Yesterday we looked at the beauty of Christ’s humility, and the fact that we can learn from Him. Today, we will look at a phrase found in Scripture, “walk by the Spirit.” Humility and walking by the Spirit are intricately woven together. Galatians 5:16-17: “16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Immediately we see that there are two sides in opposition to one another. But what exactly does this mean? Romans 8:2 and 6 says, “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” The law of sin and death is selfish and focuses on our own will: my feelings, my thoughts, my desires. The Spirit focuses on God’s will. We don’t always notice when we are living according to the law of sin and death, and we need the Spirit to show us.
Take some time to surrender your own will to God, and ask Him to give you the grace to live according to His will.
Let us look at an illustration found in the life of King Saul. We see two instances where Saul received a commandment from the Lord (see 1 Samuel 13 and 15). In the first instance, Saul was fighting the Philistines, and was told to wait for Samuel. He became impatient and offered a sacrifice to the Lord; yet this was not the commandment. Saul decided what was best for himself. In chapter 15, Saul was told to devote to destruction everything of the Amalekites. Yet again, he decided it was best to keep some of the best items to sacrifice to the Lord. This may have seemed like a good thing, but it was disobedience. In 15:13, Saul even believes he did the right thing – “I have performed the commandment of the LORD.” Only through our relationship with Jesus can He teach us how to walk by the Spirit, not according to our own way.
Take some time to meditate on this. What is guiding your decisions in everyday activities?
To walk by the Spirit is language used to represent every moment, in every area of life. As we walk by the Spirit, doing God’s will, that is where we will find life and find it abundantly. We often equate doing God’s will in the big events of life, but He desires that we live each moment surrendered to Him.
As we’ve gone into lockdown today, we can learn from the life of Paul in the New Testament. He spent much time in isolation, and his isolation came in the form of a prison. Yet even in this time, he wrote some of the most powerful letters to the churches (Philippians, Ephesians etc.). He encouraged them to rejoice always, and to live lives worthy of the gospel. He was still an effective minister while being isolated – even the guards and other prisoners knew that he was in prison for the gospel (see Philippians 1:12-14). Lockdown does not stop the Lord. We must continue to be faithful.
What has God asked you to do in this time? Let Him teach you how to walk by the Spirit.