But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.

– Galatians 5:16 NET

How would you like it if you had someone follow you around everywhere you went through a day of activities? At first this might seem humorous but I suspect that for most of us by the end of the day we might be a little on edge being shadowed by someone through every single experience we go through. I suppose it would depend if we described our day as a “good” day or a “bad” day we might feel differently about this.

There is something a little uneasy to have someone watching every move we make. The danger is they will see the real me, the good and the bad depending on how I interact with my day. I used to watch the old candid camera showwhere they would set up a crazy situation where some unsuspecting people would be drawn into a crazy situation where people would deliberately cause things to go wrong to see how these people would react to the goofy problems that were created by actors. Everyone involved knew what was going on except the one or two “victims” that this gag was being pulled on.  Every “victim” had to deal with the delays of someone’s incompetence or obstacles in getting something done. The whole thing was a set-up to see how they would deal with it. Some did well, others became very frustrated.  When they five minute mess was completed, one of the actors would place their arm around the shoulder of the “victim”, point to a hidden camera and say, “You’re on candid camera!”

The Spirit of God Shadows our life. It is a sobering consideration that the Spirit of God shadows our life every moment of every day. Since we are “in Him” and He is “in us”, where we go, He goes; when we move, He moves; when we speak, He hears. If we react badly to someone while waiting at the checkout, He is right there with me seeing all that happens. If I begin complaining about things in the office He is there to absorb it all. When I get frustrated He understands exactly those things that are pushing my buttons because He gets to go through every moment of it with me. He is walking with us in every situation. Certainly this is one way to think about His presence in us. But thinking of the Spirit this way makes me nervous, having someone shadowing me, watching everything I do all day long from the time I get up until the moment I fall asleep – wow, just a little overwhelming!

We Shadow the Holy Spirit. On the other side of the coin maybe we should think that we are shadowing the Holy Spirit through His day.If you think about it, the text says that we are to keep in step or walk by the Spirit. The idea might be better expressed that we are shadowing His activity, not that He is shadowing ours. If we are walking by the Spirit we are following not leading. He leads us through components of His day and what He wants to accomplish. We shadow the Holy Spirit so that He can show us those relationships, moments, circumstances where He seeks to utilize us to imprint a situation for His eternal purposes.

When we live life where we have this idea that the Holy Spirit is shadowing us, it is easy to keep Him out of site and out of mind because He is following our lead. For some, this may feel like walking around on egg shells because they idea of someone watching over their shoulder puts too much pressure on them about messing up and failing.  On the other hand, if we are shadowing Him, then we can’t look at any of life’s situation without looking at them through His eyes. He leads, I follow. He acts and I jump in on what he is doing.

How you view your relationship with the Holy Spirit may have a profound impact on how you experience God’s presence and power in your life. I know too many Christians where the Holy Spirit is virtually and idea that we talk about, not a living person who is changing their life. If we don’t experience His presence and power, at some point, He becomes obsolete and I have no need of Him. Certainly He shadows our life. The question is are you shadowing Him?

Be careful how you walk,

Pastor Brad