Galatians 5:16 – But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
Here we see the command to Christians, “live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.” This is important in our daily life – it is not an option. The verb here “live” in the Greek stresses a continuous responsibility and need. The truth is that all believers are responsible to walk by the Spirit and when we do not, it is a sin of our Will against God’s grace, an act of failing to walk by faith in God’s resources. Just as a person who walks with the aid of a cane, leans on and depends on the cane so to walk by the Spirit is to be faith-dependent on the Spirit for each step of one’s daily life. The promised result that comes from walking by the Spirit is simply that the believer begins to experience behavioral changes: growing deliverance from the control of the flesh or from the reign of sin, but also the positive production of the fruit of the Spirit.
We see also in this verse that it stresses that the alternative to walking by the Spirit is the control of the flesh. Unless the believer walks by the Spirit, he will fulfill the desires of the flesh. In other words the believer is either controlled by the Spirit or controlled by the flesh. Whatever you depend on for your resource for daily living determines who or what controls your life and the direction your life will take. What direction are you going?
Walking by the Spirit is a Spirit-dependent walk which means a conscious determination to trust or rely only on the resources of the indwelling Spirit for strength to obey God and overcome the desires of the flesh. It is a two sided coin – the negative is it is a turning away from and positive is a turning to. The believer chooses to turn away from self and turn to the Holy Spirit for the ability to live the Christian life. This is accomplished through faith as we see in Galatians 5:5 which says, For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait expectantly for the hope of righteousness. But something that is imperative is an attitude of constant dependence that is found in the study of the Word of God, prayer, worship, fellowship with others, and keeping short accounts with God through an honest confession that seeks to maintain a right relationship with Him. The results will be the fruit of the Spirit rather than the deeds of the flesh.
Are you walking in the Spirit or carrying out the deeds of the flesh? What are your thoughts on walking in the Spirit?