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KEEPING IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT

There is this event at the summer Olympics known as synchronized swimming. I have watched it a few times and I am always amazed at how people can swim to a beat, because there is music going on, and then also stay in sync with the two or three or whatever number of people they are doing this with. I find it amazing because I do not know how to swim, let alone swim in sync with another person according to the beat of the playing music. For whatever reason each time I read Galatians 5:25, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit,” synchronized swimming is what comes to my mind. I often wonder how difficult it might be to keep in step with the Spirit. You see, I often liken keeping in step with the Spirit to synchronized swimming or dancing with the Spirit. If one wants to keep in step with the Spirit, then one must first learn to walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). My thoughts are, it is hard enough to walk by the Spirit, how much more keeping in step with the Spirit.

There is, however, no choice for us but to walk by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit. Proverbs 4:26-27, says “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” If we do not walk by the Spirit nor keep in step with the Spirit, then keeping our feet from evil becomes difficult. We must allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit, because only then can we walk in perfect sync with the Spirit. However, being led by the Spirit is also not a walk in the park. I say it is not a walk in the park because Apostle Paul makes it very clear to us that the Spirit-led life is a life that is full of conflict. It is a life that is in frequent battle with our carnal self. The flesh never gets tired of making a claim on our heart and mind. “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh” (Galatians 5:17). Thus, a spirit-led Christian must constantly wage war against the flesh.

How do we make sure we are led by the Spirit? We cannot be led by the Spirit unless we understand the workings of the Spirit. Only those who know the Word of God can understand the working of His Spirit. We must study His Word and meditate on it day and night. If we know His Word, we will recognize His voice. If we know His Word we will know His Will. We cannot be led by the Spirit if we are still slaves to sin. We have been set free and are no longer slaves to sin but slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:18). We must live as those who have forsaken Satan and his work. We must put to death the misdeeds of the body by the Spirit (Romans 8:13). Even as we forsake the devil and his workings, to be led by the Spirit we must set our minds on the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5). Only those who walk in the realm of the Spirit can please God (Romans 8:4).

To be led by the Spirit, we must be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). To be led by the Spirit, we must also live His Word. It is counterproductive to study the Word of God, pray in the Spirit, and yet not put the Word of God into practice. The Bible also enjoins us not to forsake the gathering of the faithful (Hebrews 10:25). We can all use the encouragement of other brothers and sisters to ensure that we remain on the Spirit-led path. The Bible says two are better than one. If either falls one can help the other up, but pity anyone who falls and does not have anyone to lift them up. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). In any case, there is a level of anointing we can reach corporately that is elusive for an individual (Acts 2, Acts 4).

The devil does not joke. The devil’s idea of a good day’s work is to find someone to mess with. If we are not fully immersed in things of the Spirit, the devil has a leg up on us. The Bible says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” We cannot afford even a little slip, because the devil is continually on the prowl. God wants us to be led by the Spirit. We must live our lives in total surrender to the Holy Spirit who indwells with us. It is only when we allow the Spirit to lead us that we can keep in step with the Spirit, with a resulting Spiritual fruitfulness. – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya

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