Daily Word

Walk by the Spirit | Galatians 5:16-24

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the desire of the flesh is against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, in order to keep you from doing whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, 20 idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who [h]belong to Christ Jesus crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:16-24 (NASB) 中文

What’s different?

Doing things a bit differently today. Not following the Acts series. Quick stop in Galatians after being prompted by my Bible memory system for this passage while at the same time covering the same verse in Bible study with my best friend this morning.

Walk by the Spirit

How do we understand this? Today, if we want to go somewhere, we get in a car or on a scooter and go. If you’re in a downtown setting, you may walk. Back in Paul’s day (the author) the average person went everywhere by walking. So to walk by the Spirit would be easier for them to relate to. Would we say, “drive by the Spirit” today? Maybe not. Let’s stick with the walking metaphor of life.

If we go for a walk with someone who is not able to walk well or doesn’t know the way, they will stick with us. They will turn when we turn, stop when we stop, run if we do, cross the street as we do, etc. They desire to get to the destination, arrive safely and on time (maybe). They also may enjoy just being with us so will go where we go.

Why?

Why do we walk by the Spirit? The answer is clear – so we do not satisfy, gratify, fulfill the desires of the flesh. The flesh is our natural sinful nature. As Paul says, the flesh is opposed to the Spirit and, likewise, the Spirit to the flesh.

Deeds of Flesh

We know that the desires of the flesh are evil. Paul lists some examples here. It’s quite a long list. No one ever memorizes this list, but maybe we should. With these comes a warning, “those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”. Pretty stern, severe warning. Much more than that of a cigarette package! “Practice”, in the context, would be walking in, a pattern of, a lifestyle.

Fruit of Spirit

Then he lists the fruit of the Spirit. These, we often memorize. There are many teachings on these fruit but one that is quite common is, fruit, like on a tree, are produced naturally. And it takes energy from the tree to produce them. And the Spirit is some special “tree” since it produces many different kinds of fruit. 

RЯeflection

  • When you walk the walk of life, are you doing it on your own? You will likely follow the desires of the flesh and those deeds will result. Or do you stick to the Spirit and go where He goes?
  • We can examine our lives to see if we’re producing fruit of the Spirit. Do others notice and comment, “Hey, you are so patient and loving? You seem so peaceful in the midst of storms.” Or, “It’s good to have a faithful friend like you.”
Dog walking in loyal obedience. Image from Pxfuel.com

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