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Walk In The Spirit

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Galatians 5:16-17)

The Holy Spirit dwells within us from the moment we first accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? First, the word "walk" suggests an ongoing action, rather than a one-time event. "Flesh" is used here, as it was used hundreds of times in the Scriptures, to refer to our carnal selves --- the center of SELF: self-pride, self-will, self-seeking, self-indulgence, and self-satisfaction. The Bible says that in the flesh, we cannot please God --- it goes against our very sinful human nature! The Bible tells us:

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.( Romans 8:7-8)

There is a constant battle between the Spirit and the flesh. They are exact opposites, and cannot co-exist peacefully. When we are born again, we do not immediately lose all our ungodly desires. The old habits, the old patterns of behavior, the old desires still exist, and they continually war against the new Spirit within us. We are torn between two opposite desires: the spiritual desire to please God, and the carnal desire to please ourselves. As long as we remain in this fleshly body, we will never be free of this spiritual conflict.

To walk in the Spirit means to be fully attuned to the guidance and control of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit within us will work to check our fleshly desire to sin. The Holy Spirit is given to us to lead and guide us, to remind us of God's word, to teach us and lead us in the paths of righteousness, and to develop in us the fruits of the Spirit. So how do we learn to walk in the Spirit? Jesus offered us an answer when He said,

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matt. 26:41)

Two things: watch, and pray. Watchful diligence, heeding the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Constant prayer: daily, or hourly or even minute by minute if necessary. That is what we have to learn to do in order to walk in the Spirit.


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