Though we have been born again, we are still clothed in a physical body. Accordingly, we still have desires in our flesh that aim to please our fleshly desires and not God. So what’s a Christian to do? In Paul’s letter to the church at Galatia he writes, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust [desire] of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
This verse acknowledges that Christians have desires of the flesh. But the verse also lets us know that when those desires are wrong, we don’t have to carry them out. Instead, we can choose to walk in the Spirit.
Since the key to success is to walk in the Spirit, let’s talk about what that means. That’s one of the clichés we Christians use. Ah, you just need to walk in the Spirit, we may say. Well that’s true, but what does that mean? In Christianity, we have our own lingo. And we tend to throw terms out there without explaining what they mean.
So to discuss what it means to walk in the Spirit, consider the words found in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance….” The point is that whenever we are walking in the Spirit, we will display one or more of these attributes because they are attributes of the fruit of the Spirit. In other words, the act of walking in the Spirit manifests itself through our displaying these attributes. The works of the flesh are diametrically opposed to these attributes.
Let’s just focus on one of these attributes, say longsuffering, to see how this works. Longsuffering has to do with patience. It denotes our ability to stay calm even when someone is provoking us or trying to push our buttons. If we fall for the bait, we will react out of our flesh and retaliate or go into anger mode. Responding that way constitutes walking in the flesh. The goal is to condition ourselves to stay cool, calm and collected even when someone is trying us. Only when we can do that are we walking in the Spirit.
That was just a quick example. But I believe you get the point on how we can use each of the attributes listed above to learn how to walk in the Spirit in the various areas in our life.
Please understand that your flesh is never going to be on board with serving the Lord. If you allow your flesh and your natural or worldly thinking to govern your life, though you may be born again, you will live as though you are not. That’s why it’s a must that we condition our mind and keep renewing our mind to walk in the Spirit.
Copyright © 2018 by Frank King. All rights reserved.