit. The Spirit of God is our guide who leads us on the path to God. In all that we do, we should strive to walk in step with the Spirit. From Paul’s examples, we are able to discern whether we are walking with the Spirit or not. Paul lists a number of attributes he calls the “works of the flesh.” We should identify when we are working the works of the flesh and know that we are not walking with the Spirit.
If we follow God by studying and abiding by His teachings found in His holy Word, we will begin to see the “fruit of the Spirit” in ourselves. When we see these fruits evident in our lives, we will know that we are walking in step with the Spirit. May we always strive to keep up with the Spirit and not go further than we should without it.
Take a moment today to pray for God to help you and me to walk with Him and to help us show these attributes in our lives.
Leave a comment below and tell about a time when you saw one of the fruits of the Spirit openly evident in someone’s behavior. Was it a parent, grandparent, minister, teacher, or friend? Tell me about it!