How do we walk in the spirit as apposed to walking in the flesh? That’s a really good question and it deserves some attention. So we’re going to talk about that for the next few episodes here and explore what it means to walk in the spirit.
In this episode:
- Three Part Beings
- Perfect Gentleman
- Walking in the Spirit
assignment Full Transcript(Scroll for more)
In previous episodes we’ve talked about how we are three part beings — body, soul, and spirit. We also talked about how our spirit is different from our soul. And then in the last episode we started talking about what the apostle Paul describes as “walking in the spirit.”
How do we walk in the spirit as apposed to walking in the flesh?
That’s a really good question and it deserves some attention. So we’re going to talk about that for the next few episodes here and explore what it means to walk in the spirit.
But first it’s important that we understand a core principle here. Understanding this will unlock the door and help us get moving in the right direction.
Three Part Beings
As we know, we live in these physical bodies as we walk around this earthly life. That’s the easiest part of us to understand because we can see it and touch it. Even though we humans come in a massive variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and abilities, really we’re still remarkably similar. In fact once we look beneath the skin all our bodies are very much alike.
Our soul consists of our mind, will, and emotions. It is the part of us that thinks, reasons and feels. It’s where we know joy and anger, where we know victory or defeat, where we can focus in concentration or let our minds drift. Our soul is where we understand the difference between humor and horror, where we can be agitated or anxious, and where we can know peace and true rest.
Then our spirit is that part of us that connects directly to God and becomes perfectly alive when we believe. The Bible says that God himself takes up residence in us and our spirits become one with his Spirit.
But here’s the thing. God is always the perfect gentleman. He will never force himself on anyone. Nor will God ever override a person’s will.
What that means is that someone can be born again, with a perfect spirit sealed by God himself, and still not really seem any different on the outside.
When this happens it is because that person’s soul and body are in agreement in ways that are contrary to their spirits. And because God is that perfect gentleman folks like that are in a situation where it’s two against one - body and soul against their spirit. And majority does rule in this case.
When we walk in the flesh the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these
That’s what happens when we walk in the flesh. Our physical self dominates. Our soul agrees with what our body is telling us and as a result we say and think and do all sorts of things that are destructive to ourselves, the people we come into contact with, and even the very world around us.
Walking in the Spirit
Fortunately something very different happens when we instead walk in the spirit. When we’re in that place our souls don’t agree with what our bodies are telling us.
Instead of taking orders from our bodies we look to spiritual truth as our guide. When we do that our mind, will and emotions come into whole-hearted agreement with that spiritual truth regardless of what our bodies are trying to tell us.
Guess what? When that happens it’s also a case of majority rules. Two against one. But this time it’s our spirit and soul against our body. And then, amazingly enough, our bodies actually will come into alignment with the other two.
When we walk in the spirit we see the fruit of the Spirit show themselves in our lives. That’s when we see more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self- control all come pouring out of our lives towards the people around us.
That’s what happens when we walk in the spirit. The next obvious question is how do we get there? And that’s what we’re going to talk about next time.