How to avoid doing what I did Saturday night.

I was a time-bomb waiting to blow. So when the lady started bossing around me and everyone else in the concession stand, snipping at us over the most trivial little things…Kaboom! She snapped at me and I snapped back. I should have been able to have more patience. I know it would have been better to take her aside and talk calmly and with grace. Yet, my claws came out.

At that moment, I felt as Paul described in Romans 7:19:

I know better. I want to act better. So, why didn’t I.

“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5

And in his letter to the Galatians, Paul reminded believers to live by the Spirit so they wouldn’t gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (Galatians 5:16) He exhorted them to keep in step with the Spirit.

As the summer gave way to the new school year, I felt as if someone cranked up the treadmill to top speed.

via GIPHY

Since my Bible study class ended and and football season began, I’ve haven’t been regularly studying the Scriptures and nurturing my relationship with Christ. With both of my boys playing ball at two different schools and Matt on the Board of the Booster Club, my mind has been on decidedly earthly matters.

I’ve gotten out of step with the Spirit.

It’s easy to do. It is the pattern of the world around us.

But I’m not to conform to the pattern of this world (Romans 12:2). And to avoid doing so I must renew my mind daily with God’s Word.

Scripture reveals to us God’s character and will. His will and mine are not naturally in sync.

So if I am to keep in step with the Spirit, I need to actively listen to Him and cooperate with Him.

There is a reason the first and greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. We can’t possibly fulfill the second, “Love your neighbor as yourself” unless we are are actively doing the first.

Actively listening and spending time with God doesn’t mean I need to sit down for hours and do an in-depth Bible study.

We can cultivate a deeper connection with Christ throughout our day using simple strategies.

I’ve made a checklist for you of five of my go-to methods (which I’ve reviewed and begun using again myself). Just click the button below to let me know you want it and I’ll email it to you instantly.

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Cultivate Connection Checklist Blog Image

How about you? How does being in or out of step with the Spirit impact your ability to love others as God loves you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Pete A.

    Liked your 5-step list. Simple, sensible,well-written, easy to remember. As to dealing with problem people (or just problems), someone said “Remain in the Vine.” She’s right. For me, reading the Word faithfully, plus daily prayer and praise, have opened the door to seeing things that are truly “above all we can ask or even think.” It’s wonderful. I pray those of you who read this will also have your own experiences like that.

    • Pete, you crack me up! Yep, this is two posts in a row I have needed to review a lesson God had already taught me and then I taught others. Humility is definitely something God gives me lots of opportunities to develop and practice! Glad your phone is fixed and you’re able to join us in the comments again!