by Wade E Taylor
Christianity is a way of life that is both mystical and practical in its outworking. The Scripture expresses both aspects of this truth in Galatians 5:25:
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Our “living in the Spirit” lifts us into a realm of revelation and fellowship with our Lord. But these experiences in heavenly realities must give direction to our daily walk in temporal reality. Therefore, we are exhorted to also “walk in the Spirit.”
Thus, “walking in the Spirit” relates our spiritual experiences to our daily pattern of life. As we walk out these spiritual revelations and experiences in practical ways, our spirit will develop and grow.
“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us….” John 1:14
The manifestation of God within the life experience of Jesus was not limited to an intellectual concept, or a rational understanding of His life and ministry. The Eternal Word (Jesus) that created the universe came down to a manger and lived out a human pattern of life and experience, through which He gained total victory and brought salvation to mankind.
Jesus maintained intimate fellowship and communion with His Father (living in the Spirit), yet He lived among men (walking in the Spirit).
There is a practical “working out” of our redemption through the experiences of life. Jesus taught and ministered in very practical ways. He related eternal truth to the things of His day, which the people were familiar with and could easily understand. Then He said, “Let him who has an ear hear.” Jesus was not speaking of our physical ear, but rather He was saying, “There is a deeper vein of truth available to each one whose heart has been prepared to understand and receive.”
Jesus hung openly visible upon a cross for all to gaze upon, so those who come to Him and believe can receive salvation. Yet of this same Jesus, the Scripture says: “In whom are hid all the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). There is a basic level of Truth in the Word of God that can be seen and understood by all who have a desire to personally know the Lord.
But, parallel with this is the deeper, hidden aspect of the Gospel – the unfolding of spiritual truth that pertains to the Lord’s eternal Kingdom. Type and shadow fade as the “light of His Presence” ushers us behind the veil of printer’s ink, into the glorious revelation of His being.
In the Lord’s dealings with His Bride in the Song of Solomon, there is a beautiful progression that leads her from only desiring the gifts and blessings of God, to a desire for the “Lord Himself,” until finally, all of her self-desires are lost and merged into “His desire for her.”
She had come to the place where she is “living in the Spirit.” Only now could the Lord say to her:
“Come, My beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.” Song of Solomon 7:11
Now, the time has come for her to begin “walking in the Spirit” with Jesus. We must first “come” to the Lord before we are ready to “go” with Him. A Scripture in the Psalms expresses the outworking of this process as the Lord draws us to Himself.
“Deep calls to deep. At the noise of Your waterspouts, all Your waves and Your billows are gone over me.” Psalm 42:7
The desire of the Lord (Deep calls) for our fellowship is calling to the “potential” within us for fellowship with Him. Our Lord sees this capacity, and longs to fill it with Himself.
The “waterspouts” speak of the Lord “zeroing” in on us – the giving of His full attention to bring us into this personal relationship with Himself. This waterspout is as a whirlpool that sweeps all temporal things away and leaves us with God alone.
“All Your waves and billows are gone over me.” Now, my feet can no longer touch bottom – I am no longer in control to walk as I please. I am now committed to the “depths” in total trust, as all control has passed to Jesus. He has become Lord of my life and has brought me into the realm of spiritual life and fellowship that He so desires to share with me.
“And He entered into one of the ships which was Simon’s and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And He sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when He had left speaking, He said to Simon, launch out into the deep….” Luke 5:3-4
There are two different realms represented here, the “land” and the “deep.” The land represents my “self-life” where I once walked as I pleased. The ship that He entered represents my life set apart for His purposes. The “deep” represents life in the Spirit where I can begin to “walk in the Spirit.”
As I begin to respond to His desire for me – “Deep calling to deep,” Jesus will enter my life’s “ship” and push me a short distance from the land. Here, He will teach me the principles of “living in the Spirit.”
As soon as these principles are established in my life, the Lord will be able to say to me, “now, you are ready; it is time for you to begin walking in the Spirit.” “Launch out into the deep and let your nets down for a draught.”
First, say “yes” to this desire of the Lord for you. Then, invite Him into your “ship” and allow it to be pushed away from the shore line of shallow Christian experience, and launch out into the deep with Him.
Here in the depths of His presence, as you begin to “Walk in the Spirit” with Him, you will receive all that He has for you.