Wednesday, July 20, 2016

“Step in time!”

J.J. Stark
July 20, 2016
Field Time: Browning, MT
Inductive Bible Study (IBS)
“Step in time!”
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:25 (NKJV)

Keep in step…”  It’s funny how sometimes when you read or hear some phrase on one topic it reminds you of another topic that seems totally unrelated!  After reading the verse, my mind immediately jumped from it to the song “Step in Time” from the movie Mary Poppins.  “Kick your knees up! Over the roof tops! Step in time lads,” I vividly hear the character Burt say.  But all humor aside, that scene suddenly took a new light upon thinking about the meaning of the song title.
            The saying “Step in time” has been used in the past to rally and synchronize a group, be it a marching army or a dancing team.  There is almost always a rhythm or something keeping time in either case, the heartbeat of the organism.
            That being said, let’s take another look at Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”  If we live in the Spirit, we are making a proclamation of what we are loyal to.  But what does that entail in the Christian walk?  2 Timothy 2:3-4 say, “3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  4 No one engages himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”  Endure the hardship?  Why is there hardship?  Ephesians 6:12 states, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.”  Alright then, we are in a constant spiritual battle…how are we to combat it?  The apostle Paul states earlier Galatians 5:16, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” How then do we walk in the Spirit, keeping in step with the Spirit, so that we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh?  Paul answers that question in Colossians 3:2, “Set your mind on things above, not on the things on the earth.”  What are these things above?  Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”  In living these by seeking the Lord, He will begin to grow us into the tree of life that He wants us to become – “…in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:52) “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17)
            To keep in step with the Spirit is to make a choice.  We are either keeping in step with Him, or we are fulfilling the lust of the flesh – there is no in between, despite what the world may think.  We are in hypocrisy if we are trying to live a double life and please both sides, which is the most detrimental thing we can do as a Christian.  I am ever so guilty of trying to fulfill both, so this is something that is as hard for me as any.  This causes me to ask myself, “Who is my master?”  But I am reminded of the words in Joshua 24:15b, “…But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  I will march as good soldier in step with the heartbeat of the Spirit.

Application:  I will write on my wrist the phrase, “Step in time.

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