“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25
Fitbits, pedometers, and the iPhone Health App are used by so many of us to track our steps for the day. We have a goal of the number of steps we want to accomplish for the day, and we work hard to achieve it. It’s like we’re in competition with ourselves as we watch the numbers go up with every step. The idea is that the exercise will bring about health to our bodies, which is a good thing. We will accomplish this unless, of course, we are walking and eating ice cream after ice cream at the same time. This will result in great leg muscles and clogged arteries. Common sense tells us that the steps without the ice cream are more feasible for health. So why do we insist on taking our spiritual steps with our minds focused on the things of the world?
As followers of Christ, the Holy Spirit came to indwell us at the moment God saved us. This means that the Holy Spirit is available to us every step we take in this life. Let’s look at six characteristics of the Holy Spirit.
- He convicts – Our original conviction of our sins was brought about by the Holy Spirit. After salvation, he still convicts us because we are sinners. He brings shame and guilt to bear on us to drive us to repentance. “And when he (Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” John 16:8
- He testifies – The Holy Spirit, in obedience to the Father, will give evidence of who Christ is. As we read the Word, the Holy Spirit reveals to us more and more about Christ. When you testify of Christ, you are acting in tandem with the Holy Spirit, who is working silently through your words and actions. “But when the Helper (Holy Spirit) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.” John 15:26 (said by Jesus)
- He leads – The Holy Spirit leads us through the Word of God in our everyday life. He impresses the truth on our hearts so that we have direction as we take our steps. Our lives should no longer be identified with our sinful flesh, which operates under the law, but by the Spirit and the grace of God. “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Galatians 5:18
- He intercedes – The Holy Spirit will step in our place and pray for us. He knows our hearts and knows the will of God. He prays perfectly for us when we don’t even know what or how to pray. “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26
- He guides – The Holy Spirit guides us and reveals truth to us as we read the Word of God. He also reveals truth to us daily as we pray and ask for truth. His guidance gives us wisdom so we can make choices in our lives that are pleasing to God. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” John 16:13a
There are many other characteristics of the Holy Spirit which help us daily. As followers of Christ we should depend on the Spirit for guidance and power. The Spirit wants to be depended upon. We have to yield our will to his in our everyday life in order to be dependent on him. Our independence is so very important to us. In fact, we could say we are in competition with ourselves in our independence. We desire to grow in our ability to handle life by ourselves. This desire is contrary to walking by the Spirit. Our calling is to be dependent on the Spirit and display his fruit in our lives.
If only there were a Fitbit to measure our display of the fruit of the Spirit! There is a Fitbit, and it’s called vulnerability. We have to be willing to ask our brothers and sisters how we’re doing in our walk. Being accountable to others is necessary for our growth. I don’t want to know about my weaknesses, but the truth is, I do need to know. When I wear a Fitbit, I keep looking at my steps because I want to improve. My walk in the Spirit is more important than that. I need to know my weaknesses. I need to know how I’m doing in my spiritual walk so that I can seek to become more dependent on the Spirit and less dependent on myself.