13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:13-26
Nearly 20 years ago I joined Gamma Phi Delta Christian Fraternity, Inc. I was the 7th of 8 brothers on the Spring 1996 Alpha Genesis Chapter line at the University of Texas at Austin. I was a freshman who’d grown up in the church, the son of a pastor. I knew how to sing to God, I knew how to play drums and I knew how speak for God through teaching the Bible. I knew how to be used by the Holy Spirit but I did not know how to walk in the Spirit.
This fraternity was a group of young men 18-23 years old who’d made a decision to stand up for Christ as godly men on campus by joining this fraternity but to also develop others to do the same (sounds a little like Matthew 28:19 – making disciples of all nations). As I spent time with these men, I learned how to walk in the Spirit. They taught me how to be sensitive to what the Spirit was saying in everyday life. As I walked across campus to my classes, God might speak to me through an encounter with a friend or he might speak to me through the water of a springing fountain or a squirrel that ate well and was provided for. I learned that starting my day with God in prayer and scripture reading was the just the beginning of walking in the spirit.
My “quiet time” or “devotional time” was meant to help me prioritize God in my day, it was not meant for me to block God out after that 15-30 minute initial meeting. The morning meeting was designed to get the conversation going. My role was to continue to listen with spiritual ears throughout the day because the Spirit might lead me to ask a question of someone who has wisdom or to offer a listening ear to someone who needs it. I could be used by the Spirit and walk with the Spirit at the same time. As I began to note this, my spiritual life was awakened, my connection to God deeper and my impact in my community was broader.
When Jesus left earth to go back to the Father in heaven, he promised the Holy Spirit would come and guide us into all truth.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth – John 16:13
The truth mentioned here is not simply the facts we see or the circumstances we are in; the truth is our reality in relation to God. So though my friend may seem far from God, Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us and he loves my friend enough to reveal himself to her (John 3:16). Even though my financial funds seem less than needed at, God will provide my needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). This reality of walking in the Spirit changed my spiritual journey. I was no longer just encountering the Spirit on Sunday at church, but he was intersecting my daily life. This is what he desires, the Holy Spirit wants to walk with you and wants you to walk with him.
As a member of my fraternity, I was able to participate in the fraternity’s step team. Stepping is a tradition in historically black fraternities and sororities where members do routines that we are a combination of stomping and dancing in syncopation with synchronization while reciting key information related to their fraternity or sorority message. Groups spend hours on end in private practicing to memorize their steps, their lines and their step team members so when presenting in a public forum, they can be in sync and present the right message in the right pace before an audience in public.
As followers of Christ, our daily private moments with him, help us to synchronize with the Spirit so when we arrive in public there is sameness of character with our spirit and God’s Spirit. The byproduct of private moments with the Holy Spirit, is the public demonstration of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
So today, I challenged every person that is a Christ-follower to get to steppin’, knowing that the Spirit is ready to guide them into all truth. This is important, because those who are further from our Father are looking for fruit from the children of God. When they see healthy fruit in our lives, they get hungry for what we have, an authentic and real relationship with the God of all creation, the master of the universe, the Heavenly Father who so badly wants to connect with them that he allowed his only Son to be brutally murdered in front of hundreds so we could experience eternal life in heaven and full life on earth. It’s up to you and me to get to steppin’ today.
There’s an App for That
1. What is the most significant obstacle you have to overcome to meet with God daily?
2. Recall a time you were walking in the Spirit; in one word describe how you felt?
3. What truth do you need the Spirit to lead you into this day, week, month or season?
4. What can you do today to get to steppin’?