Like many of you, I started driving during a time when there was no GPS in the car and cell phones were non-existent. Which meant if we were going to drive somewhere new, we had to have a physical map with us. I know, it’s hard to believe! However, there was one other way to get directions, it was to follow someone in another car. I bet you’ve had a friend say to you, “I know where I’m going, just follow me.” I’m not sure if you had similar experiences, but it always seemed like the car I followed drove like they were delivering an organ for a transplant. They’d run a yellow light, far surpass the speed limit, and switch lanes like they were trying to escape the police. Come to think of it, maybe they didn’t like me. Ha!

The process of following someone can be hard. It can be a challenge to stay close enough you can turn when they turn and slow down when they slow down. However, if we are going to become disciples of Jesus, we must get good at following. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul described the Christian life by writing, “ If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25) Stay in step with the Spirit. The picture is of a car that’s out front that we do our best to follow. As Christians, we are called to follow Jesus by living in his way with his heart, but as we seek to live that out on a daily basis, we must be intent on staying in step with the Spirit.

There are two primary reasons following the Spirit can be challenging. First, if we are following we are not in control. We don’t get to dictate the pace and we don’t control the place we end up. I’m reminded that Jesus was “led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1) That might not have been his natural choice, and yet it was part of His Father’s plan. If we say yes to following the Spirit, there might be times where He leads us to the wilderness as well. Second, staying in step with the Spirit can be challenging because we aren’t always entirely sure what the Spirit is doing in our lives. It can be hard to tell what’s from the Spirit and what’s from me. If that’s your struggle, allow me to encourage you to pause and ask God for clarification. You might pray, “Lord, are you inviting me to go talk to that person?” If you get the sense he is, step out in faith. The only way to grow in discerning the Spirit’s voice is to obey and see if it indeed was God. After you do that for a time, you will grow in your discernment of His voice.

Take a moment today and pray that your eyes would be opened to see the way the Spirit is leading you, and then ask for His empowerment to follow. You might use Romans 15:13 as a prayer:

God of hope please fill me with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit I may abound in hope. Amen

Pastor Ryan

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