“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25 (NIV)
Rachel and I sat on weatherworn steps leading down to a pristine beach. We had a front-row seat as the morning sun stretched its arms over the horizon. Rachel was hurting. I was attempting to love her back to health. Salty air. Salty ocean. Salt-of-the-earth friend. It is hard to beat that combination when you’re soul sick.
Rachel’s life had taken some unexpected turns. Let me rephrase that. It wasn’t that her life “had taken” some unexpected turns, as if she had nothing to do with it. She had strayed from God’s path, and she had taken some unexpected turns. She had given in to sexual temptation, and as a result, lost her marriage as well as the trust of her children and many of her friends. Rachel had lost her true self.
As we sat on the bottom step with our toes buried in the cool sand, we stared out at the glassy ocean. It was as if Jesus had spoken, “Peace, be still,” and the wind and waves obeyed. The sand, airbrushed smooth by the night breeze, had not yet been disturbed by vacationers’ feet, kids’ buckets and sunbathers’ chairs.
“We all make mistakes,” I breathed out. “Just different ones.”
Rachel turned her eyes from the ocean to a set of tire tracks running close to the water’s edge. Two shallow ruts. Parallel indentations. Ruts that never deviated in distance one from the other, as far as the eye could see. If one swerved, the other swerved in union.
“I wish life were like that,” she whispered.
“Like what?” I asked.
“Like those tire tracks,” she replied. “Us and God. Me and God. Always moving in tandem. Side by side. Hooked together. Moving in the same direction. Connected. Easy. Perfectly aligned.”
We sat in silence, staring at the tracks, both knowing the reason why most deviate from God’s path. They detach themselves from the Master and make tracks of their own. They willingly let go of God’s hand and walk away.
The Christian life is often referred to as our spiritual walk. “for we walk by faith, not by sight,” Paul encouraged the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 5:7, NASB). Another version translates this same verse, “For we live by faith, not by sight” (NIV).
Paul wrote to the Galatians, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. … If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 25, NKJV). Again, the NIV says, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (verse 25, emphasis added).
I love the idea of keeping in step with the Holy Spirit. What a wonderful way to live: walking in step and keeping time with the Holy Spirit’s pace in everyday life.
Rachel and I rose from the steps, placed our feet in the tire ruts in the sand and walked in their path. Singing, worshipping and praising God that no matter how far off His path we may veer, He always welcomes us back to walk with Him.
Heavenly Father, keep me on the right path today. May I be known as a woman who walks with You. Lead me. Guide me. Show me Your way. Father, don’t let me run ahead of You or lag behind You; instead, encourage and enable me to walk steadily in tandem with You. May Your Spirit guide me to walk in the way You have commanded me so I may live, prosper and prolong my days. Hem me in so I will not veer to the right or the left, but keep my feet on the path You have marked out for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Proverbs 4:26-27, “Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.” (NLT)
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It is often after a time of failure that the devil tells us we’re not enough and never will be. Don’t believe him! If you’ve ever struggled with feeling “less than” because you’ve gotten off track, check out Sharon Jaynes’ book, Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence, and learn how to replace the devil’s lies with God’s Truth.
REFLECT AND RESPOND
What is one area of your life where you have veered away from Jesus? What is He saying to you today about getting back on track with Him? Share with us in the comments!
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