“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law… Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires… If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-19, 24-25).
In our last study we discovered four things related to walking in the Spirit…
1. We need to recognize the fact that we have two natures that are in conflict with each other. (Galatians 5:16-19, 24-25)
2. We need to understand the difference between the law of gravity and the law of lift. We can use the illustration of the two balloons. One filled with Oxygen the other filled with helium. The one with oxygen is not stronger than the law of gravity whereas the one with helium is stronger than the law of gravity. The one with oxygen is like an unbeliever without the power of the Holy Spirit to lift them above the downward pull of the sinful, fleshly nature. The one with helium is like the believer filled with the Holy Spirit who has the power to oversome that downward pull of the sinful and fleshly nature.
3. We need to recon on the fact that we still have the old nature to deal with.
4. We need to Make sure our will is fully surrendered to God Not just our emotions and intellect. If our will is surrendered to the Holy Spirit then out mind and our emotions will come into line resulting in the peace of God that passes all human understanding regardless of our circumstances. As we continue these studies we come to our fifth point…
5. Just say yes!
The Bible says; “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:20) God has given us his very great and precious promises. As the apostle Peter writes; “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. Through these He has given us His precious and magnificent promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, now that you have escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4)
God’s promises are always “yes” and “amen.”
Sometimes there is a waiting period between the yes and the amen but if what we have asked for in prayer lines up with the promises of God then it will come to pass in God’s time and in God’s way. As the apostle John writes; “I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have before Him: If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we already possess what we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:13-15) Sometimes God will say “yes” and sometimes He will say “no not now” but if what we are asking and believing for is in line with His Word then it will come to pass as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow.
The dark night of the soul
At some time every believer will experience the ‘dark night of the soul’ when nothing seems to be happening and the emotions and the mind are in turmoil but we must always need to keep in mind that the sun will shine again. Even in the darkness we have the assurance that what is dark to us is as light to God who sees all things and why they happen. (Psalm 139:11-12) If we have escaped the spiritual corruption in the world caused by evil desires, and are saying “yes” and “amen” to the promises of God then we can know the power of God in us, upon us and at work through us to the glory of God as we wait for His promises to come to pass! After all we walk by faith and not by sight! (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Three little words
Three little words are required to bring us into the flow of God’s power and they are; “Just say yes!” As big doors swing on little hinges so a “yes” can open the way for the will and purposes of God to happen on earth as it does in heaven. Our confession is also important as the Lord Jesus Himself said; “…“Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.” (Mark 11:22-26)
Leaves without fruit
In its context the Lord Jesus had previously pronounced a judgement on the fig tree because it had leaves but no fruit. The leaves represented works of righteousness but there was no fruit of faith. This was the spiritual condition of Israel at the time. They had a works based righteousness but not a righteousness that proceeded from real and genuine faith in God. Confession and faith go together in the spiritual life and especially in regards to salvation. Paul wrote about this. “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)
Believing, confession, action
In the work of salvation faith, confession and action is required and it is the same with walking in the Spirit daily. When you were saved you repented before God, believed in Jesus to save you and confessed it and then made the choice to live under His lordship. This was a once off commitment to Him but one that also needs to be continued moment by moment as you walk by faith and obedience to His Word the Bible. So then when we see a promise of God’s Word that is ours in Christ we just need to say “yes” and “amen!” Also it is important that we exercise forgiveness towards others especially those who are of the household of faith. If we do not forgive our brother or sister from the heart when we have been offended then we ourselves will not be forgiven by God even though we plead for it with tears! In the Bible ‘mountains’ are kingdoms and through a confession of faith and surrender of our will to God we can achieve great things for God! We are not all called to be evangelists, prophets, pastors, teachers or missionaries but we are all called to be witnesses and to faithfulness in the sphere that God has called us to work. Always remember that when the Lord Jesus comes back the one thing He will be looking for in us is faithfulness and the right use of our talents that He has given us to extend His kingdom on earth. (Luke 18:8) (Matthew 25:14-30) Mountain moving faith will grow in us from hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) If we would know the joy and peace of the blessed Holy Spirit moment by moment as we walk by faith and know a deep sense of fulfilment and contentment in our work for God then we need to believe His promises and “just say yes!”
6. In all your ways acknowledge Him.
King Solomon wrote; “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs 3:5-7) If we would grow in our walk with the Holy Spirit then we need to be doing several things. 1. We need to trust the LORD with all of our heart moment by moment in faith including the surrender of our wills. 2. Then we must not be solely relying upon our own way of doing things or thinking but have our thoughts constantly garrisoned by the Word of God so that our thinking lines up with God’s thinking. 3. We must be acknowledging Him as Lord in every area of our lives and this will effect what we say and do and the things and goals we pursue in life.
Do they own us?
There are some things we can and do enjoy in this life involving wholesome relationships and secular activities and times of leisure and relaxation, and these things have their place. However, the moment someone or something or some activity owns us and becomes the main focus of our lives instead of the LORD being first in all things then we will not know the power of the Holy Spirit crucifying the sinful desires of the old nature or have a sense of the presence of God even though He is still in us. God has put His wisdom into the Bible and we can have wisdom from Him that transcends the wisdom of the world.
Wisdom from God
There are some in the world who are wise and their wisdom at times may be helpful to us in certain situations but we must always keep in mind that God’s wisdom is always the best. As the apostle James writes; “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere.” (James 3:17) God’s Word will make us wiser than the wisdom of this world. (Proverbs 2:1-9) (Psalm 119:130) God’s Word will keep us from sin or sin will keep us from God’s Word. (Psalm 119:9-11, 133) His Word will always lead us on a level path in this life. (Psalm 119:105) So then we must acknowledge Him on all our ways.
7. Put on the full armour of God every day.
Paul gave us very good advice as to how to short circuit the devil gaining a foothold in our lives. Paul writes; “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”(Ephesians 6:10-18)
Armed and ready for action!
When you were saved you were enlisted into the ranks of the LORD’s army under your Commander General the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the new birth the Holy Spirit made you part of God’s victorious team over the forces evil and wickedness in high places. This is what happens when you get saved. However, as you start your recruit training in God’s kingdom you also need to have the armour and weaponry you need to fight the battle against the world, the flesh and the devil. The blessed Holy Spirit will give you the power and the gifts you need to successfully do God’s will. Sadly many believers who have been born again and enlisted into the LORD’s army do not have the armour and weapons they need. They may be well trained but do not have or even know how to use the spiritual weapons God has provided for them. These weapons are released in the believer’s life when they are baptized with the Holy Spirit, receiving power from on high. (Acts 1:8) (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
Make it a personal prayer
Paul writes to the believers at Ephesus and tells them that they need to put on all of God’s armour if they are to win the spiritual battles that lay ahead of them. If we are to be effective in the Christian life then we need to be born again and baptised with the Holy Spirit. Every day, after we have had our prayer time, we need to put on God’s armour piece by piece. You can make Ephesians 6:1-18 your own personal prayer every day. Put the armour on piece by piece and say it out loud so that the devil can hear you and at the end make sure to start praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”