Walking in the Spirit
I remember an incident a gentleman told me he once saw upon a bridge over a river. A man was driving a flock of fat lambs, when something met them and hindered their passage. In reaction, one of the lambs leaped upon the wall of the bridge and, his legs slipping from under him, fell into the stream. Seeing him, the rest, one after another, leaped over the bridge into the stream and were all, or almost all, drowned. Those that were behind did not know what was to become of them that were gone before, but thought that they might venture to follow their companions regardless. As soon as they were over the wall and falling headlong, the case was altered. And so it is with unconverted carnal men. One dies beside them and drops into hell, and another follows the same way. Yet, they will go after them because they think nothing of where they are going. Oh! But when death has once opened their eyes and they see what is on the other side of the wall, even in the other world, then what would they give to be where they were?
-Richard Baxter (1615-1691)
How true it is that everyone follows somebody. We can choose to follow our carnal, old nature or we can follow the direction of the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught us that the Spirit of Truth would guide us into all truth (John 16:13). Jesus told us that we would know the truth and the truth would set us free (John 8:32). Thus, it is of great importance that we follow diligently after the Holy Spirit who longs for us to walk in truth—to walk in freedom.
It is when we follow our carnal nature we are bound to the lusts of the flesh. Paul taught us in Romans 6 that we are dead to our sinful nature and should not take up the bondage of this carnality again. To the Galatians he asked, who had bewitched them. Did the life in Christ that was begun by the Spirit now become a work of the flesh? (Galatians 3)
Practically, in order to walk in the Spirit, we must first have relationship and fellowship with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14). This fellowship is a supernatural partnership, much like a marriage. Our journey begins with a specified destination. Our goal is to take hold of Christ (Philippians 3:14). Our journey must be one of balance. When our balance is off, we fall. Balance in the Spirit comes from walking a life of faith. Just like our natural senses keep us balanced, so also does our spiritual perception—faith. Walking in the Spirit requires observation. Assaults, obstacles, and distractions will come our way, but we maintain our focus. Choose today to walk in the Spirit.