Word Meditation for 9th of Oct. 2016
Topic: Walking by the Spirit.
Text: Galatians 5:25
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Paul, in Galatians 5:25, draws an inference from how our new life in Christ began: if it began by the Spirit, then all our subsequent life ought to be carried out by the Spirit (Galatians 3:1–5). If it was by the free and sovereign power of the Spirit that our new spiritual life came into being, then the way that new life should be lived is by that same free and sovereign power. "Walk by the Spirit" means do what you do each day by the Spirit; live your life in all its details from waking up in the morning until going to sleep at night by the enabling power of the Spirit.
Practically speaking, How do we "walk by the Spirit"?
The phrase "walk by the Spirit" occurs not only in verse 25 but also in verse 16,
"But I say, walk by the Spirit and do not gratify the desires of the flesh."
So here we see what the opposite of walking by the Spirit is, namely, giving in to the desires of the flesh. Remember, "flesh" is the old, ordinary human nature that does not relish the things of God and prefers to get satisfaction from independence, power, prestige, and worldly pleasures.
When we "walk by the Spirit," we are not controlled by those drives. This is what verse 17 means:
the flesh produces one kind of desires, and the Spirit produces another kind, and they are opposed to each other.
Walking by the Spirit is what we do when the desires produced by the Spirit are stronger than the desires produced by the flesh . This means that "walking by the Spirit" is not something we do in order to get the Spirit's help, but rather it is something we do by the enablement of the Spirit.
Ultimately, all the good desires that we have are given by the Holy Spirit. Apart from the Spirit we are mere flesh. And Paul said in Romans 7:18,
"I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing."
Apart from the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit, none of our inclinations or desires is holy or good,
"for the mind of the flesh is hostile to God's law and does not submit to it because it cannot" ( Romans 8:7).
The new birth is the coming into our life of the Holy Spirit ( I.e living by the Holy Spirit) to create a whole new array of desires and loves and yearnings and longings. And when these desires are stronger than the opposing desires of the flesh, then we are "walking by the Spirit." For we always act according to our strongest desires.
Therefore, "walking by the Spirit" is something the Holy Spirit enables us to do by producing in us strong desires that accord with God's will. This is what God said he would do in Ezekiel 36:26, 27:
A new heart I will give you and a new spirit I will put within you . . . I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes.
Thus when we "walk by the Spirit," we experience the fulfillment of this prophecy. The Holy Spirit produces in us desires for God's way that are stronger than our fleshly desires, and thus he causes us to walk in God's statutes. Hallelujah.........