Keeping in Step with the Spirit

Bible Reading: Romans 6, and Galatians 5:25

Our CCS daily staff devotions have been in the book of Galatians the last few weeks, and it has been a blessing.  I love reading and studying God’s Word!  Galatians 5 is particularly challenging.  It begins with talking about the freedom that believers have in Christ, and it ends with the charge to bear fruit of living a life for Christ.  Galatians 5:25 gives a charge that I need to be reminded of multiple times a day: “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”  What a battle cry to proclaim over your life every day!  We wake up as sons and daughters of God, so let us go into our days as those who have been redeemed and carrying the Gospel message with us.  We should be excited and unashamed about living a godly life and using our words and works to point people to the Savior of the world.

Paul wrote this charge because he knew we needed this reminder.  Sadly, we are prone to wander after sin, and prone to leave the God we love.  Paul is not naive to the daily challenges of sin in the Christian life, so in his letters he challenges believers to remain faithful in the midst of temptations.  In Paul’s day, and in our present day, people were trying to justify sins.  In Romans 6, the false teaching Paul is battling foolishly claims that believers should keep on sinning, because when they sin God’s grace abounds more and more.  But Paul quickly rebukes this kind of thinking.  He reminds and instructs in living life for Christ.  In Romans 6:4, Paul writes, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” 

Following this, Paul gives us two illustrations to consider: instruments and servanthood.  A musical instrument makes the appropriate noise.  A drum does not sound like a piano, nor does a flute sound like a banjo.  Just as the correct noise flows from the instrument, so the correct way of living comes out of the believer.  The believers body ought to be righteous, and no longer be used as vessel for sin.  Our words, actions, thoughts, and emotions should reflect our Heavenly Father.

The second illustration is a little bit shocking.  The Greek word Paul uses can be primarily translated two ways: Slave or servant.  A person would fall into these categories due to financial burdens that lead them to be temporarily “owned” until their debt is paid, or perhaps they were born into slavery and sold.  Regardless of the many ways a person could land in this position, they were under the authority of another person.  Paul says that we are either slaves to sin, or to righteousness.  Whatever it is that we practice, that is what we are serving.  If we live a sinful life, we are slaves to sin.  But as believers, we have been set free from sin to live righteously. 

The music of a righteous instrument is much more pleasant than the sound of an instrument of sin.  Likewise, it is much more pleasing to be a servant of righteousness than a slave of sin.  To live and walk by the Spirit is much better because it fills us with joy, peace, hope and love.  You can have a life that is abundantly full if you keep in step with the Spirit.  However, to walk in sin leads to shame and destruction.  Every day, we have before us a decision we must make.  Will we choose sin or righteousness?  The serpent or the Savior?  Life or death?  Christian, keep in step with the Spirit, and let God lead you in the way of peace, hope and love.

Call to Action: Keeping in step with Spirit takes commitment on our part.  It requires time, energy, and focus.  To pray takes time and effort.  You have to give undivided attention to the God who has saved you.  To read and study His Word will require time on your part.  These things are not draining, but refreshing to us.  Spending time with God always heals and restores us, so don’t let it slip away.  Keep in step with the Spirit, and may God bless you in every step you take.