Read: Moving With the Spirit
McLaren leads us into another crucial area in this week’s readings: walking with the Spirit. This is not only possible for those of us who can literally walk, but also for those who are unable to walk physically. Walking in the Spirit is not dependent on legs that move, but upon a heart that can be moved–a heart that is under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
And as McLaren notes, it is a movement which follows attentiveness. The Spirit makes us aware of something. It may be new, or a repetition of things we have seen before. The significant thing is that we have been moved by something that gets our attention.
From this encounter, we journey into desire. We want to stay with and become involved with what we have seen and heard. This does not mean becoming engaged only with pleasant and positive things. Because we are walking with the Spirit in our heart, we have the capacity to desire things that require surrender and sacrifice. We move because we have discerned the thing to be “of God.”
And then–graciously, the Spirit moves us into our engagement step-by-step. Rarely do we move immediately to the deep end of the pool. Jesus eases us into full-blown involvement through smaller preliminary steps. But each step counts. Even one cup of cold water offered to someone in Jesus’ name is important. And from there, the Spirit moves us on to whatever end point God has in mind–often including the call not to be as immersed in something as others may be called to be. But again, that is okay because every aspect of God’s will needs people stationed all along the pathway.
The point of McLaren’s chapter and our journey is this: we are on the move. Using the imagery of the wind that McLaren began the chapter with (and I use in my book, Fresh Wind Blowing), our calling is to raise our sails–through attentiveness, desire, and incremental engagement–finding that as we do, we are on the move in Jesus’ name.