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Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25

At some point in our lives, we selected a career. The more time we spend in that field, the more it becomes part of our identity. For example, say you decide to become a plumber. As a pre-apprentice, you will receive some basic training after high school. From there, you may be hired as an apprentice. Before working as a plumber, you must pass a certification exam and meet other licensing requirements. Now, as a working plumber, you may advance to journeymen and then to master plumber. At each stage, it becomes more of your identity. Said another way, when asked by someone what you do, the assurance of your reply, “I’m a plumber,” is said more confidently with the more experience you have; this is true not just of plumbers but of every career.

When we initially accept Jesus Christ, we take a new identity. We have come alive by the Spirit. Though novices, we have proclaimed our intent; we will become like Christ. How much like Christ we will become depends on our desire. Our desire keeps us in step with the Spirit. Ways to fuel that desire is through learning and practice. We read God’s Word, pray for guidance, and implement what we learn.

What does this look like? In the verses before, Paul says:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (5:22-24)

The more we evidence these fruits, the more like Christ we become.

Friends, here’s a sad truth: we can remain apprentices forever, never moving beyond that initial coming to Christ moment, never moving beyond that going to church on Sunday phase. But to keep in step with the Spirit and move forward (and upward), it’s a seven-day-a-week, all hours of the day thing. It is being on call for emergencies and knowing how to respond with “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Father, thank you for the salvation through Jesus Christ and the filling of the Holy Spirit. We remember that day we became your apprentices and rejoice. We confess, at times, that we have failed to keep in step with the Spirit. Forgive us, we pray. Help us as we strive to live into the identity of Christ, not be continent with where we are but craving to be ever more like Christ. May we exhibit the fruits of the Spirit in our daily lives so that others may witness you through us. We pray this in the name of your precious Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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