Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
At a recent gathering, my colleague and friend, David Martinelli, shared the challenge of keeping in step as a member of a marching band. Having been part of a bandfront (color guard), I identified with his thoughts and my own memories started flowing.
Four blasts of the whistle meant the street-beat (that particular combination of beats that set our marching pace) was about to start. Whatever the rhythm chosen, we knew that after the four short blasts could come a long blast, and we watched for the downbeat on the drum major to take the first step of “forward march.” The discipline of checking your line to your right enabled the line to stay straight, theoretically. But we all knew what the signals were, what they meant, and the need to follow the leader.
As David shared, in a marching band, you need to pay attention. You need to stay focused. You have to fight against distractions. You have to practice, practice, practice. You have to move when the drum major says, “Go!”
Isn’t that so similar to walking in the Spirit? Hearing the Lord’s voice in the midst of our busy days isn’t so easy. You have to pay attention. Staying focused on Him, being in step with Him, means continually turning back to Him when your mind or attention has wandered. Lots of practice, repetition. And doing what He says, when He says, “Go!”
Ways we get out of step?
1. settle for less than what Jesus promises, relying on head knowledge rather than heart obedience.
“Don’t nurture a life that the flesh can handle!” Howard Ball
2. let the frustrations of life dictate our attitudes or response, resulting in a roller coaster life
“Dissatisfaction or frustration is not of God. If you’re frustrated, tell God what it is, and ask Him to change it.” Robert Munger, as told by Vonette Bright.
3. thinking our competence or plan is greater than God’s
“God needs our availability more than our ability.” Bill Bright
4. forgetting to thank the Lord in all circumstances.
“Do I want to be better or bitter? The key to peace and hope and courage is an essential, ongoing commitment to an attitude of gratitude. Give thanks in ALL things.” Don & Sue Myers
Let’s pay attention and fight the distractions around us. Let’s not settle for just getting by. Let’s go for the joy and peace that Jesus promised. Let’s acknowledge the mis-steps and get back in step with the Lord.
There are great adventures to be had for the Christ-follower who is “in step” with the Spirit.
What tips do you have for keeping in step with the Spirit?