Friday, September 29, 2023

By Means of the Spirit Keep on Walking (Gal. 5:16)

Here's yet another verse I committed to memory this morning. 

Here's my literal translation:

"But I say, by means of the Spirit keep on walking, and the lust of the flesh you will by no means fulfill."

Notice that the verb is "keep on walking." Walking is something that if you stop doing you are no longer walking, you're standing still. You've got to keep on walking. You put your right foot out in front of you, then you bring your left foot up, or you're not walking. Then you do it all over again. It's a continual, habitual thing. 

In a battle, the Christian is to stand.

In a race, the Christian is to run.

But in life, the Christian is to walk. 

Soldiers win medals. Runners receive laurels. But walkers wake up in the morning to a kitchen full of dirty dishes and a garden that needs weeding and an elderly parent that requires constant attention and papers that need grading and a child that needs to be taken to the doctor and temptations that need to be faced. The idea of walking in the Spirit is not a ride in the Space Shuttle. You're not going into orbit. Your stuck in the here and now. To do that, we need to learn to "walk in the Spirit." The whole Christian life is a walk of faith, and it is a faith that relies on the Holy Spirit of God. I once heard someone liken this to a train engineer standing on the track and trying to push the train from behind. "Why," someone asks, "don't you just get in the cab and release the throttles?" The Christian can't walk in his own strength, and he knows he can't walk in his own strength. Like a man dependent on crutches, we can't walk on our own. We must be utterly dependent on the Holy Spirit and no longer dependent on ourselves. If you didn't need to be reminded of that fact today, I certainly did!

Let me close with my paraphrase of Gal. 5:16:

"I, Paul, advise you to do this: Live your daily lives in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. He alone can enable you to do what pleases God. Take each step of your day depending completely on him, and then you won't always be doing the wrong things your old nature wants you to do."

Walk in the Spirit, and you most certainly will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.