by Neil Anderson
Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh
When we first became Christians, we were like one-third horsepower lawn mower engines. We could accomplish something, but not very much because we weren’t very mature. Our ambition as Christians is to become engines that can power earth-moving machinery–real powerhouses for the Lord. But neither a lawn mower nor a bulldozer can accomplish anything without gas. And neither can we accomplish anything apart from Christ (John 15:5). No matter how mature you are, you can never be productive unless you are walking in the Spirit.
When it comes to the choice between walking according to the flesh and walking according to the Spirit, our will is like a toggle switch. The new Christian’s will seems to be spring-loaded toward fleshly behavior. He is still the unwitting victim of a thoroughly trained flesh which only knows how to operate independently of God. The mature Christian’s will is spring-loaded toward the Spirit. He makes occasional poor choices, but he is learning to crucify the flesh and walk in the Spirit on a daily basis.
If you re hoping for a magic formula or a list of foolproof steps for walking in the Spirit, you will be disappointed. The moment you reduce the Spirit-filled walk to a formula or an intellectual exercise, you probably won’t be Spirit-filled anymore.
The Holy Spirit is a “He,” not an “it.” Our walk with God is a personal experience, not a mechanical or legalistic formula. We see the immorality of fleshly indulgence everywhere, but simply preaching against it and telling people to shape up is not God’s answer. The law is powerless to give life (Galatians 3:21). Reintroducing the law to believers won’t work. But if we learn to walk by the Spirit, we won’t carry out the desires of the flesh. Let’s encourage others to do the same.
Prayer: Lord, I desire to be patient with others in their walk of faith as You are patient with me. Help me have a gracious response and a gentle answer to others today.