Sychronized movement captivates me. Whether it is perfectly timed dancing or sychronized swimming, the essential nature of being completely in tune with the other participants fascinates me. Perhaps my fascination is because I am not overly coordinated in that area. There is another arena where absolute sychronization creates a beautiful dance to behold. Paul says it like this:
25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.Galatians 5:25
Keeping in step with the Spirit – what does that mean?
The emphasis of Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia revolves around what the people put their trust in, their hope for right standing with God. Paul brought the good news to them that it was Jesus’ death on the cross that made a way for them to be right with God — to be declared righteous.
Then he shifts a bit to talk about living according to the Spirit. When we walk in step, in sychronization with the Spirit, we won’t do what the flesh wants. That really is the crux of the matter, isn’t it?! Walking in step with the Spirit.
Changed behavior that comes from a changed heart really is the evidence of a right relationship with God. The problem is a changed heart is difficult to monitor so we turn to what we can monitor — outward piety. Paul knew that outward displays of religious behavior didn’t mean there was an inward change of heart. He puts it very simply, boiling it down to one command.
13You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”Galatians 5:13-14
When I keep in step with the Spirit, I am truly free. I display the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. As I practice listening to and keeping in step with the Spirit, my life changes. More often I choose what the Spirit desires rather than what my flesh desires. This is what it means to keep in step with the Spirit.
My takeaway for today is this: I am in right standing with God because I believe that Jesus is God’s son and he died on the cross for my sins. Period. The Holy Spirit directs my life and enables me to live in freedom; the freedom to love and serve others well.