A SPIRITUAL WALK
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage…For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Gal. 5:1,13,14,16-18,25
We are admonished twice here to, “Walk in the Spirit.” The flesh and the Spirit are seen in sharp conflict. The flesh can only produce works, but the Spirit produces fruit. In Hebrews 9:14, the Apostle Paul describes the works of the flesh under the law as “dead works.” In Ephesians 5:11, he speaks of “the unfruitful works of darkness.” Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6
Adam and Eve “heard the Voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” Even though they had made themselves fig leaf aprons, they still tried to hide themselves among the trees of the garden. Their works were insufficient. Self-effort does not afford even a satisfactory partial covering before God. Now, before the fall, Adam walked and talked with God; but being of the earth, earthy, He could never do so on the plane that we may today.
To “walk” speaks of conduct, or behavior, and points to progress or growth. It includes the proper person, the right realm, propelling power, and permeating purpose. Consider that!
First, we must let God do the walking in us. God is Spirit, so our only capacity to go with God is completely outside the realm of the flesh. “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” - II Cor. 6:16. This teaches us of submission on our course of life, a yielded walk. We are to let Him determine our altitude and attitude in each step. We will then walk in His fellowship, in His light, with no darkness and no stumbling. Now as a child has trouble keeping pace with his father, it seems it is also easy for a youngster in Christ to get out of step with God.
This is the way God has provided that we overcome the lust of the flesh. It is Scripturally evident that a walk with God can become so supernaturally natural, that all other conduct is very unnatural. For us to live after the flesh is to act like a fish out of water.
“If we live in the Spirit:” all believers were baptized at Pentecost into one Body, in the Spirit. To illustrate this, think of a large container of water. Let it represent the realm of the Spirit. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are placed in the realm of the Spirit. This does not say that we are filled with the Spirit. Rather, it is like bottles being thrown in the container of water – the bottles are in the water, but the water is not in the bottles. Sink one bottle and it is filled, while the other is floating. In God’s purpose we all need to be filled, flooded to overflowing, and submerged into the very depths of God’s Holy Spirit. We think it would be foolish for a fish to jump out, move about, or try to operate on dry land. This is not his natural habitat in which to conduct business.
We, in the realm of the Spirit, must settle down and become at home there. We should never try to conduct any part of our lives outside the realm of the Spirit. Such conduct is very unnatural and spiritually harmful. Many believers try to bring the flesh into the realm of the Spirit, and they utterly fail when they do. When the Spirit is flooding our being, we have the power within that conducts a behavior in harmony with our Spiritual Father, as we yield.
A Spiritual Walk is walking by faith. When we walk by faith we take steps like Abraham, Rom. 4:12. Abraham started his trip with God not seeing the end of his journey nor even the steps in between. The flesh attempts to go by sight, but “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Heb. 11:1. A Spiritual Walk of faith is pleasing to God for it is based on God’s Word. It is in harmony with God’s will, and eagerly looks forward to the fulfillment of God’s promises.
Galatians 5:18 speaks of placing ourselves under the law, where we would try to operate in the realm of the flesh. This binds us from enjoying our God-given liberty, and carrying out our God-given delight of doing what God would, instead of what our flesh would. Does the law curb sin by showing it up? The “strength of sin is the law” – I Cor. 15:56. The Law stirs and strengthens our flesh to sin.
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” – Rom. 6:14. This indicates that sin does exercise its dominion in lives under legal bondage. But, thank God, “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” – Rom. 8:2. We are not debtors to the flesh, the old self life. We owe the old man nothing, no allegiance. He has no legal right to demand any loyalty. He is dead! We may understand from Romans 7:4-6 that Jesus died in the place of the old man, the old Adamic head, which was under the penalty of our sin. Jesus also arose as the rightful Head of a New Creation; hence, He has the right to full dominion of our lives. As we yield to Him that dominion, we walk by the Spirit, and are led by the Spirit.
A Spiritual Walk is being led by the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4, “God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” that the righteousness which the law demands be supernaturally fulfilled in us as we walk in the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit. We are energized by the Holy Spirit, as we yield to His guidance and control. We do well to be most receptive to His impressions, and responsive to His impulses. I am sure that He graciously checks us when we are about to take a step outside the will of God. I am also sure that the signal gradually weakens, as it is ignored. That still small Voice also urges us on in taking the right steps.
John 16:13 tells us, the Spirit of Truth was sent to guide us into all truth. Now this expresses far more than theory, theology, or the letter of Truth. This is to be enjoyed as heart reality. Truth is to be relevant to our present day living.
“The flesh lusteth against the Spirit.” Yielding to the flesh, we carry out a conduct that is very binding and hindering to spiritual behavior and progress. Oh, praise God, we have been liberated from legal bondage, and brought into the realm where love is the motivating force.
A Spiritual Walk is walking in love – Gal. 5:13,14. “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour” - Eph. 5:1,2. “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” Eph. 4:1-3.
The law of love supersedes and super-abounds the law of “carnal commandment.” This law raises us above the harsh condemnation, and brings us into close communion. In the law of love, there is the force of magnetism. While under the law of commandment, there is the force of depression. The Holy Spirit reproduces Divine love, shedding abroad the love of God in our hearts. While He makes us deeply aware of how dearly we are loved, He moves us to a conduct of love. He deepens the desire to have our lives run in channels of love. True love realized in experience constrains us from conduct in the flesh that would hurt, hinder, or harm our neighbor, family, or our precious Lord.