Do you live in freedom? God’s Word’s says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV). We also read in Galatians 5:1 NIV, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”
God is teaching me about the power, freedom, joy, and peace that comes when I’m living in His Spirit. This may be a new concept for you. The Bible says, “As followers of Christ, we are to walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25) and “be indwelled with the Spirit” (Romans 8:9) – “which allows us to live our new life in Christ, no longer a slave to sin” (Galatians 5:1).
So how do we live in this freedom? By walking in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:16, 25 says, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Walking in the Spirit is choosing to think and act like He does and not how our “natural man” does. In my flesh, I am judgmental, selfish and proud. Obviously these things are not of the Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22, 23 NASB).
We are corrupt in our humanness; the things of God are not naturally what we desire. When we come to Christ and ask Him to come into our hearts and lives, He gives us His Spirit to guide us. We invite Him to become our “Lord,” the One who leads us. It’s a profound and glorious thing that happens when His Spirit comes to live inside of us. But it does not take away our humanness. The Bible speaks of a battle between our flesh and the Spirit that dwells in us. Galatians 5:17 says, “These are contrary to one another.”
Galatians 5:19-21 explains what living in the flesh looks like: “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Every day…sometimes every minute…we have a choice to make. Will I follow my own fleshly desires, or will I allow God’s Spirit to lead me? The choice is not easy; that’s why it’s called a battle. Walking in the Spirit takes deliberate and disciplined choice-making.
Learning to walk in the Spirit takes practice. Here are some practical tips to start your journey:
1) Tell God that you want to walk in the Spirit. This verbal declaration gets your mind on track.
2) Ask God what areas in your life need changed by His Spirit.
3) Note the changes in your actions and thoughts as you go throughout your day with Him so you’ll be encouraged to keep going.
4) Live in grace. You are going to stumble and function in the flesh at times. As soon as you realize it, confess it and ask the Spirit to guide you from that point on.
Imagine going to work tomorrow and seeing everyone in the light of His love, instead of in the negativity and judgment that so easily control us. Imagine being confronted with that sin that was so tempting and debilitating before, and now it has no power over you. Imagine the freedom and joy that would come when you forgive the unforgivable. These examples only scratch the surface of all that you can accomplish when you’re walking in the Spirit.
Today – everyday – you can live in freedom. It takes discipline and practice, but it starts with a choice. Choose to walk in the Spirit. Christ died to set you free. Take Him up on His offer!
Free in His Spirit along with you,
(All Scriptures from NKJV unless otherwise noted)