Keeping In Step With The Spirit
By Dave Ferguson, President, Exponential 2022
Living in sync with the Holy Spirit is not meant to be a one-time event but an ongoing occurrence in the life of a believer. An empowered life is one of dynamic, active engagement with the Spirit of God. It’s a relationship. An ongoing, growing, healthy relationship that occurs with each step we take every day.
We are meant to live an Empowered Life. Galatians 5:25 says, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” We “live by the Spirit” through our faithful submission to God’s ways. But keeping “in step with the Spirit” is something else altogether.
One of my wife Sue’s favorite New Year’s traditions is to watch the Rose Bowl Parade. She loves the elaborate decorations on one float after another. But I am more impressed by the bands. As the band comes marching down that street in Pasadena you can’t help but be wowed by the strength of sound and the visual of each band member in sync with the person in front of them, behind them, and beside them. The uniformity and precision as the band passes by is impressive. Each band member is “in step” with the others. Left, right, left, right, precisely at 120 beats per minute.
Walking Side by Side
How do we keep in step with the Spirit? How do we keep in sync with that kind of precision with God’s Spirit? This is exactly what God has invited us to do. Through His Spirit, we are invited into a close relationship with Him. We are walking side by side through life at the very pace he dictates. We don’t run ahead. We don’t lag behind. Left, right, left, right; in step with the Spirit.
Jesus Himself modeled the perfectly Spirit-filled life, showcasing what empowerment by and partnership with the Spirit can look like in our lives. Jesus lives out the apostle Paul’s challenges to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). To follow the way of Jesus, we must adopt the lifestyle of Jesus. He practiced such things as prayer, solitude, and simplicity, which positioned Him to be in the flow of the Spirit and move in the power of the Spirit.
“We do it by practicing daily disciplines through which we cultivate habits of surrender, dependence, and growth,” Josh Harrison explains in his book Empowered: Pastoral Perspectives on Life & Leadership in the Spirit. “In doing so, we become active participants with the Holy Spirit in His work in us and the world around us.
“This longing for more of the Holy Spirit must be much more than a prayer we pray. It must become a lifestyle we live. In a maturing relationship with God, it is not enough simply to ask for more. We must participate with Him in that more.
“Jesus was a man of the Spirit, who did everything He did—including rising from the dead—by the power of the same Spirit who is with us, in us, and who longs to make more of Himself available to us as we make more of ourselves available to Him.”
When you get started as a church planter, all you have is the Holy Spirit. You know you need God’s Spirit with you. But if you have any kind of success in ministry there often comes a point in time when you think, ‘Hey I’m paying the bills, and things are getting done.’ If we’re not careful, the focus can shift from God and me together to “Check me out.”
That’s not how this is supposed to go. Nobody agrees with this independence in principle. I don’t know that any of us are thinking we don’t really need God; it just happens.
This year at the Exponential Global Conference we give you handles for how to rekindle that relationship with the Spirit. We want you to feel that whatever God is calling you to do, you get a chance to do it with Him instead of just for Him.
Living in sync with the Holy Spirit is not meant to be a one-time event but an ongoing occurrence in the life of a believer. Don’t run ahead. Don’t lag behind. Left, right, left, right; keep in step with the Spirit.
Empowered: Moving with the Spirit is Exponential’s theme throughout 2022. You’re invited to join the journey as we seek his presence together.
Exponential kicks off Empowered in Orlando March 7-10, 2022 with 150+ speakers, 200 workshops, 15+ pre-conference intensives, and 75+ networks and denominations in sunny Florida. For more information and to register for Exponential 2022, go to exponential.org/2022.