Walking in the Spirit: Galatians 5:16-26; 6:7-9
Walking in the Spirit: Galatians 5:16-26; 6:7-9By: Todd Hudnall
Yesterday the weekend message at Radiant was entitled "Supernatural". We learned four paradoxical but key truths in breaking free into God's best for our lives. They were: life out of death, strength out of weakness, wholeness out of separation and activity out of rest. This week's study guide lesson is lesson four - "Align". It is the longest lesson in the workbook and foundational truth for the rest of the campaign. It will help you better understand the principle of wholeness out of seperation. By the way, tomorrow's reading was a misprint. It shouldn't be Galatians 8:1-18 but Romans 8:1-18.
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
In the Scripture walk is a metaphor for relationship (Gen 5:24). This is about a close, intimate relationship with God. It is also a choice. We can walk in the Spirit or we can walk in the flesh. Every day, every hour, every moment, we can chose to stay in relationship with the Lord. If we will do that, living from the Spirit within, we will not allow the flesh to control us.
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
Remember to help understand flesh – spell it backwards and drop the “f.” You get self. Self, wanting to be in control and living independent of God. There is a war between the Spirit having control or the flesh. The battlefield is the mind.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The answer is not legalism but being led through life by your relationship with God – living by the Spirit, not in the flesh.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
When these sort of characteristics are in your life you can be assured your aren’t walking in the Spirit. If these characteristics dominate your life as your habitual way of living – you shouldn’t have any expectation that you are actually part of God’s Kingdom. You are living in the Kingdom of Self and need to repent – turning from that way of life to God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
This list of characteristics are signs of someone walking in the Spirit. Fruit isn’t forced but is a natural product of a life surrendered to Christ. A person’s life overflowing with these trait has no need of law. Living in the Spirit is far superior to living under law.
24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
When we surrendered our lives to Christ, we were saying “away with living according to the passions and desires of the flesh.” It was like nailing them to the cross, yet they are still potential. As such we must live and walk in the Spirit to experience it as a reality.
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
The key is what we are sowing to. If we are giving our mind a life to fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, the flesh will grow stronger. If we give ourselves to the Spirit, our walk with God will grow stronger. It reminds me of an imperfect but helpful story.
An elderly Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life… He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf is evil -- he is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego. The other is good---he is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.” They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied: “The one you feed”.
The battle of Spirit versus Flesh is similar. What we feed becomes stronger and more dominate. We must sow to the Spirit but spending time reading and meditating God’s Word, through praise and worship, by praying in the Spirit and carrying on a constant relationship with Jesus.