Momentum (Christ – centred, Spirit – empowered, Mission – focused)
It was a thrilling ride! Fast speeds, sharp curves, and steep slopes combined to create an unforgettable adrenaline rush. No, I wasn’t behind the wheel of an exotic sports car; I was behind a passionate cyclist’s tandem bicycle. I was the co-pilot with Matthew Campbell, riding from Charlottetown, PEI to Truro, Nova Scotia on the Love in Motion tour. Matthew was a fearless leader, and I did my best to stay in step with his every move. When you are the co-pilot, your primary goal is to become one with the person in front. Every peddle stroke must be completely synchronized. Any miscue could result in a loss of balance and the outcome could be disastrous.
I learned three valuable lessons on my journey. First, I needed to be completely attentive to the voice and body language of my leader. I tuned my senses to hear his voice above potential distractions. Next, prompt obedience, without hesitation, argument or resistance, was vital. It was both humbling and exhilarating. Finally, I learned the significance of radical trust. Matthew loved to go fast on a steep downhill grade. I could see the ground beneath me blur as we rocketed downward. My heart pounded as I realized that any lapse in judgment, any sudden indecision on Matthew’s part, could result in my death. Talk about radical trust! Attentive listening, prompt obedience and radical trust are essential ingredients if you choose to ride in tandem.
The same is true of our journey with the Holy Spirit. Paul writes, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). Keeping in step, or walking with the Sprit, implies a conscious dependence upon God. The Holy Spirit is our source of power, life, joy and freedom; keeping in step with him means staying in touch with his presence. As we depend on him, he graciously and generously fills our lives with the very presence of Jesus. Our objective is to become attentive to the Holy Spirit, to hear his still, small voice and to be sensitive to promptings from the Spirit.
Early in my ministry, this truth was powerfully made real. It was a Sunday morning, and our family was getting ready for church. Getting everyone dressed and out the door was sometimes a monumental task. Everything seemed to be going wrong this particular morning. To top it off, Agnes and I got into an argument that intensified all the way to church. When we drove into the church parking lot, I immediately switched from my volcanic home compartment to my tranquil church compartment. I entered the church through one door, and she took the girls through another.
In my office, I was going over my sermon notes when the Holy Spirit spoke to me, “You are not preaching today!” I argued, “But that is what I do!” The Spirit powerfully reminded me of my commitment to never preach unless my heart was right with God and right with others. I needed to find Agnes! I searched everywhere but could not find her. The worship service had already started, so I entered the sanctuary wondering what I was going to do. When it came time to preach I stood behind the pulpit and spotted Agnes at the back of the church. Agnes is a sign language interpreter by profession, and she has taught me many good signs. The sign for “I am sorry, will you forgive me?” involves making a fist and rubbing your heart. I expressed my heartfelt apology from the pulpit through this sign, and she returned the same. I went on to preach a great message. It is vital that we learn to hear and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
As you learn to walk in the Spirit, God will never ask you to do anything that violates his Word. Promptings from the Holy Spirit will always line up with the Bible; however, they may not line up with your church traditions or pre-conceived notions. What if you blow it? Remember God’s grace! If you misunderstand the Holy Spirit’s prompting or disobey, then confess your failure to God; he is faithful to forgive (1 John 1:9). Fall on his grace and remember that you are in the school of Christ.
I challenge you to aim to walk in step with the Spirit through the rest of this day and the rest of this week. Begin with this prayer: “Holy Spirit, I desire to ride in tandem with you today. Help me be attentive to your voice, quick to obey and filled with radical trust in you!”
“God help us to walk by faith and not by sight.” — A.B. Simpson
Please find the original version in C&MA website