Articles

Walking in the Spirit

Introduction
There is no doubt that the desire of God is for His children to be controlled and led by the Holy Spirit. In John 4:24, Jesus makes it categorically clear that God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” Arguably, any Christian who is not led by the Holy Spirit cannot be said to be a Christian in the real sense of it (Romans 8:14). This could be very hard for a degenerated Christian to accept but this is the truth according to the Scriptures. In other words, the distinguishing factor between a Christian and non-Christian is that one is led by the Spirit of God and the other is not. Thus, walking in the Spirit is to be controlled and led by the Holy Spirit. To walk in it the Spirit is to fulfil the desire of the Spirit. It is to do what God says irrespective of what you desire or how you feel. We walk in the Spirit when we align our human spirit with the desire and direction of the Holy Spirit. It is my prayer that this article will help you to do just that.
Walking in the Spirit is Walking in Action
Walking in the Spirit has to do with action. It is not a passive or some unconscious and impulsive thought. Walking in the Spirit is a call to action: 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).
Arguably, we must be in the Spirit to be able to walk in the Spirit. We cannot walk in the Spirit and expect no change. In other words, the change we have been praying for will only come when we begin to walk in the Spirit. There is no middle course: if we don’t walk in the Spirit, we walk in the flesh. One of the desires of the flesh is lust. Lust is to desire what is forbidden. The flesh is anything that opposes the laws of God. Therefore, to walk in the flesh is to be dead to the leading and life of God because it is the Spirit in the Word of God that gives life (John 6:63).
Walking in the Spirit is Walking in the Word
To walk in the Spirit is to walk in the Word of God (Matthew 4:4). Then it means that if there is no Word there is no walk. The only way to stop walking in the flesh is to start waking in the Spirit. This is not just reading the Word. The Word has to be in us. If we don’t have the Word in us, we cannot walk in the Spirit. When the Word is inside us, we’ll be looking for those to offload it to. It is only the Word of God that can make us strong. No power can stand the Word of God. When the Word of God is inside of us, none can stop our progress. The Word of God makes us powerful (Hebrews 4:12). When we walk in the Word we’ll always be a solution to a problem.
Walking in the Spirit is Walking in Righteousness
Walking in the Spirit is walking in righteousness (Romans 3:22). It is not an exaggeration to say that the entire world is walking in the flesh. This is because the Scriptures warn us that the whole world lieth in wickedness (1 John 5:19). Daniel was walking in the Spirit no wonder he had the vision. When we walk in the Spirit, we walk like Jesus and speak like God (Isaiah 5:10). To fulfil the purpose of God in our lives, we get to walk in the Spirit. Walking in the spirit is renewing our mind through the Word (Romans 12:1). Our righteousness is like a filthy rag in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6). In the new life, we share the righteousness of Christ. The renewal of our minds comes after when we have presented our bodies—emotion, spirit, soul and desire—to God. This is living in holiness.
Arguably, holiness is not being against something but being for something. We should think highly of ourselves in the light of God’s revelation to us. Sin is too low for us. We must think of ourselves with sober judgment. When there is no temptation to overcome, there is no holiness. Holiness has to do with relationship.
Walking in the Spirit is Walking in the Light
Walking in the Spirit is walking in the light. The world’s system is in darkness and the Word of God is light (Psalms 119:105&130). Arguably, since Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1), He is the light of men (John 1:4). In Genesis 1:2, God called light out of His Word because His Word is light. Darkness could not overpower Jesus because no darkness can overpower light. When we walk in the light, we cannot be overpowered by the power of darkness. Light can never be defeated. Of course you know how much the power of darkness fears light. We cannot stumble when there is light.
Walking in the light is walking in divine revelation because light reveals things. Deuteronomy 29:29 says that the secret things belong to God but when we walk in the Word; God can reveal the secrets to us. The revelation we get when we walk in the light brings supernatural wisdom. Thus, walking in the light is walking in wisdom. When we walk in wisdom we’ll not fear anything or anybody except God because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The Word of God brings illumination to every dark area in our lives. This is why God in Hosea 4:6 laments that         His people perish for lack of knowledge.
Inversely, walking outside of the Word of God is walking in darkness. Proverbs 20:27 says that the spirit of man is the candle of God. In other words, God uses the regenerated human spirit to search his entire being. There’s no light for the world except the Word of God and the Word of God is the truth.
Again, walking in the light is walking in God’s goodness. The road of darkness leads to destruction. Therefore, walking in the light is walking in safety. Walking in darkness is walking in ignorance, weakness and chaos. Do you now wonder why there is so much chaos in the world today? The world is walking in darkness!
Walking in the Spirit is Walking in Obedience
Walking in the Spirit is walking in obedience. Without any castigation, some ministers of God walk in the gifts of the Holy Spirit but fail to walk in the fruit of the Holy Spirit among which is obedience (Galatians 5:23). This is why minimal miracles are wrought in the church today. Walking in obedience is waking in power. If we walk in obedience, we’ll do miracles. A haughty Christian cannot claim to walk in the Spirit.
Walking in the Spirit is Walking in Power and Love
Walking in the Spirit is walking in power and love. When we walk in the Spirit, we need no law to direct us except the law of love (Galatians 5:23). Arguably, Satan can duplicate the gifts of the Spirit but not the fruit. So, we should covet the fruit of the Spirit more than the gifts. In the subsequent sections, I’ll talk more on the fruit of the Spirit. In fact, the greatest power in the world is love. It is love that took Jesus to the cross. Tell me what you will not do for the person you love? You can’t walk in the Spirit unless you walk in love. This not just loving your friends and relatives alone; you must also love your enemies. Walking in the Spirit is to love the unlovable because love covers the multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).
Walking in the Spirit is Walking in Forgiveness
Walking in the Spirit is walking in forgiveness. It amazes me to see many Christians walk in unforgiveness. Many Christians walk in unforgiveness because of pride. When we walk the Spirit, God will exalt us (Philippians 2:5-13). Walking in the Spirit is walking in the mind of Christ and Christ has a forgiving mind. You see, if don’t forgive; you don’t walk in the Spirit. You walk in the flesh.
The Works of the Flesh (Galatians 5:17-19, Romans 8:1–7)
To walk in the Spirit, you should know the works of the flesh so that you can avoid them. Selfish ambition is the work of the flesh; witchcraft is the work of the flesh. Witchcraft has to do with the spirit of Jezebel—the spirit of trying to usurp authority. This spirit can control either through domination or manipulation. The strong dominates the weak and the weak manipulates the strong. A person whose lifestyle is fashioned by the Spirit is not subject to law or any accusation. He or she is not subject to the laws of the flesh.
The Character of the Holy Spirit
To walk in the Spirit successfully, we need to know the characteristics and works of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has both charisma and character. Contrary to what many religious scholars would make us believe, the Holy Spirit is a Person not wind, dove, force or fowl (John 16:7). Other characters of the Holy Spirit are outlined below:
  • The Holy Spirit creates (Job 33:4);
  • The Holy Spirit inspires all Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16);
  • The Holy Spirit confirms that Jesus is within you (1 John 4:13);
  • The Holy Spirit designs the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:11);
  • The Holy Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6);
  • The Holy Spirit confirms our relationship with God (Romans 8:14);
  • The Holy Spirit imparts a personal prayer language to increases our faith and strength (Jude 1:20);
  • The Holy Spirit talks to us. He advises us (Revelations 2:7);
  • The Holy Spirit anoints. He is the source of anointing or power (Luke 4:18);
  • The Holy Spirit is the source of our pursuits in life;
  • The Holy Spirit knows every detail of God’s purpose for our lives (Romans 8:27–28);
  • The Holy Spirit decides when we’re ready to be tested (Luke 4:1-2). In this Scripture, we are told that Jesus was driven to the wilderness by the Spirit but the sad news is that most believers today are driven by ego but not by the Spirit. When we walk in the Spirit, we are driven by the Spirit—the Holy Spirit chooses where to go, time to go, whom to meet and what to say.
  • The Holy Spirit intercedes for us on earth (Romans 8:26);
  • The Holy Spirit loves singing (Psalms 100:1-2);
  • The Holy Spirit is the source of joy (Psalms 16:11);
  • The Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11). What this means to us Christians is that the Holy Spirit will not only raise us up from the dead at the resurrection but will also raise up everything that is dead in our lives.
  • The Holy Spirit removes all fear from our lives (2 Timothy 1:7);
  • The Holy Spirit shows us pictures of future dreams, imagination and desires (John 16:13, Acts 7:55);
  • The Holy Spirit gives us the love we need (Romans 5:5);
  • The Holy Spirit decides our assignments (Acts 13:2–4);
  • The Holy Spirit enables us to enter in to the Kingdom of God (John 3:5–6);
  • The Holy Spirit guides those who are sons of God (Romans 8:14);
  • The Holy Spirit knows the person to whom we have been assigned (Acts 8:29);
  • The Holy Spirit protects us by sending inner warning to protect us from wrong people or places (Acts 16:6-7);
  • The Holy Spirit is grieved and saddened by wrong behaviour (Ephesians 4:30);
  • The Holy Spirit reviews every motive and movement of our lives (Jeremiah 17:10);
  • The Holy Spirit withdraws when offended (Hosea 5.15).
Walking in the Spirit is Walking in a New Life
A believer is no longer under the law of sin and death. In other words, sin is no longer natural to a believer (Romans 6:1-8). Walking in the Spirit is your responsibility. If you can’t accept responsibility, you can’t be saved. Think about when you came to surrender your life to Christ. Did someone force or persuade you to do that? You determined to do that I guess. In the same vein, you should determine whether to walk in the Spirit or in the flesh.
Walking in the Spirit is walking in a new life. There are different kinds of lives: Bios (the natural life); Bsucse (mind or soul-controlled life); Anastrophe (confused life) and Zoë (the life of God or the gene of God). This is the kind of life being referred to in (John 3:16). This is why a child of God is not obliged to sin—he or she has the life of God.
In order to walk in a new life, we must present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1). Rick warren in his classics, Purpose Driven Life said that the problem with a living sacrifice is that it can crawl off the altar. So it is your responsibility to bring it back each time it does that. That is to say, we must continually devote or rededicate our lives to God.
The Walk of a Believer
A believer has been raised to life in a new life. He or she walks in faith. Arguably, there is no Land of Promise in the New Testament but land of promises. We walk spiritually into this land. Walking in the Spirit means always giving the Spirit what He wants. To walk in the Spirit is a choice and everyday we’re faced with choices.
  • A believer walks consistently (Ephesians 4:1) and consistency makes us anything. A Christian is one who consistently manifests Christ in him by walking in the Spirit.
  • A believer walks in the spirit love (Ephesians 5:2) and there is no love without a sacrifice. So, to walk in love, we must be ready to make some sacrifice.
  • A believer’s walk is a careful walk (Ephesians 5:15; Colossians 2:6). This carefulness means being conscious of a righteous living.
  • A believer’s walk is that of illumination (John 1:7).
  • A believer’s walk is a walk of Christ likeness (1 John 2:6).
Walking in the Spirit is Walking in the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22)
Love: Love is a strong ardent tender compassionate devotion to the well-being of another (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). It can also be said to mean a personal commitment to make someone happy. This kind of love is also called an agape or unconditional love. Other kinds of love are: stuave (family love), philia (love between friends), Eros (romantic love) and epithumia (sexual, erotic love or lust). Walking in the Spirit is walking in the proper expression of these loves.
Joy: Joy is emotional excitement, gladness or delight over blessing received or expected about self or others. It also means being happy with God despite our situation. Walking in the Spirit is walking joyfully on a daily basis. If you walk in the Spirit, you will not harbour resentment and bitterness towards God and people.
Peace: The Greek word for peace is Irene. It means a state of quietness, rest, repose, harmony, order and security in the midst of turmoil, strife and temptation. Contrary to what many people believe, peace is not the absence of trouble. In other words, we can have peace even in a tumultuous world like ours if we walk in the Spirit.
Longsuffering: Longsuffering is patient endurance to bear long with frailties offences, injuries and provocation of others without murmuring, complaining or resentment. When we walk in the Spirit, we will be able to tolerate the excesses of other people and to wait on God.
Gentleness: Gentleness is the disposition to a gentle soft-spoken, kind, even temper, refined in character and conduct. It amazes me to see many haughty people who claim to be Christians.  Walking in the Spirit is walking in gentleness.
Goodness: Goodness is the state of being good, kind, virtuous benevolent, generous, and Godlike in life and conduct. When we walk in the Spirit, we show goodness to people irrespective of class or creed.
Faith: Faith is the living divinely-implanted, acquired and creative principle of inward and wholehearted confidence, assurance, trust and reliance in God and what He says. This is why the Scriptures say that the just shall live by his faith (Habakkuk 2:4). Although there is no fruit of the Spirit which is inferior, faith seems to be the most important among them. This is because without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). I want to add here that the faith in the context of this Scripture is the faith in our definition, which is called living faith which is different from the saving faith that brought us to Christ. The saving faith (downward) brought us to Christ and the living faith (upward) keep us in Christ.
Meekness: Meekness is the disposition to a gentle, kind indulgence even-balanced in temper and passions and patient in suffering injuries without a feeling of revenge. Meekness is power under control. It is not weakness as many people think. So, to walk in the Spirit is to walk in meekness.
Temperance: Temperance is self–control—a moderation in the indulgence in appetite and passions.  Walking in the Spirit does not go with debauchery or orgies. These are the cravings of the flesh.
Walking in the Spirit is Walking in the Presence of God
Walking in the Spirit is Walking in the Presence of God. Arguably, those in heaven don’t need to learn to walk in the Spirit because they are always in the presence of God. But here on earth, we must learn to walk in His presence. God manifests His presence only to those that walk in the Spirit. His presence is where we get instructions (Isaiah 30:21).
When we walk in the Spirit, there is fullness of joy and that fullness of joy can only be found in the presence of God (Psalms 16:11). As children of God, we should desire the “milk” of the word of God (1 Peter 2:2). We should be at His presence and put our gaze on the Lord so that can be changed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). It is a shame to see many Christians at the same level of growth year in year out. This is not humility or holiness but an indictment of the Scriptures.
Arguably, a child does not sense the presence of the mother just because she is the mother, but it senses her presence by communication. Walking in the presence of God therefore means always communicating with Him through His Word. When we walk in the Word, we command the manifest presence of God to our situation. When we walk in the presence of God, there’s a consciousness of security (Psalms 23:4).
Conclusion
The Word of God is a super seed that can produce different kinds of fruits—financial, spiritual, emotional, physical, etc. God has set us to be victorious. We must have confidence in the Word but not in the flesh. We have been washed therefore we must not roll in the mud of sin. We roll in the mud of sin when we walk in the flesh. We are clothed in royal garment and it is our responsibility to deal with every temptation that will stain this garment. When we bring our temptations to the light, its power is taken from it. There’s a need for us to keep ourselves because of the hope layup for us in Heaven (Colossians 1:5, Hebrews 10:34). We should warn and encourage one another to walk in the Spirit now that the coming of the Lord is becoming nearer (Hebrews 10:25).
The purpose of God for us is to walk in the Spirit. When you discover your purpose on earth, your life will be more useful to the Kingdom of the God. Our lives must align with what God has revealed to us. Now that you have known the truth, walk in the purpose of a new life. There is no other sacrifice that can cover our sins when we continue to commit sins intentionally (Hebrews 10:22) after we have known the truth.  We must have knowledge of who we are and what made us who we are. When we deliberately continue in sin, we become an enemy of God (Hebrews 10:27). It is only judgment that awaits such believers. When we refuse to walk in the Spirit made possible by the death of Christ, we continue trample on the Son of God (Hebrews 10:29). Can you face the consequences?
*This article is based on the sermons preached by Pastor Junior, Pastor Ode and Pastor Toni on the theme of Walking in the Spirit during the 2005 Annual Convention of The Word Church International in Lagos, Nigeria.

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