Walking In The Spirit ó Eph. 5:1-21Study No. 167
Learning how to walk is one of the most important and exciting events in a young childís life. This learning process continues through various stages of development. This is a part of the growth process into a mature adult.
If we wish to grow into a mature adult Christian, we need to learn how to walk with God. This walk involves living a spirit-directed life. Unfortunately, people talk about a spirit-directed life but not many really understand what it involves. Even fewer seem to apply it to their lives.
What does it mean to walk in the strength of God? What does walking with the power of the spirit involve? How do we daily live this way? What are the benefits and blessings of this type of life? We can find our answers to these questions when we turn to Godís manual for mankind ó The Bible.
Understanding The Scripture On Walking
When we study Godís Word, we find a number of scriptures that cover different parts of the same action (walking with God under the leading of the Holy Spirit).
The apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 5:16: "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." Living our lives Godís way requires us to rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance and power to become overcomers.
In Colossians 1:9 and 10, Paul shares that he has been praying continually for the Colossians that they might live in a manner worthy of the Lord; they would please God in everything; bear fruit in every good work; increase in the knowledge of God. When we live (walk) in a way that honors God, our behavior is meeting His standard of holiness (I Peter 1:14-16).
The Walking Process
So far, this discussion has centered on what it means to walk with God. Now, it is necessary to understand this process being accomplished in an individual life. One may feel there is a slight problem in the humanís operational manual, in that it does not contain all the mechanics of living by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible does, however, give some guiding principles in regard to this spiritual activity. An exact program is not given for living (walking) by the Spirit. This is because it varies from person to person just as there are different spiritual gifts.
The process we are studying is covered at length in the scriptural text contained in Ephesians 5:1-21. Several direct commands are included in verses 1-17 that we need to obey if we are to walk consistently with the Lord. First, we are to be imitators of God. We are to conform ourselves to His character. This requires walking in love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us, as an offering and sacrifice to God (verse 2). No immorality, impurity, or greed is to be allowed or even named among us (verse 3). Filthiness and silly talk or coarse jesting (joking) must be replaced with thanksgiving and appreciation for others (verse 4). Discernment must be developed so we can't be deceived "with empty words" (verse 6). We are not to be involved in the dark lifestyle of unbelievers, but to live as children of light and to produce fruit of goodness and righteousness (verses 8, 9). Care should be given that we walk in wisdom, not foolishness, using our time to please God (verses 10, 15, 16). Not only must one refrain from foolishness, but one must increase their understanding of Godís will (verse 17).
How can we obey these commands? We are told in verse 18, "And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." We are not to develop a lifestyle of excessive use (abuse) of wine, which is an uncontrolled lifestyle. Instead, we are to let the Holy Spirit control our lives more and more all the time, until we are totally influenced or "filled with the Spirit." To do this, we must willingly surrender to Godís control every day.
Romans 6:6-7 tells us our old man (self) was crucified with Christ and that our body of sin was destroyed. Therefore, we should no longer be slaves to sin. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are set free from sin. We now have a new master ó The Lord Jesus Christ. We need to reckon (count) ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. The power sin had over us was removed by Christ at our conversion. We are to count this as the truth by putting a stop to sinning. We are to present ourselves to God as a new creation, as if we have been resurrected from the dead and are new beings. Our bodies (lives) are now instruments of righteousness to God.
Living the Christian life is not really complicated. It just takes total commitment and concentration. Realization that one is free from sinís stranglehold enables and frees them to live as if this is the truth. Dependence on Godís spirit is necessary to give power for living holy lives.
If we want to walk (live) for God, His Spirit is there to help and empower us. The journey of our spirit-led life begins with our first step. The first and most important command heard in Godís army by the ĎChristian soldierí: FORWARD, MARCH!!
ówritten by Earl Lewis W