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Living and Walking in the Spirit- Part 2

Living and Walking in the Spirit

by Pastor Linda Roach

      "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). If we live by the Holy Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit)" (Galatians 5:16, 25 Amplified).

     Early in my Christian walk I did not really understand what it meant to "walk in the Spirit." In fact, I thought that someone who "walking in the Spirit" was someone who knew the Bible very well and was quiet, reserved, contemplative and operated in the supernatural gifts of the Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12.

     But, this is not the Biblical description of walking in the Spirit which Galatians describes. Again Galatians 5:16 (Amplified) says, "But I say, walk ad 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)."

     Did you know that this is the only place in the New Testament which uses the phrase "walk in the Spirit"? According to this Scripture, "walking in the Spirit" refers to not walking by the dictates of the flesh, but instead, being controlled by the Spirit that is within the born again heart.

     When you receive Jesus into your heart, His life and nature come to live, dwell, abide, rest and remain in you. Your old way of life ceases to exist, and a brand new life begins to take shape. You receive the Spirit of God into your heart. Your human spirit is recreated, born again and made new. You literally become a new person on the inside.

     Second Corinthians 5:17 (Amplified) says, "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!" GLORY TO GOD FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!

     If you are IN CHRIST JESUS, your former way of life has been cleansed by the Blood of the Lord Jesus and crucified with Christ!! You have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!! GLORY!!!!

     THE OLD IS GONE FOREVER AND THE NEW HAS COME!!!

      In Galatians 2:20 Paul says, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me."

      The very moment you invited the Lord Jesus into your heart, His divine nature and the power of His Spirit moved into your human spirit. Just think of it!!

     When you received the Lord Jesus, you received all of His fullness (John 1:16). That means you received all of His nature into your recreated human spirit. All of His fruit came into your life and now you have His power to live a brand new victorious life.

     John 1:12 tells us, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."

     How are we to live and walk out this new life that resides on the inside of us? BY FAITH!!! Faith believes and accepts God's Word and acts upon it. Faith also believes and acts upon God's Word regardless of its feelings. Sometimes we do not "feel" like walking in the Spirit.

     Did you notice that in this passage we read in John 1:12 that Jesus gives us His power in order to help us to become? As long as we live on planet earth, we continually are "becoming" like Jesus. In fact, 2 Corinthians 3:18 says we are being changed from glory to glory into His image by His Spirit.

     You begin to live in the Spirit the moment you are born again. You "become" a living spirit, alive unto God and dead to the old life. Your state of being is then "in Christ." But living in the Spirit and walking in the Spirit are two different things. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatian 5:25, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."

     Here is an example: Children who are born into a family learn to walk (or conduct themselves) like their parents. You can be born into God's family but not yet walk like our heavenly Father. A small baby who is definitely alive, but who has not made the effort to walk yet, needs the help and encouragement of those who already can walk. This is also true spiritually speaking. No one wants to stay a baby and never grow up. This is why we must choose to walk and grow in the Spirit.

     "Whoever says he abides in Him ought (as a personal debt) to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which he walked and conducted Himself" (1 John 2:6 Amplified). Jesus gives us a perfect example of walking in the Spirit. And we are to pattern our walk after Him.

     "Walking in the Spirit" is to walk according to the lifestyle of Jesus. It is a continual maturing and changing process. You might think that walking in the Spirit is difficult and even unattainable. However, by renewing your mind to God's Word, you can walk in His characteristics and His nature.

     Once you understand that it is not you living your life anymore but Jesus Himself in you with you yielding to Him, that's when Jesus begins to flow through you.

     You become conscious of His presence and you do not want to grieve His Spirit on the inside of you. You become more aware of the quesiton, "What would Jesus do?" However, this comes through daily, intimate fellowship and communion with Him and then being sensitive and aware of His presence with you throughout each day.

     I would like to spend just a few minutes talking about the three-part nature that makes up who you are. We have already established that once you are born again, you are a new person on the inside and you have a brand new nature implanted within you-- IT IS THE VERY NATURE OF GOD HIMSELF!

     The attributes and characteristics of His nature--love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control--are all implanted within your spirit when you are born again.

     At the very moment of your new birth, when you submit to the Lordship of Christ Jesus, the growth process of these characteristics begins in your soul and body realms.

     So, you are a spirit, you possess a soul and you live in a body. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

     Know this: **The real you is your spirit man.

     Sometimes the difference between the spirit and the soul is confusing becase these terms are often used interchangeably. However, Hebrews 4:12 tells us that "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

     Colossians 3:10 refers to your spirit man as "the new man." "And have put in the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him." Ephesians 4:24 also refers to your spirit man as the new man. "And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness."

     First Peter 3:4 calls your spirit man "the hidden man of the heart." "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

     This part of us--our spirit man-- is "hidden within us" but is as genuinely real as what we can see with our natural eyes. This is the part that God breathed into Adam when He created him, and the part that He breathes into us (Genesis 2:7).

     Know this: **Our spirit is the part of us that only God can fill and fulfill. This is the part of us that is born again, as Jesus said in John 3:3-8. "Jesus answered and said to him, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?' Jesus answered, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spriit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.'" 

     The soul is that part of us which cannot be seen but is very real-- our thinking faculties and reasoning, along with our emotions, feelings, desires and our will. For human beings both the spirit and the soul will live eternally after the body dies. In the resurrection from the dead, those who have died in Christ will receive a glorified body.

     In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus tell the story of a certain rich man and a beggar named Lazarus. (This s not a parable, or Jesus would have said so. Instead Jesus spoke of this event as an actual happening.)

     Lazarus, the beggar, laid  daily at the rich man's gate, apparently very weak and sick, hoping for some crumbs from the rich man's table. One day, both the rich man and Lazarus died. The rich man went to hell, and Lazarus went to Abraham's bosom (a place of paradise where the righteous went until Jesus came to take them to heaven). 

     We are told that although his body was dead, the rich man could still see, feel and he knew pain and sorrow. He saw Lazarus afar off, beyond the gulf that separated them. The place of eternal torment and fire that he was in caused him to cry out to try to get Lazarus' attention. Lazarus heard him but could not help him because it was too late. Notice, the rich man's thinking faculties, emotions and will to get our of where he was, were still very much alive and active. Know this: **The soul and the spirit of every human being live forever.

     One of the many torments of hells, besides being a lake of etenal fire and brimstone, will be that people there will know about others who go to heaven but they will not be able to join them. Also, they will be able to remember the times they rejected God's Spirit convicting them on earth and the people who tried to warn them. They will also know those they influenced to go to hell. Hell will be the worst horror a person could ever imagine, forever.

     Realizing that we are a spirit, we possess a soul and we live ina body helps us to see why some people who are born again still struggle with walking in the Spirit. **Unless we are constantly renewing our minds with the Word of God, we will not be able to resist the devil and successfully live the Christian life. The soul must be renewed daily to God's Word and His Word is what changes our way of thinking and acting.

     Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he." In other words, whatever you think about, you will act out. That is why it is imperative to control our thoughts and not allow them to think wildly on just anything that comes along. We can choose to think good thoughts and reject wrong thoughts.

     Know this: *God's Word is a perfect plumb line to keep our lives in the perfect balance.