WALKING IN THE SPIRIT CONTINUOUSLY
SECRET TO VICTORY IN THIS LIFE
BY: SUNNY ORLY COFFMAN
FEBRUARY 1, 2002
GAL. 5:16 “I say then: walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
Paul is giving us some powerful keys to victorious living in just a few verses here in Galatians. The first key I see is:
Key #1: Gal. 5:14 – For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Then he goes on to exhort us with the first scripture above – to walk in the spirit and keep ourselves from fulfilling any lust of the flesh. Just in case you have any wonder what he means when he speaks “lust of the flesh”, he gives us a list of some things he includes in this. Look at verse 19:
“Now the works of the flesh are evident which are: adultery, fornification, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissentions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like.”
Paul tells us in verse 21 that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. I recently purchased a new bible “The Message”. Let’s look at verse 19 in this translation:
“It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming- yet-never satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit god’s kingdom.”
The liberty we received, as a result of the sacrifice Jesus made for us, ought to motivate us to a consecrated life of holiness, but many walk without any apparent awareness of a need for change, yet they name the name of Christ and their life is a shambles in so many areas. Precious ones, it ought not to be like that. But many have never given complete control to the Only One that can produce God-like behavior in us. If we are still keeping a part of our temple – His residence – locked up – preventing His occupation, we’re hindering our own total liberty.
Christianity is a dictatorship – not a democracy. Jesus is either Lord of all or He is not Lord at all. We’ve probably all heard those words at one time or another, but have we really taken them to heart?
If you purchased a new home, but were given ground rules that forbid you to enter certain rooms within your home, how would you feel? Could you put forth your best effort to make this house into the home you’ve always desired if there were these kinds of restrictions put on you?
Jesus desires to occupy his new home… YOU… completely. He desires to go about making His home a place where His Holy Spirit can freely abide continually. He wants to be made to feel welcome… accepted… appreciated… at liberty to be himself… not grieved because of what goes on in His new home.
We’ve come to the place in the timing of God that a half-hearted walk on the part of the “believer” is no longer tolerated by God. He alone knows the timing for perfection of our walk; but anyone I perceive to be “on the path with God these days, has such an awesome anticipation within… knowing God is at work and things are changing.
Key #2: Rom. 8:5 “For those who live according to the flesh, set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit, the things of the spirit.”
You might ask, how do you walk in the spirit continually? I would respond by asking a question. What or who is the object of your focus? If you can wholeheartedly answer Christ, I would say you are on pretty firm ground. If you, however, are allowing your focus to be concerned with what people think of you, and being caught up with the cares and worries of this world, you might consider spending some time alone with God for serious self-evaluation.
Key #3: Rom. 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
My definition of walking in the spirit is simply being led by the Holy Spirit of God in every area of your life. This kind of submitted, yielded, consecrated life requires a “death to self” in every area. God deals with you on the level where you are and He knows better than anyone just how motivated you are to giving Him the controls. He has an uncanny way of arranging a set of circumstances that will work to good – for you to be willing to lay down all rebellion and walk a path of loving obedience.
Hear more of what is spoken in “The Message.” Romans 8:
“But if God Himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of Him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome Him, in whom He dwells… even though you still experience all the limitations of sin… you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, He’ll do the same thing in you that He did in Jesus, bringing you alive to Himself? When God lives and breathes in you [and He does, as surely as He did in Jesus], you are delivered from that dead life. With His spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!”
“This resurrection life you received from God… is adventurously expectant, greeting God with a child-like ‘what’s next, Papa.’ God’s spirit touches our spirit and confirms who we really are. ”
WALKING IN THE SPIRTI CONTINUOUSLY [Sunny Orly Coffman] 2-1-02 1