Walk In The Spirit
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16
When thinking about walking in the Spirit, this verse in Galatians most likely comes to your mind. It’s a verse that I’ve visited many times over these 45 years of salvation. It’s a truth that has always encouraged and stabilized God’s people in every generation.
However, there’s another verse that mentions walking in the Spirit. Interestingly, it comes from the exact opposite perspective as Galatians. It’s found in Micah 2:11. I just read it this morning.
“If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.”
There are divergent opinions as to what this verse means in reference to the word “spirit.” I won’t go into it here. You’re welcome to do some study on your own.
I tend to think it’s talking about the Spirit of God. Not all agree on that though. But here’s a note from the commentary by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown in 1871. I give it here in its entirety.
“11. walking in the spirit—The Hebrew means also "wind." "If a man professing to have the 'spirit' of inspiration (Eze 13:3; so 'man of the spirit,' that is, one claiming inspiration, Ho 9:7), but really walking in 'wind' (prophecy void of nutriment for the soul, and unsubstantial as the wind) and falsehood, do lie, saying (that which ye like to hear), I will prophesy," &c., even such a one, however false his prophecies, since he flatters your wishes, shall be your prophet (compare Mic 2:6; Jer 5:31).”
Personally, I think JFB hit upon the intent and meaning of this verse perfectly. And the way they explain the verse added fuel to my thoughts.
First off, this is something I have to take and examine in reference to my own life as a believer and as a preacher. I have to ask myself: is my “prophecy (preaching/spiritual life) void of nutriment for the soul, and unsubstantial as the wind?” It’s easy for the preacher to get to believing his own “stuff” and think he’s really something — when in fact he knows his walk doesn’t quite match his pulpit talk.
Years ago I was invited to preach at a church in New England. It was during the time when we were doing the Seaman’s Ministry in New Orleans. After one of my messages, a young lady (about my age at the time) came up to Judy and me after the service. During the brief conversation she turned to Judy and said, “It must be great being married to your husband.”
Well, what could either of us say? She thought I was really something because of what and how I preached. (Over the years, Judy and I have had many good chuckles over that.) We both knew that the real me wasn’t always “walking in the Spirit” as she thought. The truth was my life, at times, was as “unsubstantial as the wind.”
However, over the years I’ve come to understand that the only Person to have ever walked in the Spirit every second of every day was Yeshua. It’s easy to place unrealistic expectations upon ourselves. Yes, we are to walk in the Spirit. Yes, He does equip us to be overcomers. But as long as we live clothed in this mortal flesh, we will struggle.
I’ve also come to understand that it’s the struggle which creates the hunger within us to be more-and-more conformed to our Saviour’s image. That’s what walking this life of faith is all about. With every nose-dive in our walk, a greater and deeper hunger is created within us to throw off this ole flesh and be clothed upon with our new body when Yeshua comes.
I guess, to some degree, we too are like those “walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie.” The difference is that genuine believers (and genuine preachers) are willing to confront their own duplicity and, in the strength of the Spirit, go on to greater heights of victory and conformity to their Saviour.
We have an adversary, the Devil, that works overtime to create confusion and failure in the life of God’s people. But as it says in 1 John 4:4 — “… greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
Those who have the Spirit of God in them can, and do, live within the realm of spiritual victory. And praise God that one day this corruptible will put on incorruption, and this mortal will put on immortality, and death will be swallowed up in victory. (1 Corinthians 15:54)
So until then, rather than walking in the spirit of falsehood which is a lie, let’s strive to walk in the Spirit of truth and grace.
That’s what our hearts desire anyway, right?