Walk in the Spirit – Galatians 5:165 min read
Defining a Spirit-filled Life
People are made of three parts: body, soul, and spirit. Before one is saved, he primarily lives to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. When one is saved, however, his spirit is quickened, made alive, by the Lord. The unsaved are spiritually dead; the saved are dead to sin. Ephesians 2:5 evidently shows this: “Even when we were dead in sins, [God] has quickened us together with Christ…” Saints are dead to sin, dead to the flesh; thus we must live in the spirit, making our lives profitable for eternity. Living a spirit-filled or spiritual life may be paraphrased, “Living a life focused on eternity.” Spiritual, incorruptible things are our focus. As believers, we must take this seriously.
Another aspect of living a spiritual life is one led by the Spirit. It is a life that, after the spirit is quickened, is led by and filled with the Holy Spirit. By no means is this a life filled with speaking in tongues or miraculous healing or uncontrollable dancing in worship of the Creator. This was never the primary purpose of the Spirit. Instead, He is one who comforts, gives wisdom to ministers, convicts of sin, guides the Christian, testifies of Christ, etc. A spirit-filled life is one guided by His hand, and every believer should strive to seek Him.
What a Spiritual Life Includes
A spiritual life demands that fruit be produced. A tree without fruit is usually dead, as a person is usually spiritually dead when no fruit is seen. The Lord has not only called us from sin (away from fleshy fruits) but to His purposes (unto spiritual fruit), and so we must strive to feed our spirit with His Word and the things of God. Let us never have passions after things that don’t last for eternity. Instead, let us do what our Lord has said and “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (1 Cor 13:5). If we find it difficult to do the things of God, perhaps it is because we are not born of God. But if our conversion was sound, let us live to please Him and focus our attention on Him constantly in prayer and meditation. A good question to ask ourselves before our day is: “Will I fulfill the lusts of the flesh with my plans today? Or will I promote the spiritual man?”
The Purpose of Living a Spirit-filled Life
We see the truth of what living a spiritual life includes, but what is the purpose of it all? Why should we forsake the pleasures of life to concentrate on producing spiritual fruit? Why does it matter? It matters because of Him. Until we realize this, we will never be fully useful for Him, because our focus is wrong.
In 162 verses, the Lord states the phrase “I am the Lord”, and this clearly shows us the main focus in the Christian’s life. This phrase would often be used by the Lord to prove His authority and to establish the fact that all must bow to His will. For example, “I am the Lord” is used to open the Ten Commandments. This is significant, because it shows His credentials to give Him the authorization to give the ultimate Law. His Law is absolute, and His Lordship is why it must be followed. He deserves all focus and attention from His children. We must walk in the spirit, because He is the Lord.
What is the purpose of spiritual living in a practical sense? The purpose of living a spirit-filled life is so by no means we fulfill the lusts of the flesh – by no means. The flesh is what dies. If it weren’t for the flesh, none would die. We must avoid it by all means. Scripture says we must not even make provision for it, let alone fulfilling it’s lusts. How sinful it must be to a holy God for us not only to make provision for the flesh, but fulfill it’s lusts willingly! We must not only acknowledge His Lordship, but we must honor it by visible service to Him. We must abhor that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good. We must have such a strong grasp that we would willingly die before giving it up. Do we have this grasp? Are we willing to completely forsake our flesh? If not, something is wrong.
All Christians live a spirit-filled life, because all believers are indwelt by the Spirit. However, we don’t read in Galatians 5:16 to live a spiritual life. What did it say? Walk in the spirit. Every day, people walk. Those without the physical ability to walk long to. Their longing to walk is so great that wheelchairs or crutches or false appendages are used when the ability to walk is limited or gone. Nearly the first thing babies learn to do that will be profitable in life is walking. To people, walking is important. How much more important should it be to us to walk in the Spirit rather than merely live? Those who have no ability or desire to walk are normally those who are dead. So, let us walk with a passion for Him; let us have an eternity-focused view. God forbid that we quench the Spirit.