WALK IN THE SPIRIT
CHRISTIAN LIVING 21C
As a child, there was a time when my father took the train daily from Hampden Park to his office in Eastbourne. In the evening, I would watch for him and recognized his walk as soon as he turned the corner onto Kingston Road. Everyone has a unique style of walking that makes it possible to recognize them long before their features are visible.
Authentic Christians also demonstrate an observable identifying walk that the apostle Paul described to the Galatian church.
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
In the text, Paul uses the word “walk” to illustrate the habitual, daily conduct of the Christian. He logically concludes that since we live in the Spirit (a fulfilled condition), then we should also walk in the Spirit (v.25).
Previously, in chapter four, Paul established that the Spirit of God indwells everyone who trusts in the perfect substitutionary sacrifice God provided at Calvary (Gal. 4:6). The indwelling of the Holy Spirit identifies us as God’s children and empowers us to live a new way of life (2 Cor. 5:17). As Christians, we live in the Spirit—He is our life! Living in the spirit is indispensable to authentic Christianity!
Interestingly, the word Paul uses for “walk” is stoikomen (Gr. στοιχῶμεν) and conveys the idea of marching in step like the Queen’s Guard at Windsor Castle.
The goal of our day to day conduct of life is to walk in step with the Holy Spirit.
Anyone who’s done any marching understands the concept. In my experience, the expectation when marching is to stay in step at all costs.
Marching requires discipline and perseverance; the same can be said of walking in the Spirit.
Just as regeneration (indwelling of the Holy Spirit) is the evidence of the Christian life, walking in-step with the Holy Spirit is demonstrated by our conduct.
When we walk in the Spirit, we will exemplify the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). The Holy Spirit is the source of these qualities; but, we personally determine whether we will walk in step with Him.
When we choose to walk in step with the Holy Spirit, we can:
Experience the ability to love sacrificially as Christ loved;
Experience joy available only through Him (1 Th. 1:6);
Experience peace that surpasses understanding in our life and relationships with others (Phil. 4:7);
Experience longsuffering (level-headedness under pressure or with mistreatment);
Experience kindness and goodness (rather than severity in our dealings with others), faithfulness (fidelity or integrity);
Experience a gentle, rather than a belligerent spirit; and,
Experience self-control in the same way someone training for a sporting event masters natural impulses that hinder the ability to attain the prize.
As we step into the second month of the New Year, choose to walk in the Spirit and enjoy the exceptional life available when God made us His children and infused us with His Spirit!
Guards march out of Buckingham Palace at the end of the Changing of the Guard ceremony. By Arpingstone [PD-US], via Wikimedia Commons; Enhancement: MKM Portfolio
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. With 40 plus years of ministry experience, Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, text content only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via CONTACT form under ABOUT. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.