“It is not by force, nor by strength, but by my Spirit…” Zechariah 4:6
Walking in the spirit… as Christians, we’ve heard this phrase many times, but what does it really mean? This isn’t a minor command as it carries tremendous spiritual significance.
So, while the idea of walking in the Spirit might seem confusing, I believe it is a lifestyle, encouraged by God throughout His Word. As we mature in our faith, we learn to depend on the Lord’s direction through His Spirit’s power in us. In fact, the deeper we go with God, the better we understand how much we need to rely on Him. The wonderful part of our reliance on God is that the more we live our days in the Spirit’s power, the greater clarity He brings to our lives, and the more we seek Him.
Walking in the Spirit, therefore, is a conscious, deliberate focus on the Lord and His principles, not yielding to the flesh, but yielding, rather, to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We achieve this by inviting our Father into our daily lives. It means observing His majesty in all of creation… from talking with Him about any issue… large or small. From praising Him for who He is, and offering appreciation from our hearts to His for the simple reason that we want to communicate our gratitude. Walking in the Spirit also involves handing over our burdens and asking Him to stabilize and strengthen us beyond our capabilities. We can stifle the Spirit’s power in us through sin we haven’t come clean about, but we can also invite the Spirit to increase His work in us by heeding His gentle nudges.
Paul wrote strongly about our need for walking in the Spirit in his letter to the Ephesians. Looking deeper into Ephesus, a city characterized as a ‘city of worthless idols’, it became clearer why Paul was so committed to spending a majority of his ministry to getting the city’s people on the right track. The secular nature of this region was characterized by “lust of the flesh” through selfish thoughts, desires and feelings. However, when a person receives Jesus Christ as Lord and becomes a Christian, the Bible says to learn how to walk in the Spirit, no longer living like unbelievers who do not know the Lord. The letter to the Ephesians says, “that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind.” The letter to the Ephesians teaches to “walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.” “Circumspectly” means accurately, precisely or exactly. Christians are to learn to walk correctly according to God’s revealed Word.
One of the most empowering spiritual lessons we’re wise to learn requires disciplining ourselves to listen for and to the Spirit. Learning His language takes time, commitment, and practice, but we experience greater joy and peace as we know Him better. As we walk with Him, we realize the inadequacy of our strength in light of His, and our ever-growing appreciation for Him makes us want to remain in His power and worship Him all the more.
When we finally realize He is our lifeblood, we know we can’t walk well through life without Him!
Father, God, help us connect living in the Spirit with walking in the Spirit. Help us to acknowledge in our heart that we are unable to please You without the Spirit’s constant power in our life… we pray for this power! Help us to trust more confidently the Holy Spirit’s power and promises so that we can know what is right. Lord, we ask Your help so that we can say with confidence, “Not I… but the Spirit of Christ within me.” Holy Spirit… You are welcome here!
Greg Stefanelli (gstefanelli)