Gal. 5:16 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).
I talk with believers all the time who say they want to see God’s will done in their life, but unfortunately are not. Too often we are letting our fleshly ways get the best of us and in doing so missing out on what is God’s will for our lives. I recently asked a group of men who were married if they knew what makes their spouse upset or mad. They all responded that they did. I then asked, “Why then do we do things that we know will upset them and make them mad? What is the benefit in that?”
So often we do things that we know are not going to reap good results. If we love the Lord we don’t even do so with willful intentions, but yet we do things in the flesh, which does not bring good results. As scripture reveals there is nothing good that dwells in the flesh, for the flesh is opposed to God. So what can we do about this? Well as always God has an answer. This is one of the most important things to learn as a believer. One of the primary goals after getting born again is to become more and more spiritual. To be spiritual means to be governed by the spirit, which is to be led by the Holy Spirit. The more spiritual we become, the more we are walking in the Spirit. When we do this we do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
The desires of the flesh apart from the Spirit of God are not going to reap good results. If we respond to people out of the flesh for example we will then often oppose what God says we should do in that situation. This brings about results that none of us like. If we face decisions in life and our response is founded off of what our flesh wants to do this will result in us missing out on God’s will for our life. So if you want to totally change your life and walk in the Spirit, which brings all the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), we must learn to do so.
So the key as to how we learn to become spiritual and not respond according to our old human fleshly nature is to walk in the Spirit. This is learning to live our life governed by the Holy Spirit who will always lead us in what is God’s will for our life, and in turn will produce godly fruit, which is far better than the fruit of the flesh. In Galatians 5:19-21 there is a list of the fruits of the flesh, and all you have to do is look over that list and I can assure you those are things you do not want to live in. There are two primary things associated with walking in the Spirit. That is what I want to teach you this week. So let’s begin.
John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
Here Jesus also states that the flesh is of no profit. Think about that. He declares it is the Spirit who gives life, and that is the word for “Zoe”, which means the god-kind of life. Now notice what He says at the end of this verse. The words that He spoke are spirit, and they are life. Did you get that? You see the first and most important truth to walking in the Spirit is one that is often overlooked. Jesus’ words are spirit. Therefore, if we will learn to walk in light of and obedience to His Words, you will begin to walk in the Spirit.
This is where you see an immediate problem for far too many that are born again. To walk in the light of and obedience to the Word’s of Jesus you must get into His Word; primarily focusing on what Jesus said, and what His disciples said which they learned of Him. If we don’t take time to get into His Word then how can we walk in the Spirit? There are two aspects to walking in the Word. First and foremost is learning to walk in the light of the Word of God, being obedient to what is says.
1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Walking in the light of God’s Word is practicing the truth, which is the Word of God. When we put God’s Word into practice in our lives then we walk in the light as He is in the light, and we walk in the liberty that has come from the blood of Jesus, which cleansed us from all sin. James tells us that we are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. One who hears but does not take the time to put application of the Word into their life James said deceives himself. So don’t be self-deceived, walk in the light of the Word by practicing what it says. Like anything you practice that means you are going to get good at it because you are going to make an effort to practice.
2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
The second key to walking in the Word is to live with an understanding of who you are in Christ Jesus. If you don’t take the time to meditate on and renew your mind to who you are in Christ, you are going to continue to think with the old fleshly mindset. You are NOT an old sinner saved by grace. You are a NEW creation. You can’t be both. You are a spirit and your spirit is born again. You are a new creature all together made in the image of God. You must learn this or the old fleshly nature will continue to dominate your life.
Rom. 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Rom. 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Rom. 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit…
To walk in life, the god-kind of life, you must also be led by the Spirit of God. But whatever you do don’t put this before walking in line with the Word of God. When you talk about walking in the Spirit this is what most people think of, being led by the Holy Spirit, and it is included. But if you are not going to get into the Word and walk in the light of the Word, you are not going to be able to accurately be led by the Holy Spirit. Everything He tells us to do is in line with the Word of God.
In verse 13 above Paul is stating the same thing here that we started with in Galatians 5:16. When we allow our flesh to make our decisions and not walk in the Spirit, then we are going to have the fruit of the flesh manifesting. But when we walk in the Spirit we are going to have life for we will have the fruit of the Spirit manifested in and through us. God wants to lead us by His Spirit. A key to this is that His Spirit is not going to speak to our brain. Notice it says that His Spirit bears witness with our spirit. God is a Spirit, and He is going to reveal Himself to us through our spirit. So we must learn to listen to our spirit man within to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Let me share a key to how we can learn to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
James 1:19 Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.
One of the simplest truths to being led by the Spirit is to quit reacting immediately to what you hear, or to what goes on around you. Be quick to hear, a ready listener, and slow to speak. It is our flesh that wants to immediately speak, and when we do so without taking time to hear what God would say in that situation, we are not going to walk in the Spirit, we are going to walk in the flesh.
If we are taking time to hear this not only refers to us listening to what someone is saying, but also to what God is wanting us to say or do in that situation. I have by no means perfected this, but I have avoided some arguments and created fewer problems to deal with in my life when doing this. Think about how different your life would be if you took the time before responding to any situation in your life to simply ask the Holy Spirit, “What would God want me to say or do here?” If we will really learn this habit of listening first to our spirit man, not our thoughts or what we think, but really zeroing in on our spirit man within to hear from God, how different would our lives be? How different would our relationships be?
God gave us a great Helper, the Holy Spirit. But how often do we take advantage of this great Helper to really stop and listen to what He is trying to tell us to do or say? Walk in the light of the Word and listen to the Holy Spirit within you. Doing so you will walk in the Spirit and thus not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. The results will be much better, and you will experience more of God’s will for your life. You will walk in the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of the flesh. It is a much more peaceful and joyful way to live life.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker