Pastor’s Pen: Keep in step

I was walking through the snow to someone’s house the other day.  It wasn’t that lovely powdery snow that feels so soft nor the hard solid snow you can walk on top of without going through.  This was the yucky slop snow that engulfs your entire lower leg in a watery mess.  You never know quite where to step that won’t leave you with a soggy pant leg.

The good thing was that someone had gone on this trek before me.  They left their footprints in the snow blazing a trail and making it obvious which was the least grimy route.  I carefully stepped inside of their footprints making my way to the door.  I was thankful for the one who had gone on before me, clearly marking the path I should walk.

The Bible talks about this kind of stepping inside another’s footprints in Galatians 5:25.  It says, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

The words “keep in step” literally mean “to keep in line with or to follow”.  We are to keep directly in line with the Spirit.  We are not to get out of line, though, like kindergarteners told to walk down the hall in a straight line, we are tempted to do just the opposite.

It sounds easy when we talk about sin because we think of the “really bad ones”.  We avoid “BIG” trouble, but “keeping in step” is like our walk in the snow. You don’t place your foot anywhere outside the footprint left before you.  You step directly into the same exact position as the one who has already passed by this way.  God has left us clear footprints with which to align ourselves.  We are not to step anywhere outside of them with jealousy, hatred, envy, conceit, discord, selfish ambition or any other mark of the sinful nature.  That would be out of line and would go directly against what God’s Word states.

The struggle with sin is not so great if your life centers on living by the Spirit.  “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Galatians 5:16)