Keep in Step with the Spirit
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
Gal. 5:16 NASB
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.
Gal. 5:16 NLT
Walking in the Spirit is finding Christ more beautiful and desirable than any worldly attraction, fleshly indulgence, or sinful desire. Walking in the Spirit is enjoying the constant, conscious presence of Christ day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute. Walking in the Spirit imbibes the grace of God as the power of God to overcome the world, flesh, and devil.
“To keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25 NIV) means being so satisfied in God’s great grace and unfathomable love that we are freed from the idols of self. Walking in the Spirit is preferring God’s will over and against the fleeting, false promises of this life. Eternity is valued higher than the passing pleasures of this life as we are led by the Spirit.
When we walk in the Spirit . . .
The Holy Spirit changes our motivation: we yearn for holiness instead of demanding our wants and desires to be met now.
The Holy Spirit frees our hearts from the fear of retribution for our sins. In its place, the Spirit gives us hearts that yearn to please our heavenly Father.
The Holy Spirit renews our hearts to prefer and refer everything in our lives to the power of God and his holiness.
Living in the Spirit means that I trust the Holy Spirit to do in me what I cannot do myself. This life is completely different from the life I would naturally live of myself. Each time I am faced with a new demand from the Lord, I look to Him to do in me what He requires of me. It is not a case of trying but of trusting; not of struggling but of resting in Him.
If I have a hasty temper, impure thoughts, a quick tongue or a critical spirit, I shall not set out with a determined effort to change myself, but, reckoning myself dead in Christ to these things, I shall look to the Spirit of God to produce in me the needed purity or humility or meekness. This is what it means to “stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you” (Exod. 14:13).
Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life (Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade, 1957), 176.