By Gordon Robertson, CEO, The Christian Broadcasting Network
The Apostle Paul makes a profound statement when he declares that if we live in the Spirit, we should also walk in the Spirit.
He is referring to Ezekiel 36:26-27, where God gives us this wonderful promise:
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”
God gives us a new heart and a new Spirit, regenerating our innermost being. He causes us to walk in His ways. If we are tempted to disobey Him, His Spirit within will check us and say, “No, you’re not going to do that today! That person died. He is not alive in you anymore because you are alive in Me.”
When things are not going well, we must stop and dig down deep to hear His response in our hearts. Think of the acronym HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.
Are you hungry? His Word is your bread.
Are you angry? The Holy Spirit is not mad at anyone.
Are you lonely? He is always with you.
Are you tired? When you wait upon Him, He will renew your strength.
To walk in the Spirit, we must recognize that He abides in us. In Him we find rest. He is our guide, our helper, and our advocate. He is our very present help in time of trouble. The more we are conscious of His presence, the more we are aware that His promise is true: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). He is with us to the end.
Once we are rooted and grounded in His love and presence, we change our thinking about who and where He is. I have been to some worship services where His presence is so tangible that people can barely stand. At other times, that physical feeling is not there. Has the Holy Spirit left? No, He is not far away. Deuteronomy 30:14 tells us, “But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.”
Yielding to His Guidance
In Acts 8, Luke describes a great persecution that arose against the church. As a result, believers were scattered and proclaimed the Gospel everywhere they went.
To walk in the Holy Spirit, we must constantly consult Him for guidance.
Among them was Philip, a deacon who went into Samaria to preach. God did amazing miracles as the lame walked, Simon the Sorcerer was converted, and many people were saved. In the midst of this, Luke reports in Acts 8:26: Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”
Then Luke adds, This is desert.
Imagine you are having a great revival with miracles happening all around you in Samaria, Galilee, and the Jordan River. Suddenly an angel tells you to go to the desert. You might be tempted to answer, “No! There is nothing in the desert. I should stay here with all these people who need to be discipled.”
Yet Philip is walking in the Spirit, and he obeys. He goes to that desert road where he overtakes an Ethiopian in a chariot, and from that meeting the church of Ethiopia is born. This is because someone is not only filled with the Spirit—he also hears and obeys the prompting of God.
Strength for the Journey
To walk in the Holy Spirit, we must constantly consult Him for guidance. We need to ask continually, “What do You want me to do today? How do You want me to respond in this situation?”
When we ask, the Spirit of Truth will lead us into all truth. We can ask Him for wisdom on the spot and get an answer. He will reveal what is wrong with our attitude, our approach, or our faith. He will show us what to do.
People from around the world travel to see a mountain in China with a colossal hole through the rock. In fact, this opening is so gigantic that stunt planes can fly through it! The mountain is named Tianmen—meaning Gate of Heaven—because at dawn the sun’s rays come through that hole, illuminating the entire area with a glorious light.
The winding road that leads to the “Gate of Heaven” takes travelers through a frightening landscape of dark, foreboding mountains. This can teach us a lesson about walking in the Spirit. Although heaven is our destination, the journey can be difficult. If we think of the road as an obstacle course, we are trying to walk in our own strength. We are ignoring His promise, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).
So, consider the road you are traveling—going wherever God has called you to go, and doing whatever He has called you to do. Ask Him how He wants you to act in that situation. You have the unique privilege of saying, “May God’s will be done here on this road as it is in heaven.” Then start imagining heaven. If it is different from where you are, pray His will be done in this circumstance, on this road, in your heart and attitude—right here and now.
The journey is part of the process of changing us so we are willing and eager to appropriate the resources that heaven has for us today. When we have that perspective, the winding road and foreboding mountains disappear. We are victorious because we are walking in the Spirit through God’s strength and ability, not our own. As Romans 8:37 assures us, Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. God bless you.
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