Lesson 13 -- second quarter 2002
May 26, 2002
© Copyright 2002, Christian Light Publications
What is walking in the Spirit?
Dealing with temptation can be very difficult. The wiles of the devil and the enticements of our flesh can make life a constant struggle. I know. Last week I staggered through some of the strongest moral assaults I've had to endure in a long time. Though I couldn't have given you the reference, I knew that the key to my survival lay in the truth of Galatians 5:16, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."
A life that consistently denies the lusts of the flesh is very attractive to the believer. But how do we attain to such a wonderful life experience? We know the verse says, "Walk in the Spirit," but just how is that done?!
Before revealing the answer, here are two more verses to whet further your appetite for walking after the Spirit. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1). The Spirit walk frees us of all condemnation! "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:4). The Spirit walk fulfills righteousness . . . in us! So just how do we walk in and after the Spirit?
I think Romans 8:5 illuminates our understanding by asserting that those who are "after the Spirit" mind the things "of the Spirit." In other words, walking in the Spirit means deliberately and purposefully choosing to value that which the Spirit values. It means choosing responses and attitudes that we know to be correct, even when we do not feel like having those responses and attitudes. Or as we read in Romans 8:14, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Walking in the Spirit means asking and allowing the Spirit to direct our lives. It means doing what we know to be right, no matter what.
My friend, the Christian who purposes to walk daily in the Spirit is one who has determined that he has lived by the flesh long enough. Such a Christian makes a determination to live the rest of his time in this life, not "to the lusts of men, but to the will of God" (1 Peter 4:2). And this determination he makes not just once in a lifetime, and not even once a day. This determination he reaffirms each time he is tempted to live after his flesh -- multiple times each day, if it is necessary!
Meekness will protect you
Jill saw clearly the wrongness of what Jackie had done. Because Jackie was her friend and sister in the faith, Jill felt responsible to confront and correct her. Alas, she went as an arrogant judge, without meekness and compassion. Thankfully, Jackie recognized her wrong and corrected her life, despite the wrong spirit and approach that Jill employed. Jackie went on and prospered spiritually. Unfortunately, Jill, who had been so strong where Jackie had been weak, was left susceptible because of her lack of meekness. Later people would shake their heads in puzzlement and wonder when Jill failed dramatically in the very area of her former greatest strength.
Though that story is a figment of my imagination, it tells the story of many lives . . . including my own. My friend, when you begin to feel the first faint twinges of contempt and judgmentalism and arrogance because of another's failings, reject them! Choose love, compassion, and meekness. Ask God to put them in your heart. Otherwise, you cannot help the defeated one. Neither will you be able to help yourself in your own hour of testing.
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