Living for Christ will never be easy because of the fallen, sinful world that you live in, but that doesn’t mean you’ll constantly life in defeat. You’ll probably have to battle for victory, but you can win and walk in the spirit in freedom!
“God is a man of war,” (Exodus 15:3) so He understands what you need to fight, He knows what it will take to win, and He has given you what you need. You can trust Him.
“Walk in the Spirit,” Paul wrote in Galatians 5, “and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” Yet even Christians who love the Lord and live to honor Him struggle at times with the battles of the natural and spiritual realms and are vulnerable to the ravages of the world and to their own sin nature.
How do you walk in the Spirit? One step at a time!
The Walk of the Spirit Must be Ordered by God
Psalm 37:23 (ESV) says, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in His way.” Walking in the Spirit is a both decision and discipline where 1) the Word of God, 2) a lifestyle of worship and praise, and 3) a fellowship with the Lord in prayer must go before every step you take.
If you ever feel like you’re being pulled in two directions – you are! The path upon which you choose to walk isn’t an act of the will. It’s an act of the Spirit.
Worship is the primary point of spiritual connection you have with the Spirit because God’s presence dwells in your praise.~Alicia Purdy
If you desire to walk in the Spirit, you must do the things that keep you connected to God’s Holy Spirit. Worship is the primary point of spiritual connection you have with the Spirit because God’s presence dwells in your praise. (Psalm 22:3 MEV)
“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” Jesus said in Matthew 26:41. Jesus understood the battle between the Spirit and the flesh – and He triumphed over sin! Through Him, you can too.
Because of your choice to walk with the Lord in a fallen world, you have enemies both seen and unseen. Here are three wars you can fight – and win – through Christ Jesus, the Lord over all, who made your victory possible:
1. The War Against the Flesh and its Lusts
The flesh will always crave carnal things that oppose the holiness of God’s Spirit while the Spirit of God in you craves things that are opposed to what your flesh desires. This will last for the rest of your life so you need the tools to recognize and resist the desires of your flesh.
In Romans 7:15-20 Paul wrote, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing, for the will to do what is right is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.” (ESV)
Worship and praise are a vital part of your spiritual strength and success because praise and worship are, at their core, grateful ministry to the Lord. True worship isn’t “you” focused, it’s God focused. You need your mind off of yourself and onto the Lord if you want to walk in the Spirit so you don’t fulfill the lusts of your flesh.
No, you won’t undo your problems in one day or one worship session. Sanctification is a process. Worship is a lifestyle where you firmly and consistently remove your mindset off of yourself and onto the Lord through praise. Your ministry to the Lord is what will strike the winning blow in the battle against yourself!
Hide yourself with His presence daily, moment by moment if you must. When temptations come to sin in what you say, or in what you do, or even in what you think, you can recognize and resist, but also relinquish control to the Lord.
2. The War Against the Enemy of Your Soul
Your Adversary seeks to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10) everything in your life. He wants you so wrapped up in your own head that you can’t or won’t step into the presence of God in worship. That’s because he knows worship is a source of spiritual strength for you!
Remember that during His time on earth, Jesus was fully human, subjected to the same evil temptations everyone has, yet without sin, (Hebrews 4:15) which means you have the same opportunities to choose righteousness each and every time. (Hebrews 4:15)
“Since He himself has gone through suffering and testing, He is able to help us when we are being tested.” (Hebrews 2:18) You are not alone. You have Jesus. Jesus gets you and He will help you, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the One working in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13)
If you want to “decrease” so He can “increase” in your life (John 3:30) – WORSHIP HIM! Why? Because there are victories you’ll win through spiritual warfare in worship that you can’t win any other way.
Your enemy will tempt you to despair when life is hard, to turn your back on God, to blame God for bad things, to deny that God is able, to twist the Scriptures to fit with worldly values and perspectives, to keep you apart from other believers who will sharpen you – and anything else his evil mind concieves.
If there is one thing the devil does not want, it is a believer who has an unshakeable faith in a good God and worships Him as an action of that faith – regardless of how bad life gets.~Alicia Purdy
If there is one thing the devil does not want, it is a believer who walks in the Spirit and has an unshakeable faith in a good God and worships Him as an action of that faith – regardless of how bad life gets. That’s because he understands the true power of praise to defeat Him better than you do.
“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus….” (1 Thessalonians 5:18. Don’t fall for the temptation to distance yourself from God. Run to Him! And praise the Lord!
3. The War of Your Light Against the World’s Darkness
“…the whole world lies in the power of the evil one”, John wrote (1 John 5:19 ESV) Jesus said this about unbelievers: “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44 NIV)
The world’s darkness is as all-consuming for the unbeliever as God’s light is for the Christian. The world is consumed with wickedness. You are surrounded on every side, so you must fix your eyes on Jesus because walking in the Spirit is a matter of survival for you!
The Word of God, the fellowship of prayer and supernatural power of praise are the three foundational, spiritual activities that will keep you walking in the Spirit and get your mind set “on things above”. (Colossians 3:2)
If you are missing any one of these three, or if they exist in a secondary, or weakened condition in your life, you’ll struggle to “walk in the light as He is in the light”. (1 John 1:7) Soon, you’ll become accustomed to the darkness.
Your faith must be held together by “a cord of three strands” (Ecc. 4:12) and anchored to Christ in all things or you’ll unravel and drift away when the world tries to yank you from your faith in the Lord – and they will.
Thought for today: The First Step of Walking in the Spirit is Worship
Asaph wrote, “My flesh and my heart fails, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25 NIV) You’re not strong enough to walk in the Spirit with willpower and determination alone. You need the Lord’s help or “you labor in vain”. (Psalm 127:1)
“…Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (See Galatians 5:22-25) You must live and walk in the Spirit – one is a natural behavior, the other is a spiritual condition and you need both to win the battles you’ll face.
If you feel a battle of the Spirit and the flesh raging in you, worship the Lord. Why? Because staying connected to His Holy Spirit will give you strength, wisdom, and guidance you need to navigate your problems. He has the winning strategy, a way of escape, divine appointments, a path forward – everything you need to win!
You love the Lord, and you desire to walk in the Spirit with Him and He knows that! He will convict, strengthen and even remind you- and your choice is to obey. The first step of walking in the Spirit is to worship the Lord.
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