Galatians 5:16-18 NIV
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
Our walk is how we conduct our lives day by day, day in and day out. It is our habits, our practices, our deeds, our words, our thoughts, our attitudes, the things we value most, the things we talk about the most, and the things we give the most time, thought, attention and affection to.
The Spirit is the Holy Spirit, the third person of our triune God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit – so he is God. And for the believer in Jesus Christ, he is God living within us, teaching, encouraging, counseling, guiding, directing, correcting, instructing, and empowering us to live righteously.
So, walking by the Spirit means we are conducting our lives, we are living our lives through God, by his standards, according to his will and purposes, and in his power and strength. God’s Spirit is not only leading and guiding us in the way we should go, but he is also empowering us to do so.
So, if truly we are submitting to Christ as Lord, and we are being led by the Spirit, and we are following the Lord with our lives, then we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Why? Because if we are following the Lord we are resisting the devil, fleeing temptation, and we are obeying our Lord.
And why is it important that we walk by the Spirit? We can’t live the Christian life in our own flesh. Since we still live in flesh bodies, we still have a propensity to sin against God, and our flesh is at war with the Spirit, so we need the Spirit’s strength and help to resist Satan, to flee temptation, and to obey the Lord.
Now, with regard to being led by the Spirit and not being under the law, we now have God living within us empowering and strengthening us to live godly and holy lives. His will is now our will. We don’t just follow a set of rules. We follow the guidance of the Spirit who now lives within us.
But this in no way is free license to continue living in sin now that we are not under the Old Covenant law but we are under grace. We don’t become lawless as followers of Jesus, but we obey the Lord in everything that he says for us to do or to say or where he tells us we must go, etc.
Galatians 5:19-21 NIV
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Exactly! Being led by the Spirit does not mean we are lawless or that we have the freedom to live however we want. It just means we are not just following a set of rules by rote, but we have the life of God living within us now living his life out through us for the glory and praise of God.
Being led by the Spirit means that we are NOT to do whatever it is that our flesh wants to do because the flesh is opposed to the Spirit. So, we can’t walk by the Spirit and live to the passions of our flesh at the same time. For, we are slaves of who we obey.
If we obey sin, it ends in death. But if we obey obedience, it leads to righteousness which then ends in eternal life with God (Rom 6:16-23).
Yes, Jesus died on that cross to save us from our sins, to deliver us from the punishment of our sin (eternity in hell), and to give us the hope of eternal life with God in glory. But those promises are conditional. We must believe in him and that belief is not a mere acknowledgment or lip service only.
We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to (persuades us to believe in) Christ. So, if persuaded by God, we will submit to the Lord, we will leave our lifestyles of sin behind us, and we will follow our Lord in obedience (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Tit 2:11-14).
So, if we walk (conduct our lives) according to the Spirit, by the light, as our Lord is in the light, in obedience to our Lord, we have the promise of forgiveness of sins, deliverance from hell, deliverance from our slavery to sin, and eternal life with God.
But, if we walk in darkness (sin), according to our flesh, and we make sinning against God our practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God but we will die in our sins because we did not die with Christ to our sins (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Eph 5:3-6).
So, take this seriously! We can’t live in sin and have eternal life with God.
Galatians 5:22-26 NIV
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
When we walk by the Spirit and not according to the flesh, the fruit that we will bear will be the fruit of the Spirit and not the fruit of the flesh, as was mentioned in the previous verses (vv. 19-21).
So, let me describe walking by the Spirit. It isn’t just following a set of rules. We have people who are lawless and we have people who are rule followers. We have those who make sin their practice and we have those who practice good deed doing, but both can be void of the Spirit of God.
We can only walk by the Spirit when we are in relationship with Almighty God by genuine faith in Jesus Christ where we have died with Christ to sin and where we are now living to Christ and his righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit living within us.
So, having God’s Spirit living within us is about relationship. We have God now within us, with us all the time, speaking to us, guiding us, nudging us, reminding us, counseling, and correcting us and empowering us to live godly lives, pleasing to God.
So, this isn’t just about following the teachings of Scripture. This is about listening to the Spirit within us speaking to us quietly in our minds and in our hearts leading us each step of the way he wants us to go, prompting us to speak to certain people or to say certain things, etc.
So, we must be listening for his voice so that we can follow him wherever he would lead us in doing whatever it is he would have us to do and say.
The Spirit Calling
An Original Work / November 12, 2019
Hear the Spirit calling.
He’ll keep you from falling.
Tenderly He’s calling,
“Come and follow Him.”
Walk with Jesus daily.
Don’t give in to lazy.
Folks may call you crazy.
Fellowship with Him.
Follow where He leads you.
Eat what Jesus feeds you.
His love will renew you
If you follow Him.
Do what Jesus tells you.
Don’t let your faith fail you.
His love will avail you
If you walk with Him.
Jesus, Lord and Savior,
Reigneth now forever.
He gave us His favor
So we’d live with Him.
Turning now from our sin,
Holy Spirit live-in.
Holiness we walk in,
Purified by Him.