Are you “out of step”? 3

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?

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3 thoughts on “Are you “out of step”?

  • Nathaniel

    There are definitely moments “in step” and “out of step” for me in a given day. Recently, I would say God is bringing me in step with His Spirit in how I relate to my family.

    It’s very easy for me to memorize the fruits of the Spirit and check off boxes to give MYSELF credit for what only God can do. To me, some of the most loving words I read in Scripture are “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?…For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse…” These words are life to me, because God has breathed them into me. All I need to hear Him say is, “you foolish Galatian,” and I know I’ve been in step with the flesh. “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

    I have never taken the time to memorize the works of the flesh, I think mostly because every time I read THAT list I am confronted with sin in me. Thank God that we are crucified with Christ and by His Spirit we can put to death the works of the flesh! I needed this reminder. Thanks Pastor Eric! Love you! Say hello to all the Syfrett ladies for me.

  • Glenda

    I was out of step for sure yesterday. I allowed myself to be overly upset by an email from my manager to the staff. Then I came upon a separate situation fostered by ignorance. I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to not blow the young novice away by my response to that situation, as I had not asked God to help me adjust to the reality of the email content. I am still adjusting to the email but have peace about it because as long as I do what I should I do not have to worry about penalties. The novice was not harmed (I don’t think) by what I really thought because I did not say those words. I carefully chose other words in the teachable moment, but my flesh was out of step.