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So, How Do We Walk According to the Holy Spirit?


Last time we talked about man’s flesh and how it’s always opposed to the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:17). The flesh is anything we do independent of God, which is always sin. Galatians 5:16 says that if we walk by the Spirit, we will not carry out the desire of the flesh.​​ 

So, obviously it would be beneficial to know what “walking by the Spirit” means and how do we do it.​​ 

The word​​ “walk”​​ is often used figuratively in the bible to​​ refer to how you live your life, or simply, it​​ refers to your behavior​​ at any given time.​​ 


Note -​​ “walk​​ after​​ the Spirit” or “after​​ the flesh”; or, “walk​​ according​​ to…” or “walk​​ by​​ the Spirit…” or “walk​​ in​​ the Spirit” all mean the same thing. ​​ 

Also note​​ the phrase​​ “in the Spirit”​​ or​​ “in the flesh”​​ refers to one’s identity, not their behavior. A Christian is always “in the Spirit”, but can choose to walk “according to the flesh”. A non-Christian is always “in the flesh” and has no choice but to walk accordingly.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.​​ Romans 8.9​​ 


Walking according to the Spirit is a choice​​ a Christian makes every moment of every day. It simply means to live under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. One ministry of the Holy Spirit is to guide us in all truth. When we choose to walk according to the Holy​​ Spirit we will always experience Christ’s life, i.e., peace, love, acceptance, joy, etc. In addition, we will also be expressing Christ’s life in our behavior.​​ 


Walking According to the Holy Spirit is the Walk of Faith​​ 


Col 2:6 says​​ “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord,​​ so​​ walk in Him,”.​​ 

How did we receive Christ Jesus?​​ By faith. ​​ 

How then should we live our lives?​​ By faith.​​ 

2 Cor 5:7 tells us the same thing​​ – “we walk by faith, not by sight”.

To walk according to the Holy Spirit is to take one step at a time with our eyes fixed on Christ, rather than our circumstances; and by faith, know that He is sufficient for all our needs/desires.​​ 


Remember –​​ there is always a reasonable alternative to faith!​​ 


Faith in Who/What?


​​ Most Christians tend to think of their salvation as the forgiveness they received as a result of Jesus’ death on the cross 2000 years ago and a free pass to heaven at some point in the future when they die. Thus, they are looking at what Christ did in the past and what he has promised for the future. However, as true and as good as those things are, if we’re not careful, we will miss what God wants to do in and through us right now in the present!​​ 

We now live by faith in Christ​​ – who he is, what he has done, and what he is doing right now.​​ 

As Jesus lived by his Father’s life (completely dependent on him), we are to live by the life of Jesus (completely dependent on him). He indwells us in the person of the Holy Spirit and is our strength for all that we encounter – no exceptions.​​ 


Get This –​​ As a result of our union with​​ Christ, we have a new life – Christ’s very own life. That’s what it means to be born again. It is a spiritual birth. Our old spirit was crucified with Christ. We now have a new human spirit, a new heart, and the Holy Spirit indwelling us. We really are a new creation ... right now! Thus, you have a new identity. Our identity is said to be “in Christ”.​​ 

And even more, Christ wants to live his life in and through us -​​ 


"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the​​ life​​ which I now live in the flesh <physical body> I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.​​ Galatians 2.20​​ <comment mine – RM>


Walking According to the Holy Spirit is a Walk of Rest


The Holy Spirit will always be in opposition with our flesh. And worse, the flesh refuses to give up. While we don’t focus on our flesh, we must always be aware of its existence. The believer who chooses to walk according to the flesh will be miserable because he will find no peace and no rest. It will wear him out!​​ 

Walking by the flesh is always sin and we are no longer suited for sin!


Walking by the Holy Spirit is a walk of rest. It is not necessarily inactivity, but rather trusting in God’s ability instead of striving in my ability. However, until you have struggled long enough to become sufficiently tired, you will likely see no need for the rest he offers us.


28​​ “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.​​ 29​​ “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.​​ Matthew 11.28-29​​ 


Get This -​​ It is very difficult to let go of what you believe to be your source of life! That’s why most Christians never experience Christ as life – they won’t give up their own effort to get life. A drowning man can’t be helped until he stops trying to help himself. And that is exactly what we must do – stop trying to get life by our own efforts and just simply surrender your will. And when you do, you will experience his rest.​​ 

Hebrews 4:10-11 says “Make every effort to enter his rest”.


“Do not allow the poverty of self-sufficiency to rob you of the miraculous.”​​ Major Ian Thomas

Ask yourself (and God) –​​ Am I fighting the Holy Spirit? If so, in what areas of my life? What am I holding on to? What lies am I believing that keep me from walking by the Holy Spirit?​​ 


My Struggle –​​ I recall going through counseling about ten years ago. There was a phrase I kept repeating when asked “How are you doing?”. I said, “I’m tired”. I had been fighting the Holy Spirit, trying to control my own life for over 50 years! I was worn out!​​ 

When I stopped fighting the Holy Spirit, I experienced God’s rest for the first time. My first thought was, “Why did it take me so long?”


Scripture References –​​ John 5; 15;​​ Romans chapter 5 - 8; 2 Cor. 5; Galatians.


Back ​​ Next​​ –​​ Walking According to the Holy Spirit (Part 2)