Thursday, August 02, 2012

What does it mean to "Walk by the Spirit?"

“But I say to you, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh!”
Galatians 5:16

In our current message series here at Gaylord E-Free Church that we are calling “Walk This Way,” we are learning what it means to “walk by the Spirit.”  In this one verse we learn 6 aspects that are involved.

Last Sunday we saw that walking by the Spirit involves a POWER.  By what power are we to walk?  We are to do so by the power of the Holy Spirit.  We took time last Sunday to see how the Holy Spirit indwells us and empowers us.  We gave special attention to the three commands given to us in Scripture in relation to the Holy Spirit.

We are to be filled with the Spirit, meaning that we are to allow the Spirit of God to control our lives.

We are not to grieve the Spirit, meaning that we are not to do what the Spirit directs us not to do.

We are not to quench the Spirit, meaning that we are to be careful to do what the Holy Spirit prompts us to do.

This Sunday we will see the final 5 aspects of walking by the Spirit as seen in this verse from Galatians.

Walking by the Spirit involves a PATTERN.  The word “walk” is written in the present tense showing a habitual pattern of life.  In other words, this is speaking of a daily routine as opposed to a “one time deal.”  That is why we have 5 gigantic shoes on the stage – a work boot; a dress shoe; a sneaker; a slipper; and even a bare foot.  This is to show us that it does not matter what activity we are involved in, we are to “Walk by the Spirit.”

Walking by the Spirit involves a PROGRESS.  The word “walk” implies going from one place to another.  Each day that we live on this earth we should become more and more like Jesus.  This happens as we “walk by the Spirit.”

Walking by the Spirit involves a PARTNERSHIP.  Walking by the Spirit is not God waving a magic wand over our head and saying the magic words “Bippity Boppity Boo” and suddenly we always walk by the Spirit.  It is not just, “let go and let God.”  We have a responsibility in the process as seen in the following verses:

We are commanded in Romans 6:12 – “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts.”  

We need to starve our old nature as commanded in Colossians 3:5 – “Consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed which amounts to idolatry.“ 

We need to master our old nature as Paul spoke of in 1 Corinthians 9:27 – “But I beat my body and make it my slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

Walking in the Spirit involves a PRIORITY.  The verb, “walk.” is in the imperative mood making it a command, not simply an option or a suggestion.  The fact is that if I am not “walking by the Spirit” I am not living in the will of God.

There is one more aspect to walking by the Spirit that I will share in my blog posting tomorrow.  I like it because it is built on a grammar rule that would be shunned by every English teacher in America – the dreaded “double negative.”

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