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9/17/14 - Your Life: Walking step by step in the Spirit

Published: Wednesday, 17 September 2014 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16-18, 25-26

Many Christians have a difficult time in applying the Word of God to their lives.  I admit that you have to study the Bible to get to the meat of what it says.  In all cases, however, the Christian must allow the Holy Spirit to guide them into spiritual truths that can be easily applied to their life.  When it comes to living a life for God, God has made this easy for Believers.  God is a God of understanding and simplicity.  He expects us to make mistakes.  As Believers, we make living a Godly life difficult, because we believe that God expects us to be perfect.  It is not our actions, but how we think before taking action that results in whether we live by the Spirit or the flesh.  The verses above provide great encouragement for all Believers as they try to live a life for God.

The verses above say to “walk by the Spirit”.  The Greek word “parapateo” is translated as “walk” meaning “as you live”.  In other words, as you are going about your daily activities, always rely on the Holy Spirit at every moment.  By being totally dependent on the Holy Spirit to guide your life, you will not be motivated by your selfish desires.  Jesus Christ is our supreme example.  He said that he only did what his Father, God, showed him to do.  Jesus never spent time dwelling on his own problems.  He also said that we should not fret about yesterday or worry about tomorrow, but only live for the moment.  I think all Christians would choose to live by the Spirit if our minds were not so cluttered with the things in the past or in the future.

Every decision that you make is either for the Spirit or for the flesh.  They cannot coexist.  There is not a third option.  This is made abundantly clear in these verses.  You either walk by the Spirit or you walk by your flesh.  If you walk by the Spirit, you are free.  If you walk by the flesh, you become in bondage to the flesh.  If a Christian walks too often by the flesh, the chains become heavier and more difficult to break.  To repent and begin walking in the Spirit will appear to be difficult to almost impossible; but it is not.  As you live each moment of each day, God patiently waits for you to take that first step in the Spirit.  It is the step you take in the Spirit that allows you to become more Christ-like in how you live your life. 

The second part of the verses above (25 and 26) emphasizes that we should “live” by the Spirit.  The Greek work “live” is “stoichomen”.  This is a life-giving word for all Christians.  It means to walk in the Spirit step by step.  It means that your spiritual walk should be a basic and elementary step in the Spirit; in other words, one step at a time. This removes the complexity of trying to figure out how to live a life in the Spirit.

God, in His grace toward us, knows the temptations of the flesh and how strong they can be to the point of overwhelming us.  He gives us the opportunity to take “baby steps” in the Spirit.  The word “stoichomen” implies to walk one step at a time.  This is wonderful news for all Believers.  We can live in the Spirit with our hearts intent on pleasing God.  When we are uncertain about God’s will, He encourages us to walk by trial and error.  It is not that God expects us to be righteous in every step we make in living. He does expect us to keep on walking and learning how to live in the Spirit. 

Living a Christian life is one step at a time.  Do not become overwhelmed with your walking in the flesh.  Do not dwell on your past sins when you were trying to please yourself.  Don’t worry about the future whether you will walk in the flesh or the Spirit.  Make a point to walk in the Spirit now, at each moment of today.  You can do this when you can discern God’s Holy Spirit and your flesh.  Practice walking in the Spirit (stoichmen) and you will be living (parapateo) a life that God intends.

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