If you have ever tried to follow someone, either in a car or elsewhere, you know that following has interesting challenges. As I was following a pastor to a restaurant after speaking at his church I began to think about the importance of distance in following someone. If you are following another car and get too far behind another car can get between you and then you will lose sight of them. The other danger is also true. If you get to close to the car in front you might not see something in front of them and run into them when they have to break.
The same is true as we try to follow Jesus and live a life of the Spirit. The first danger is that we get too far behind. Jesus is moving and we should be too! If God leads us somewhere and we drag our feet the things of life may sneak between us and Him and we will miss where He is going. This is an especially true challenge if you are a person that doesn’t like change. God may do something different just to see if you are still following Him. As Mark Batterson says, “Change of Pace + Change of Place = Change of Perspective.” Sitting still can keep us from missing what God might have for us.
Those of you who are nodding your head right now because that is easy for you might need to be aware of the other danger. Getting too close or even getting ahead of Jesus. This is the side of the equation that often I need to guard against. If I see Jesus going somewhere rather than letting Him set the pace I try to get there before Him. I say, “I think I know how this is going to work” and start filling in the steps. When I do that I can be working in my own strength and miss the resources that Jesus would have provided.
That is why we are encouraged to, “keep in step with the Spirit.” (Gal 5:25) As you look at your own walk with Jesus are you getting ahead or falling behind? Do you know what you are most likely to do in order to guard against it?