What does walking in the Spirit mean?
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” [Galatians 5:25] What is the meaning of Pentecost and the Spirit of Pentecost?
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit. Many people think about the Holy Spirit in terms of miracle healings, or gifts that He can give, and indeed, the Holy Spirit is also able to do these things in our days. Nevertheless, the clear insight God’s Word can give about the work the Holy Spirit does in the everyday lives of Christians in the 21st century is so much more important.
That which dwells in man
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God…?” asks the Apostle Paul in the letter he wrote to the Christians in ancient Corinth. [1 Corinthians 6:19] Our physical bodies are temples where the Holy Spirit would like to make all the decisions. The Bible also teaches us that there are other forces that dwell in our bodies—wickedness, bitterness, discouragement and uncleanness. These powers are stronger than us. Therefore, it is obvious that we as Christians cannot just do whatever we feel like doing. We cannot just “take life as it comes” even though we may have had experiences with the Holy Spirit.
The daily inner battle
Since the Holy Spirit dwells in us simultaneously with these sinful forces, it is necessary everyday to take up a battle and make inner choices. Paul calls these sinful forces “lusts of the flesh,” in Galatians 5, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another…” (Verses 16,17)
If you are honest with yourself, you know where the lusts of the flesh lead. The Holy Spirit greatly desires that we never give in to the evil powers of sin that dwell in us. The Holy Spirit is like a teacher who teaches us the truth, and teaches us to do what is pleasing to God. Paul therefore continues by saying, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit is like a teacher who teaches us the truth
Walking in the Spirit means that we in our everyday life make use of the power that dwells in the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, walking in the Spirit means that we use that power to destroy the evil that dwells in our flesh and choose to do God’s will. (Galatians chapter 5.) The most wonderful thing is that when we walk in the Spirit, glorious fruits grow in our inner man—fruits of the Spirit such as joy, peace, love, and faithfulness.
Pentecost weekend is behind us now. May you and I, in the 21st century, be people in whom the Holy Spirit can do the work that He longs to do.
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You might also be interested in our theme page about Overcoming sin.