Galatians 5: 25 charges us: “Since we live by the Sprit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” But sometimes, even when we are seeking God, it’s possible to get “out of step”. Earlier in the same chapter, we are told that the fruit of walking by the Spirit are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” I have had these memorized for possibly 20 years but somehow memorizing them doesn’t make them easier to live, or easier to “keep in step”.
I notice that I am “out of step” when I start losing my patience with my family or with co-workers; when I am not gentle with those who are hurting because they are keeping me from being about my agenda; and when my peace is easily rocked by challenges or last-minute issues around the office. It usually doesn’t start with a big flood of this; it starts as a little trickle. But I have seen repeatedly that if I don’t address it when I see it, it grows.
Usually when I go back to identify where I got “out of step”, it triggers from a sin decision or just a sheer amount of allowing myself to be working too much and spending too little time seeking God in prayer and the study of His Word. Both of these things hinder my ability to continue living the life that God has called me to, the life that is “in step” with him.
How do I get back? First, I have to repent of the thing that got me off in the first place. If it was sin, I have to ask for forgiveness from God and from the individual, if any, who was hurt by the sin. If it was working too much in my own strength (this is sin too!), I have to apologize to the Lord and recommit myself to dependence on Him and His strength and capacity. Then I have to commit FOCUSED TIME to getting back in His presence in prayer and worship, and digging into His Word. It means a schedule change, setting aside my agenda to get on His, but that is really what this is about anyway.
How about you? Are you “out of step”? Can you make time today to fix that?