by Wade E Taylor
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25
To “live in the Spirit” is to yield the totality of our being so Jesus can live His life through us as a present day witness. This requires our living on a high plain of commitment and maintaining an active personal relationship with Jesus. This will enable us to say with the Apostle Paul:
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me….” Galatians 2:20
To “walk in the Spirit” is to live and function in total yieldedness and obedience to the will and purpose of our Lord in every aspect of our life experience.
“If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit also let us be guided….” Galatians 5:25 Weymouth
As we walk in His presence, the sense of His abiding peace will confirm that we are walking in the center of His will. Now, we are both living and walking in the Spirit.
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts….” Colossians 3:15
The word “rule” means to judge, or arbitrate. Should we take a misstep, a voice of correction will speak to us, saying, “This is the way, walk you in it” (Holy Spirit conviction).
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk you in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21
All who desire the Lord’s best should seek to live a committed, “Holy Spirit led life.” To do so means that we have died to our own ways and have given the Lord the unconditional right to choose “for” us.
We are to walk as He would walk – under His headship. This necessitates an unquestioning submission to the governmental rule of His kingdom.
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done in (our) earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 (comment added)
This ability to “walk” in the Spirit, in which the will of the Lord is being accomplished in our earthen vessel (our daily life experience), requires that we have a basic understanding of the laws that govern a Spirit-led life. These “spiritual laws,” set before us by the Lord as “preparatory teachings,” along with “practical disciplines,” will bring any necessary corrections and enable us to better “live and walk” in the Spirit.
These “preparatory teachings,” which lead to a Spirit-led life, are given in progressive order in the Sermon on the Mount, which reveals the requirements of living an overcoming life. These principles deal not so much with externals, but primarily with the motives of our heart, which will enable us to overcome and receive the blessings that follow.
“And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set, His disciples came to Him: And He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:1-3
Being “poor in spirit” means that we have come to the end of our self-life, and in an attitude of submissive dependence, we are being led by the Spirit. As we spend quality time in His presence, we will be “lifted” into the realm of the spirit and “enabled” to walk with Him in the outworking of His will and purpose.
“The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakens morning by morning, He wakens my ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.” Isaiah 50:4-5
The purpose of our being “wakened” by the Lord, morning by morning, is to provide us with the opportunity to spend quality time in His presence. As we “respond” (I was not rebellious), and “wait” upon Him, we develop both our spirituality, and our sensitivity to the Spirit. Then, as we “walk” in the Spirit, the Lord will lead us to the right person to express the right word at the right time.
“Come, My beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth….” Song of Solomon 7:11-12
“Come… let us go forth.” We must first come before we can go. When we come short of this or we fail to respond to the prompting of the Lord, He will “chasten” us in order to bring a correction. This will result in our being better able to hear and respond to the Lord’s voice when He knocks on the door of our spirit.
These “practical disciplines” result from our desire and commitment to live with the “set” of our spirit being toward the Lord, and our continual response to His dealings. This is intended to lift us above all carnal desires and pulls to produce within us an increasing sensitivity to the voice of the Lord.
As we take up “our” cross, we are choosing to put the Lord first and maintain His abiding presence in our daily walk. This will greatly affect our personal comfort, as we die to our self-life.
“To the victor will I give the privilege of sitting down beside Me on My throne, as I also have won the victory and have sat down beside My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:21 Weymouth
There is a price that must be paid if we are to come into the Lord’s best. We cannot “overcome” unless there is something to overcome. The reward for putting the Lord first is a “prize” that is beyond comparison.
“Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.” John 14:23
As we abide in His “manifest presence” (We will… make Our abode with him), we will be enabled to “walk in the Spirit” with Him. This involves dedication and the sacrificial giving of ourselves. These are the marks of having the “measure” of spiritual maturity which will enable us to function in the realm of the Kingdom.
The schoolmaster and teacher for this “processing” is our Heavenly Father.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
The word “should” in the above Scripture tells us that our entering this “School of the Holy Spirit” is conditional. We must specifically enroll ourselves in this school of training and preparation if we are to receive its benefits. The Registrar is always available.
To “walk in the Spirit” is to walk one step at a time, acknowledging our Lord’s presence and headship in each step that we take. Our own thoughts and ways must be set aside in order to follow Him. He is the Christ, the Anointed of the Lord. Therefore, the natural man cannot come this way, for he cannot discern the presence, nor the anointing that brings us into this higher realm; this is a function of the Spirit, not of the mind.
The children of Israel were to abide under the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day, and were to move only as the pillar of fire or the cloud moved. The purpose of this discipline was to teach them the importance of being “led by His Spirit.” Had they learned and obeyed, Israel would have won one victory after another in possessing the land, and would have become the witness and forerunner of the Theocratic Kingdom that the Lord desires to establish in the earth.
The Lord greatly desires to introduce us to “His kingdom” through a Spirit-led life and walk. He cannot allow us to have a part in this higher governmental realm of His Kingdom until we have individually, unconditionally, submitted our lives to be governed by Him, and have learned, in some measure, how to “walk in the Spirit.”
The Kingdom of God is a realm in which there is much activity, but everything moves in divine order and purpose. A baby walks falteringly for a few steps and falls; his direction is arbitrary and casual. A child walks for his own enjoyment and amusement. A young man walks to attain his goals and fulfill his visions. A father walks to please and satisfy the needs of his family. He has a higher purpose than his own satisfaction.
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” Ephesians 1:18
There is much that is available to us which we have yet to appropriate, as we have a tendency to settle for less than the Lord’s adequate provision.
Our Lord is challenging us to move upward and onward. The present feeling of spiritual dissatisfaction by many within the Body of Christ is His prodding. These “stirrings” within us are His means to bring us “higher.”
“Brethren, I do not imagine that I have yet laid hold of it. But this one thing I do – forgetting everything which is past, and stretching forward to what lies in front of me, with my eyes fixed on the goal, I push on to secure the prize of God’s heavenward call in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 Weymouth
The Kingdom of God is this goal.
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up here, and I will show you things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.” Revelation 4:1-2
Previously, we received this guidance only from the “pulpit” within the Church. For us to “walk in the Spirit” is to become subject to the guidance that comes from the “throne” in the Kingdom of God. During this time of transition from the Church into the Kingdom, a remnant is being called to “come up” into a higher realm of identification with our Lord in His throne.
“And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8
Their hearing the “voice” walking tells us two things. The first is that the Lord desires to “talk” to us, and second, that He desires to “walk” with us. He has something to say to us today which is beyond what He said yesterday. This was His original intention which was forfeited by Adam and Eve, but is now made available to us, as we are willing to be “led” by His Spirit.
The human tendency is to “hide” from this higher Spirit guidance.
May we, as overcomers, rise above every desire to do as we please, and begin living a Spirit-led life.