In Galatians 5:16-26 we read phrases like “walk by the Spirit”, “led in the Spirit”, “live by the Spirit”, and “keep in step with the Spirit”. As a young Christian this used to scare and frustrate me. It didn’t help that some used those scriptures as a test to see who was the most spiritual. This is not a test but rather who we are as Christians and what is available to us.
It’s not enough to say I’m a Christian and I obey the bible, therefore I’m walking in the Spirit. We like to say that God is a personal God, yet I believe we can often be completely surprised when God try’s to relate to us personally through the work of the Holy Spirit and that He expects us to relate to Him in a very personal way. I want to give three keys to walking in the Spirit, to relating to God in a personal way.
First, when we read the word we should ask quite simply, “How does this speak to me, or relate to me?” What is God through His Spirit trying to say to me through His word? Not to the church or someone else but to me.
Second, when we pray what are we asking for and do we expect an answer? When we get an answer do we believe it’s God? (Matthew 7:7-11) I’ve talked with so many people who have prayed for a new job or a spouse or something else and God brings them exactly what they asked for. But then because they begin to second guess themselves and God they never do accept the answer to their prayer that God had brought them. Or they completely forget they even asked and don’t recognize the answer when it comes.
Thirdly, when we are working or going about our day do we get so busy, so caught up in what we’re doing, that we don’t listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to us? We love to talk about that still small voice but are we even expecting it, listening for it, and recognizing it? Do we just chalk it up to our thoughts or our imagination? Put it to the test, God is very patient and ready to teach us.
If we don’t read, if we don’t pray, if we don’t try then nothing will happen and we definitely will not be walking by the Spirit, being led in the Spirit, living by the Spirit, or keeping in step with the Spirit.
God Bless, Elon Waugh