Of all the exercises an individual can engage in, the physical act of walking is perhaps the most beneficial of all. Health experts say that just walking a couple of miles per day will:
- Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce body fat
- Enhance mental well being
- Increase bone density thereby preventing osteoporosis
- Reduce risk of colon cancer
- Reduce risk of non insulin diabetes
- Help flexibility and coordination, hence reducing the risks of falls as you grow older
With all these benefits of physical walking, can we conclude similar benefits in spiritual walking?
For some who fail to exercise the results are generally unhealthy, lethargic and sedentary lifestyles. If the same can be said about people who fail to exercise themselves spiritually, then learning to walk in the Spirit should be your number one objective. After all, the journey —and the benefits— can only begin when you start moving.
The spiritual progression of the believer is based on a threefold commitment to agreement (Amos 3:3) with God.
First, we are to walk with God in purpose. The word “with” signifies conjunction, connection and impartation. That’s your purpose. In Gen 6:9; 5:4 Noah is presented as an example of one in such a relationship with God. We are to walk WITH Him in righteousness. The Father longs to impart to us, not in the rush of life’s daily grind, but as a Father would with his son on a long walk. Oh the wisdom we would have if we would just slow down and listen to God. Indeed, we’d learn more about him, ourselves and others.
Secondly, we are to walk after Christ as our pattern. The word “after” designates order. We don’t go before Christ, we follow after him. Matt 4:19; Luke 9:23; 1 Peter 2:21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. Jesus, as our example shows us the way we should walk. Following in his steps (of suffering and service) means that we will ultimately achieve the same victory he did.
Third, believers are to walk in the Spirit. Here, the word “in” signifies both position and power. This is your power because position equals power. The reciprocity of indwelling (the Spirit in us and we in him) is where the power to engage, to be, to live, to discipline and much more comes from. Acts 1:8 Galatians 5:16,17 When we consistently walk “in” the Spirit, we come to adopt to and adapt the indigenous characteristics of the host.
Who/What is the Spirit?
The Spirit of God is heaven’s on site agent. He is both an “experience” and a “person”. Therefore, we must not only have “it” (the experience) but also have “him” (person). He lives and works on earth to execute God’s will through the physical body of the believer. He will stay here until his work is finished. He is the breath of God, an ambassador whose sole purpose is to evoke works which glorify the Father. The Spirit is called a comforter and a guide because he acts on the Father’s behalf to train you (Prov 22:6) up into productive, fruit-bearing, child of God.
Common misconceptions about walking in the Spirit
1. Trying to run the race before learning how to walk it.
The process of maturity DEMANDS that you learn first things first! No matter how prodigious or talented a child may be, a baby still goes through 3 stages of movement: crawl, walk, run. Accept that as a fact of your spiritual life and it will stop the anxiety attacks you experience over attempting to be perfect.
2. Living the roller coaster life. I don’t know about you, but I rode spiritual roller coaster till I got sick. Going up and down in in your spiritual life is no fun at all!! Several things can contribute to this nail biting type of living. List three circumstances which you feel can lead to “roller coaster” living:
A good description of people who are not walking in the Spirit is found in Eph 4:14
As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
Keys to walking in the Spirit
When the Bible tells us to walk in the Spirit, it simply means for us to depend on the Spirit to guide us in our choices and decision making. His re to give us power and inward wisdom. If we depend on him, rather than our own creations of “getting by” then we gradually take on his character. Remember: lean not to your own understanding. One of the most tell-tale signs that you are not depending on the Spirit is if you find yourself resisting his influence. The Bible tells us to “quench not the Spirit”. In other words, don’t prevent him from leading and guiding you.
Just so there’s no misunderstanding between us, walking in the Spirit is not
-speaking in tongues or
-doing the Pentecostal electric slide or
-crying in church
-quoting scripture constantly while on mass transit
-saying “in the name of Jesus” after every sentence
-daily wearing the big vampire-killing cross you bought in a Christian bookstore
-having “I love Jesus” stickers plastered on your car bumper
-being super spiritual on Superbowl Sunday or
-saying “ptl” or “praise the Lord” before you talk to other Christians.
Walking in the Spirit is an everyday journey of decreasing self so that Christ may increase in you.