. . . “so that if any one is in Christ–he is a new creature; the old things did pass away, lo, become new have the all things” . . . 1 Corinthians 5:17
I was remembering when I rode a bicycle for the very first time. It was a 26″ girl’s Schwinn. Keep in mind, I was the youngest in a family of eight in 1957. My older siblings were one brother and six sisters; girls ruled!
To the best of my memory, I did not attend a seminar for riding 26″ girl’s bicycles, before making my first attempt at riding. I studied the situation, however, and after several attempts of trying and falling, I came to the understanding, my main problem was balance. After all, it’s pretty tough to mount the seat, reach the pedals and use them as they’re designed – for a seven year old short guy.
Then I had a revelation. Sit on the chain guard while coasting downhill with my feet tapping the ground as I gained the needed balance requirements. Gradually, I could lift my feet more and more until I learned how to coast that Schwinn down a hill, only needing my feet for braking. Somehow, I knew if I lowered my center of gravity to the ground by sitting on top of the chain guard, I could balance the bike with the aid of my feet. That could be very helpful. At least, I would have only half the distance to fall.
My Point? Glad you asked. Ever since I successfully rode my bicycle, I’ve never tried to ride again. Now, I just get on and ride without trying! Riding a bike without trying to ride it is so wonderful. It only gets difficult, you know the balancing part, is when you’re almost stopped. The faster you go, the easier it is to balance – heck, you can even ride with your hands off the handle bar!
You with me so far? It reminds me of a greater truth than riding bicycles, viz., the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I hear so much from great friends who are struggling with their own version of trying to walk like Jesus did. It reminds me of when I first learned how to ride a bike.
The first few tries were hard, even painful! But when I learned how to lower my center of gravity and gain my own sense of balance, I was off to the new joy of just riding. Please don’t get me wrong, walking in the Spirit can be daunting at first. We’re always wanting to know stuff before we need it, understand it, or use it. You could have lectured me for months on how to ride that monstrous Schwinn, but I think I’d still be in class.
Conclusion. The greatest joy I have learned from the Spirit of God, is that I never did, nor can I now, produce the life of Christ in me or in anyone else. This gift of God in you and I is the real article. I mean Christ in you is the hope of God’s ultimate intention for us, coming back to Him fully realized with God throwing a party for us all.
Being baptized in the Spirit means I can stop trying to be a Christian and get on my bike and ride! If this seems over-simplified, it is by design.
Birds were God’s idea. The cage was man’s!
Shalom to you! Nothing missing, nothing broken.