Keeping in Step with the Spirit
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Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.—Galatians 5:25
You don’t have to figure out where to go or what to do—that’s God’s job. He’s preparing good works in advance. Your job is simply to keep in lockstep with the Holy Spirit …
God is painting a picture of grace on the canvas of your life. God is writing His-story, history with a hyphen, through your life. God is crafting your character through the circumstances of your life. To see yourself as anything other than God’s masterpiece is to devalue and distort your true identity. And it’s in discovering your true identity that your destiny is revealed.
A sense of destiny is your sacred birthright as a child of God. And it’s anchored in the truth found in Ephesians 2:10: “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”
The word “planned” is drawn from the Eastern custom of sending servants in advance of a king to prepare the road ahead. It was their responsibility to secure safe passage and make sure the king got to his destination. Paul took that ancient imagery and turned it upside down, or maybe I should say, right side up. The King of kings goes before His servants to prepare the road ahead. In other words, He strategically positions us in the right place at the right time. God is setting you up… Let God engineer.—Mark Batterson
Finding the pattern
Like the old maestro who can make a melody out of the one remaining string on a broken instrument, God can show us the pattern of our lives if we will just see his gracious hand that has brought us this far already. We would do well, as Jacob did, to put up stone markers to remind us of God’s goodness to us in specific situations: “I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.”1...
Too often we put all our energies into the peripheral concerns of life and forget why we are here. We neglect the purpose of our life. The bane of our lives is getting sidetracked into secondary pursuits. Joshua reminds us that each of us must deliberately choose whom we will serve. So write down your purpose. Place it somewhere in a prominent spot so that you will continually be reminded of that purpose.
Cliff Barrows, Billy Graham’s associate, told me that he [Graham] always followed a particular practice when he checked into a hotel room. Before doing anything else, he put a picture of his family in a prominent place in the room. “It was a reminder to me and a signal to all who entered my room of my moral obligation to my family,” he said. This is exactly what I mean. Mark down your life’s goal, which will then provide you with the measuring stick you need to determine whether attractions and distractions are legitimate or illegitimate.
In this context, we learn that God really does reveal his will; and if we walk in the known will of the Father, he reveals aspects of his will not so easily known. The hard part is to do that part of his will we already know. How do we accomplish this, and how do we know for sure what God wants us to do in life’s complex situations? This is where a battle rages within us over doing God’s will.—Ravi Zacharias
The good, the bad, the beautiful
We live in an age of the instantaneous and we expect the instantaneous. That makes waiting a particularly vulnerable time in the life of a Christian, because it is then we usually attempt God’s work man’s way.
That is exactly what happened in choosing the disciple to replace Judas. In the process the disciples used, there are three aspects to consider: the good, the bad, and the beautiful. The good was that in the upper room, the disciples were in constant prayer with a group of about 120 others. The bad was that they did not wait to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus had told them to, and He had never given any instructions to replace Judas…
Again and again, people step out of the will of God during the waiting times. We put pressure on ourselves, eager to do something for God, rather than deriving what we are to do from listening and waiting for God to speak. Matthias [the disciple they chose to replace Judas] had his fifteen minutes of fame. We never heard of him before and Scripture doesn’t mention him again.
God chooses the unexpected, and the beautiful thing is that He brought the right man to the fore, and that man was the Apostle Paul. When God says, “wait”, we trust Him. He is not bound by time, and what we do in the waiting period is always a big test. Dr. John Moore, a Scottish preacher known to many, once said, “God’s delays are not His denials.” If we’re in the bad zone, impatiently trying to fix what God is not fixing, wait for the beautiful to come along, and it will.—Charles Price
The voice of His Spirit
The Lord has promised to communicate His words to us and to make known His will to each of us. He desires to give us personal instruction, guidance, encouragement, and counsel. As we seek Him, the Lord will be faithful to guide us to His green pastures and His still waters where our spirits can be nourished and strengthened. And that’s the goal.
He will communicate with us in many different ways—through His written Word, other inspired writings by Christian authors, and through speaking to our hearts in different ways. He may speak to us through prophecy, through meditation on Him and His words, through dreams, visions, and revelations. His communications with us may be expressed in many ways, such as pictures, impressions, inspired music, and sometimes even physical events or godly counsel. May we all be open to the voice of His Spirit speaking to us—whether through His still, small voice, the conviction He lays on our heart, or the lessons we glean from the words of others.
The Lord is leading us all to continue to grow in our faith in new ways, to pioneer new summits of faith, and to stand atop new mountain peaks of progress and growth. Each of us will experience growth in our spiritual lives, as we follow God in the way He is leading us. As we embrace and receive His messages to us, in whatever format He uses to touch our spirits, our connection to His Spirit will be strengthened. As we seek to please Him and obey His will for us, we will partake of His presence. These are all matters of the heart. Our love for the Lord, our discipleship, and how we express it are freewill offerings to Jesus from our hearts to His—a gift of love to the one who first loved us.
We know beyond a doubt that we can count on a wonderful future, because we have an awesome God who is in the business of changing lives and making the world a better place through His followers. As we do our best to live our lives according to His teachings and guidance, and to do our personal best to follow Him and to share His love with others, we’re guaranteed to be more than conquerors through Him that loves us.2—Maria Fontaine
Published on Anchor April 2019. Read by Reuben Ruchevsky.
Music by Michael Dooley.