But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.– Galatians 5
This week I want us to think about how God’s transformation works in us. I do mean transformation. God isn’t just wanting to tweak us. He is wanting to transform us. Yet, how does He do it? We know that He saves us by His grace. How does He transform us? We see the answer in Paul’s message that is captured here succinctly in Galatians 5: walk by the Spirit. We have been made alive by the Spirit of God. Now, do we live by that Spirit in our everyday lives or do we go back to living in the flesh? We were made alive by God’s Spirit. What kind of logic is it for Spirit born people to live in the flesh?
Paul says in Colossians, “in them you also once walked, when you were living in them…since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.” We, “once walked,” in the flesh. Now? Now, we are living (walking) in the Spirit. We have put on the new self. We are being renewed by the true knowledge of Christ.
What is our part in this renewal? Our part is a choice: do we live our life day to day as people who walk in the Spirit? In other words, do we live like God’s purposes, God’s power, and God’s values are the things that matter? Or do we live as people who still do things for only natural reasons? Do we do things because of what we see, how we feel in the moment, and what we think will get us what we want?
Doing things for natural reasons is familiar, even comforting. Yet, does living by the flesh make us better? Does it make us more in step with Christ? Are we more connected to the things that really matter when our thoughts are just natural? Of course, the answer to all of these questions no. We need the Spirit so that we can be more than natural. We need the Spirit to connect us to the things that really matter. We need the Spirit to give us power, strength, hope, peace and life. God asks us to choose to walk by the Spirit. He has made us alive in Christ for eternity. He wants to make us alive everyday. Paul challenges us to walk by the Spirit.
How do we do it? Three things really. First, know, really know the Word of God as it relates to Christian character. Second, base your decisions for everyday living on those truths. Third, consciously pray in every emotional and moral situation that the Spirit will direct your actions for Jesus to be lifted up by what you are doing. Thus, you will be walking in the reality that Jesus truly matters.
Walking in the Spirit is really the only good choice. Living in the flesh as a Christian makes us hypocrites. We have said that in Jesus there is life. So, why would we go back to the flesh? Living in the flesh only leads to death. It is because of the flesh Jesus had to die. So, live by the Spirit and see life come into your everyday walk.
Something to think about,