WALK IN THE SPIRIT
by Gary Wilkerson
Most of us would admit we rarely feel God’s grace at work in us. That’s why
we are prone to doubt that His presence abides in us. Paul addresses this
dilemma for us in Galatians when he writes, “I say, walk by the Spirit, and
you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, ESV).
It sounds simple enough but we tend to take Paul’s counsel here as a hard
command to be obeyed. We grit our teeth and say, “I will walk in the Spirit
today.” Then once we stumble, we think we are not “being spiritual” so we
try even harder. Suddenly we are under the law again because we have turned to
our fleshly ability, rather than trusting that we are already in the Spirit.
Paul says, “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law”
(5:18). In other words, the Spirit of God abides in you, giving you access at
all times to His grace, which empowers you. When Paul says, “Walk in the
Spirit,” he means, “Walk under grace, not the law.”
Paul then shows us the result of a walk in the Spirit: “The fruit of the
Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (5:22-23).
Take note: These things do not come about because of what we do. They are the
fruit of the righteousness God has put in us—the result of His work in us.
You may not feel very loving at times, but love is in you because God put it
there. You may not feel joy and peace, but God has implanted both deep within
you. His Spirit is at work in you every hour of every day, to His great glory
and to your deep blessing.
In one of the most amazing passages in Scripture, Paul gives us God’s
response to the human condition: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our
Lord. . . . There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ
Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from
the law of sin and death” (Romans 7:25, 8:1-2).