From: Rachael Bailes
What is the difference between living by the Spirit and keeping in step with the Spirit? Doesn’t this sound like the same thing? This was my question as I read the Galatians 5 reading for today. To shed light on the meaning of “living by the Spirit” we can look back at Galatians 2:20 and read, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Perhaps living by the Spirit refers to this new life given to me by faith in Christ. So now that I have this life in the Spirit, I need to keep in step with the Spirit in the process of sanctification.
How do I know if I am keeping in step? My inclination is to consider how I might better myself in my own strength. What can I do or not do to make sure of this? It is helpful to be reminded that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are all fruits of the Spirit. They come from Him. So, again, how do I keep in step? By drawing near and abiding.
Where do you see need for growth? Where do you feel out of step with the Spirit? As we ask these questions this Lenten season, let’s remember the words of Jesus in John 15:4-5, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
I spend my days with an adventurous and inquisitive 7 yr. old, an energetic and talkative 5 year old, and a joyful 2 year old. I love it.