In Stride, On Pace

“I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do… Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:16-17,19-25

“The Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
    he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
    and watching over the way of his saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
    and equity, every good path;
for wisdom will come into your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
discretion will watch over you,
    understanding will guard you,
delivering you from the way of evil,
    from men of perverted speech,
who forsake the paths of uprightness
    to walk in the ways of darkness..,
men whose paths are crooked,
    and who are devious in their ways…

So you will walk in the way of the good
    and keep to the paths of the righteous.”

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise.” Proverbs 2:6-13,15,20; 13:20

To walk in the Spirit is a daily discipline begun in the mind and heart. Wayward desires and emotions bump us to limp and stumble and throw us off God’s course. Consulting the Lord and storing up His sound wisdom prepares us to recognize His paths and get alongside His Spirit. When we begin the day matching stride and pace with His, we walk the paths of righteousness, and every step with Him is one not astray.

What deters us from aligning our life tempo with the Lord’s? What passions, interruptions, or worldly distractions throw off healthy spiritual rhythms, and what will we do about them? What practical ways will we minimize or eliminate desires that compete with uprightness, and choose to exchange feelings of flesh for the fruit of the Spirit?

As for pace, am I running on empty, bereft of physical energy and spiritual vitality? What am I doing to refuel and partake of daily manna in order to hone divine discernment and strength? Am I lagging behind with slow obedience, hesitant to proceed in God’s commanded way? Am I racing ahead of the Lord, driven by selfish ambition or the compulsion to go, regardless of how the Lord might measure or direct my steps? What can I change to get in holy stride?

Lord, keep me steady, in step with Your Spirit on Your straight way, drawing others to come alongside and clearly focused on Your glory.

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