Slowing down to keep pace with the Spirit

Walking along the beach at Kippford, Scotland
Walking along the beach at Kippford, Scotland

He has shown all you people what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

– Micah 6:8

Some months ago we had a women’s morning at church and the whole morning gave us the opportunity to meditate on this passage. As I meditated, I kept being drawn back to the ‘walk humbly’ part of the text. I was reminded that throughout the bible, God’s people are described as ‘walking with God’. Here are just some of the places:

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

– Genesis 3:8

Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and revering him.

– Deut 8:6

Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

– Genesis 5:24

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.

– Genesis 6:9

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

– Galatians 5:25

The only time I can think of God running, is in the story of the prodigal son:

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

– Luke 15:20

This would have been very shocking, for an elderly man to run in that culture would have been considered shameful and ungainly. What a comfort though, that the Lord that we follow, when we outrun him, he comes running to us as soon as he catches sight of us!

I have a feeling that the Lord’s default speed, however, is walking. The speed of the world is running or even motoring. I find it so hard to slow down, and then I wonder why I’m spiritually dry! I’m running ahead, instead of ‘keeping in step’ with the spirit. Perhaps this is why we often get frustrated with God’s timing. We’re like a small child running ahead of its parents to get to the next place and totally missing all the fun and things to learn on the way.

Enoch’s ‘epitaph’ in the Bible is that he ‘walked with God’. I don’t want mine to read ‘she ran ahead of God and left Him behind’.

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