“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:16-25.,
I am often disappointed in myself in how far short I fall of the standard of being perfect as God is perfect as commanded of Christians in Matthew 5:48. As Christians we are already living in the Spirit as we are given the Holy Spirit at salvation (Romans 8:9). However, the only way to live a consistently holy life is to consistently walk in the Spirit. The Greek word for “walk” in the first sentence of the passage above is peripateo, which means “to walk about.” The word for “walk” in the last sentence is stoicheo, which means “to walk in a row, go in order.” The first use gives the general instruction to walk in the Spirit and the second use an indication that it is a learned process by following the Holy Spirit’s lead and meant to be a consistent, habitual process for a Christian. The Holy Spirit, living in us, is the power that we draw on to walk in the Spirit.
The reason Christians fail to live a holy life, at times, is that we choose to walk in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. The fruits of each are listed above so it is not difficult to determine which, Spirit or flesh, we are walking in at any given moment. A true believer will not consistently walk in the flesh but we all have times of failure, tempted by our fallen nature. However, we always have the power of the Holy Spirit within us to overcome our fleshly nature if we will yield to it.
Let us resolve to live life more consistently in the Spirit. The wonderful fruits of the Spirit will then be our reward. Do you want joy and peace and self-control, then live in the Spirit? Start out today. You cannot be the person you would like to be, that God has put into your heart to be, without walking consistently in the Spirit. If you have a fall, get back up and continue taking your steps, one-by-one, walking in the Spirit. Let us march in step under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Ronald Fung has stated “The Christian life is not a balloon ascension with some great overpowering experience of soaring to the heights. Rather it is a daily walk; it is a matter of putting one foot ahead of the other, in dependence upon the Holy Spirit.” Let us start today, even if baby-steps at first.