Thursday, February 21, 2019

Walk in the Spirit

What does it mean to "walk in the Spirit?" Why do I have the desire to walk in the Spirit? My answer is simple. It is because of the assurance that comes with it: that I shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. What are the lusts (works) of the flesh? Adultery, fornication, uncleannes, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outburst of wrath, revelries, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murder, and the like (Galatians 5:19-21).

"Shall not" in the Greek translation is a double negation. That means I will never ever. Who wouldn't want to be free from the bondage of the flesh? I for sure do not want to be held captive by the demands of my flesh. It is tiring. It is suffocating. It is dry. It is lifeless. It is fruitless.

"Walk," Paul said. He did not say "live" but "walk." Why? Because the moment I made the decision to accept Jesus in my heart, immediately thereafter, I live in His Spirit. "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. - Galatians 5:25"

However, I cannot just live in the Spirit, I must also walk in the Spirit. Walk is an action word. It's not passive. It's moving. It requires constant motion. Paul also said "in" the Spirit, not "with" the Spirit. "In" and "with" may sound like it's the same thing, but these two words totally have different meanings. "In" emphasizes inclusion, being contained in a place, not alongside, and obvioulsy not outside. "With"on the other hand indicates a participant in action, partnering, doing an action with another person.

I appreciate how Paul carefully chose and used the preposition "in" instead of "with." He knew the importance of walking inside the power of the Holy Spirit than just partnering or working with the Holy Spirit. If I only make myself a partner of the Holy Spirit, without question, I will fail, leave, or betray Him. It's because I am depending on my own effort which is futile and weak. But being inside and under His care, I will have success.

When I make conscious, intentional decision each day to abide and tread in the Holy Spirit's realm, I am assured to enjoy the freedom that is promised. When I walk in the Spirit I will bear His fruit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Now the question, how do I walk in the Spirit? I walk in the Spirit by humbling my heart in prayer. I pray for help. A very simple, "Holy Spirit, help me." especially when I feel that the lust of my flesh is overpowering my heart. I've tried it many times. And in those times I cried out for His help, the Holy Spirit never disappointed me. He always pulled me out from the pit of bondage and gently ushered me to freedom.

On the other hand, there were also times when I allowed myself to wallow in my paralyzing emotions. Those were the times I granted my heart permission to be prideful. I was so full of pride that my mouth could not open to say "help me." However, in those times, my Father God remained faithful. The Holy Spirit never left me even when I neglected Him. He was always there in the process with me, so patiently prodding, lifting, pacifying. He never let go until I was free.

How awesome. How faithful. How magnificent is the God who created, loves me, and never leaves me.

Father, in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, I lay down at Your feet my weaknesses. I offer to you the selfishness of my flesh. I ask that You help me to humble my heart especially in times the enemy attacks me. Help me gain the strength and humility to call the Holy Spirit to help me walk in Him in my waking moments and give me shalom peace when I'm asleep. Amen.