We have different styles, speed and distance of ” walking” into my church on Sunday mornings depending on how much control we have of our faculties:
- Someone like me has sufficient strength to walk normally for some distance as long as it is not a slope. A slope would most definitely affect my speed of walking and distance.
- My lady friend is in her eighties and suffering from arthritis in her hip and leg joints – she hobbles into church to her seat, while leaning on me.
- Yet another lady in her early 50’s has been ill for many years and because of a stroke she “walks” into church by using a wheel chair which is pushed by her Myanmar maid.
- The young of course, hop, skip and jump into church to their seats as they are full of boundless energy except when it is the examination period for universities, colleges, and schools.
Paul has written a very simple instruction “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). In other words if the Holy Spirit is living in you, let him have full control of your life. We are to be led by the Spirit.
What does it mean to Walk in the Spirit? Understanding what it means could deliver many from confusion, strife, distress, indecision and even lusts of the flesh (David Wilkerson).
Many of us believe that the Holy Spirit continually works in us every moment of the day. We call on Him for comfort during crises. We honor and preach about Him. We learn of His gifts and fruit. We believe it is He who revives the church and many have experienced genuine manifestations of the Spirit.
The Christian only walks in two ways in the Spirit – Flesh vs Spirit. The flesh is stubborn and acts and does whatever it pleases, then asks God to bless those choices as “The Lord gave me a sound mind, and I can make choices intelligently. I do not have to wait on Him for direction. God helps those who help themselves.”
Walking in the Spirit is just the opposite. We surrender our will to the Holy Spirit and trust His still, small voice to direct us in all things.”The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord ” Psalm 37:23. It is the Spirit that orders the steps of a good man. He desires to lead and direct our every move. We are to walk in total submission to the Holy Spirit as Christ absolutely submitted to the Father.
Jesus testified, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19). “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (5:30). “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me… I live by the Father” (6:38, 57).
If we’re honest, we’ll admit that heaven is often the last place we turn to when we need direction. Most often, we run to counselors, or spend hours on the phone with friends, seeking advice: “What do you think? Is it a good idea for me to go in this direction? Do you think I should do it?” Sadly, we go to the Holy Spirit as our last option, if we go to him at all.
In Numbers 9, we read of a cloud that came down and covered the tabernacle in the wilderness. This cloud represented God’s constant presence with his people. And for us today, the cloud serves as a type of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives.
At night, the cloud over the tabernacle in the wilderness became a pillar of fire, a warm glow in a dark place: “So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night”(Numbers 9:16). The children of Israel always followed this supernatural cloud, however it directed them. When it rose above the tabernacle, the people pulled up stakes and followed it. And wherever the cloud stopped, the people also stopped and pitched their tents. They moved or stayed according to its clear direction
Centuries later, at the Upper Room in Jerusalem. The Holy Ghost — the same Spirit who had hovered over the wilderness tabernacle — came down and hovered over some 120 worshippers who had gathered in the Upper Room after Jesus’ death. This cloud came farther down, into the very room where the people sat, and it dwelled upon the people’s heads as cloven tongues of fire. This cloud of fire had split up and sat on each person in the Upper Room. Then the flames possessed the people’s bodies.
At that point, Jesus’ followers were “in the Spirit,” with the Holy Ghost living in them. Yet it’s one thing to have the Spirit abiding in you, and something else entirely to live in total submission to the Spirit. You can be filled with the Holy Ghost, but that doesn’t mean you’re walking in obedience to his leading and allowing yourself to be governed by him. We may be filled with the Holy Spirit — praying and singing in the Spirit, or experiencing manifestations of the Spirit — but we still have to commit to taking orders from him. If we don’t wait for his direction in all things, we simply aren’t walking in the Spirit. Paul’s instruction makes this distinction clear: “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).
The apostle boldly stated, “All the promises of God in him are yea [yes], and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” (2 Corinthians1:20). According to Paul, walking in the Spirit begins when we give a confident, intractable “divine yes” to all of God’s promises. It means having the unwavering confidence that the Lord will keep every promise in his book to us. It’s saying, “Father, I have read your promises, and I say yes to all of them. I believe your word to me.”
James’ admonition was : “Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (James 1:6–7). Now we know what a “divine yes” is. So, what does Paul mean by the “Amen” in the same verse? The word itself means, literally, “So be it. You can trust it.” In the context of the passage, “Amen” means saying, “I believe your word to me, Lord. So be it in my life.”
Consider these promises God has made to us and see if your response to them is “Yea and Amen”:
- The Lord has established you, sealed you, filled you and anointed you with his Holy Spirit. “He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:21–22).You can’t walk in the Spirit until you believe you’re filled with the Spirit. And the truth is, the Holy Ghost is with us at all times, even when we’ve fallen into sin. In fact, we need him as much when we’ve done wrong as when we’re doing right.I ask you: are the promises in this passage a settled “yes and amen” for you? Is there no possibility of a “maybe” in your mind? If all the promises of the Lord are yes and amen, then they must be so in our lives. We have to determine, “Yes, the Holy Spirit lives in me. I am his holy temple. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how I may feel from day to day. The Holy Spirit has come upon me, filled me and anointed me.”
- Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would “abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth…he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:16–17, 26). In short, the Spirit fills our minds with truth and guides us by that truth. So, have you committed a divine “yes” to this promise? Are you able to say, “Amen, Lord, let it be so in my life”?
- Jesus promised that the Spirit would be the inner voice to guide us, to glorify Christ in us, and to show us things to come. “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…and he will shew you things to come” (16:13). Are you still wavering as to whether such a great promise could be true? Does it seem just too good that the Spirit wants to direct you in every step of your life? Or can you say, “Yes, Lord, let it be so”?
- God has promised to provide you with direction for all your ways. “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:6). Have you accepted his direction for your comings and goings — literally, every step of your week, your day, this moment? Have you fully committed to this kind of walk? Is it yes and amen to you?
How can I be certain that I’m hearing the Spirit’s voice, and not another?”
The Holy Spirit cannot, and will not, govern any believer who isn’t wholly surrendered to his will. The Spirit speaks to those who are prepared to obey his voice. And something else concerned me as I thought about tackling this vast subject of walking in the Spirit. If this walk involves total confidence in hearing his voice and being led by it, how can we be safeguarded against deception? How can we know we’re hearing the voice of the Spirit, and not our own, or the devil’s? This important matter requires of us another emphatic “Amen” to trusting God’s promise of protection.
Paul points out that such trust demands an act of faith: “Taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:16). This is a promise from the Lord that he will shield us from delusion and error.
The voice of Satan constantly shouts all kinds of accusations at us. And the only way to shut out these fiery darts is to turn to the promise God has given us: that no weapon formed against us can prosper. Satan’s weapons include condemnations and lies, and the Holy Ghost is faithful to expose them all to us. The voice of the enemy would urge you to act impulsively, without checking with God’s Word. But every word of the Spirit will be confirmed by the Bible.
That brings us to the voice of our flesh. Like the enemy of our souls, the flesh clamors to be heard. It’s always urging us that it’s okay to appease its desires from time to time, that all we need is a friend to agree with us, and God will bless our decisions.
Yet the Lord provides us with another great and precious promise here. Scripture says the Spirit fights within us against everything that’s of flesh: “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other” (Galatians 5:17). Paul is saying that the battle against the flesh is not ours to wage. Only the Holy Spirit can mortify our flesh.
The voice of the Holy Ghost will urge you to take His word to prayer and to confirm it also in God’s Word. We have been given all of these promises of protection, for any and every situation. And they’re available to us in every conflict that arises, no matter how small or large.
Whenever the flesh or the devil comes in like a flood, the Holy Spirit is always faithful to rise up and crush the attack, if we will trust Him.
Today, an entire generation of Christians is making decisions without consulting the Holy Spirit. Many believers are acting out of fear or despair, with no faith in God’s promises. They simply decide what to do on their own, based on what they think is best.
What is the outcome for such believers? What happens when God’s servants operate outside the complete government of the Holy Spirit — when they devise their own plans, refusing to yield to the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit? They stir up a spiritual bees’ nest, bringing not rest but distress, pain and confusion.
Listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. Be determined to say “yes and amen” to His absolute government in your life. He will lead you into all truth, He will guide you where He wants you to go, and He’ll show you things to come which He wants you to know. Yes, you can testify that such a life is possible. And, as He teaches you, you just say yes. Will you?
Extract from David Wilkerson’s Walking in the Spirit