Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)
Speaking to the Christians in Galatia concerning their life together, Paul says to them “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
The Greek word Paul uses here for “step” stoicheōrefers to the march in a military regiment where soldiers are pledged, not only to a common cause, but to one another. A military march is so much more that a walk or a stroll. A military march commits each soldier to one direction and destination shared by the entire regiment. It leaves no place for one soldier placing his or her preferred destination or style of march above the group.
I know, that as individual Christians, there are times we just want to go where we want to go. But that is not what we are here for. I know there are those of us who just have a certain way we like to march, but that is not what we are called to. I know that each of us may have a style about us and a certain way we each do it. But that is not what we are here to lift up. We are here to lift up the name of Jesus. We each have our plans and our purposes. But, the Bible says, “It is the purposes of the Lord that prevail!”
Soldiers walk in unison by giving their full attention to the drill sergeant. Soldiers that get out of step, are soldiers that spend too much time following the steps of the soldiers around them, or spend too long looking at their own feet. No solider follows the drill sergeant perfectly. So, if soldiers try to stay in step by watching the soldiers around them, the imperfection of their steps are simply magnified. Likewise, if each soldier watches only his or her own feet, the soldiers slowly drift further apart.
But if we each keep our eyes on the perfect one, our imperfect steps are slowly brought into conformity of the One who calls each of us to Himself. “Since we live by the Spirit,” Paul says, “let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
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