Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Walking in the Spirit

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  –Galatians 5:16 (KJV)

Many years ago, I knew an elderly man who shared with me powerful insight regarding the struggle between the Spirit and the flesh.  He likened this battle to two dogs, a white one and a black one, and the two dogs would fight each day.  “Which of the two dogs wins the fight?”  He asked.  My friend then supplied the answer; “The one I feed.”  Of course, the black dog represents the flesh, while the white dog represents the Spirit.  What my wise friend shared was true; the winner of the daily battle depends upon which one we feed.

Many Christians lose the spiritual battles because they starve the Holy Spirit within them.  How do they do this?  They starve the Spirit by neglecting prayer, time in the Word, and fellowship with other believers.  On the other hand, when we feed the Spirit within us with these divine pursuits we increase in spiritual strength and are thus empowered to resist evil and walk in victory.  The spiritual battles will come our way.  Therefore, be prepared for them.  This is why Scripture challenges us to walk in the Spirit, which leads to overcoming the flesh, or the sinful nature. 

Be careful not to equate walking in the Spirit of God with a sad, sorrowful, stuffy, and self-righteous way of thinking and living, for nothing could be father from the truth.  Walking in the Spirit is walking forward in faith, which produces joy, peace, comfort, confidence, and power over those dark forces that otherwise bring us down.  Through the power of Christ in us we cease from being hung up on problems and irritations that in the broad scope of God’s kingdom have little bearing.  Instead, we focus on Jesus Christ, who in turn leads us to look up and beyond the trials of life to God’s greater plan and purposes.  The result of such a spiritual walk is ceasing from worrying about what we cannot control and rejoicing in God’s grace and power. 

As we walk in the power of the Spirit we grow stronger spiritually.  Each day as we delve deeper into God’s Word, prayer, worship, and fellowship with other believers we continue to gain what I like to call spiritual muscle.  This is not an easy process, for it requires commitment, sacrifice, focus, and energy.  Yet, the rewards are well worth it.  There is an old saying about exercise; no pain, no gain.  The same is true with growing in spiritual power.  A dear woman in our church who has lately undergone many trials in her life told me of the wonderful grace of God she has experienced.  She spoke of the trials she has faced as a pruning process the Lord is doing.  Such pruning is painful, yet indeed leads to growth.

Do not despair my friend, and do not give up.  Walk forward in faith and God will empower you to spiritual heights you had not imagined.

God bless you today.