How to walk in the SpiritT

INTRODUCTION“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law… Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires… If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-19, 24-25).

The Inward struggle

When you were born again you came to the realization that the Lord Jesus Christ came into your life through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and that you had been spiritually regenerated to worship God in Spirit and in truth and in that you rejoiced. Furthermore, you realised that you had been forgiven and cleansed from past and present sin, accepted by God in the beloved Jesus and set free from condemnation. You realised you no longer stood condemned in God’s Court of Law. Inside you were praising and thanking God out of your regenerated spirit. However, very soon after this spiritual experience you became aware of a dark and sinister and hidden desire that started to cause a conflict between those desires to please God and those desires to give into those dark inclinations and sinister desires. The first thing we need to do as we seek to walk in the Spirit is to recognize what is happening down on the inside of us as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Where ‘the rubber hits the road!’

It is one thing to be born again at a moment in time by the Spirit and something further to walk in the Spirit every day, to walk under His control. This is where ‘the rubber hits the road’ spiritually speaking for every true child of God. You know you have been born again and you know the Holy Spirit lives in you and you know you are to walk in the Spirit but the question for you is how do you walk in the Spirit?  How will you have victory over those dark and sinister desires that war against the spiritual interests of your soul and seek to control your body? How do you overcome a besetting sin of the fallen nature called ‘the flesh’?

  1. We need to recognize that we have two natures within us that are at war with each other and striving for mastery of our soul.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law… Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires… If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-19, 24-25).

C.H. Spurgeon said that being in conflict with the old fallen nature was like being chained to a corpse. Now a corpse smells and is very unpleasant unless you are as dead as the corpse is. However, with your new life in Christ Jesus you breathe the clean and fresh air of the life of the Spirit while at the same time being aware of that stinking spiritual corpse to which you are bound in this life. How then can any believer walk in the Spirit?

  1. We need to understand clearly the difference between Law of Lift vs the law of Gravity

The Apostle Paul wrote; “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).

We can understand this spiritual conflict when we consider the law of lift that goes against the law of gravity. I want you to imagine there are two balloons. One is filled with oxygen and the other filled with helium.

The Balloon filled with Oxygen

The balloon filled with oxygen is like a believer who is trying to overcome the desires of the flesh by their own will power and effort or religious abstinence and self-effort. These ‘works’ may enable them to have a partial and intermittent victory of sorts over sin and temptation but never be able to overcome a besetting sin which all of us have to avoid as believers as every believer has a specific area of weakness and vulnerability to temptation and sin. For some it may be lust, or for someone else a bad temper, or a critical tongue, or a habit of some kind. The oxygen in the balloon will allow it to defy the law of gravity up to a certain height but because the law of gravity is stronger than the oxygen the balloon will soon fall to the ground because the law of gravity is stronger than the law of lift. So it is with a believer who is struggling with the desires of the fallen sinful nature and especially where a besetting sin is concerned. What they need is something that will make the law of lift stronger than the law of gravity.

The Balloon filled with Helium

The believer who has learnt to walk in the Spirit is like the balloon that is filled with helium. Even though that believer feels the downward pull of the desires of the sinful nature, also called ‘the old man,’ he or she can rise above that downward pull because the Holy Spirit is able to lift him or her up and above that downward pull which is the law of sin and death. The law of the Spirit of Life that is in Christ Jesus (the spiritual law of lift) is stronger than the downward pull of the law of sin and death (The spiritual law of gravity). If you have been born again and have the Holy Spirit in you then you have the all the power you will ever need at your disposal to live a life that can overcome the world, the flesh and the devil and be pleasing to the Lord Jesus who has saved you. How then can you as a believer overcome the schemes and temptations of the devil and those sinful passions which are in conflict with the Spirit’s desires? This brings us to the third point…

  1. We need to recognize the reality that we still have the old nature to contend with every day.

The Apostle Paul himself understood this when he wrote; “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me” (Romans 7:18-19).

When Paul wrote to the Galatian believers he said; “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” Now many believers have read this statement by Paul and assumed that overcoming the flesh and even a besetting sin is impossible this side of heaven even though the will to do this is present. Now in the Greek text we read the phrase; “that you may not do the things that you please” it implies something that is very difficult to overcome but not impossible to overcome. This is one of the purposes we have the Holy Spirit in us as believers is to enable us to overcome the desires of the old sinful nature also called ‘the old man.’ If we stay in Romans chapter seven without reading into chapter eight we would assume that overcoming the sinful desires and downward pull of the old nature is impossible.

Life in the Spirit’s power

However in chapter eight Paul goes on to write that it is more than possible to overcome the flesh through walking in the Spirit and that we have an obligation before the LORD to do so. Paul writes; “So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:12-14). The unsaved do not have this conflict but a saved man or woman will be conscious of it. This struggle in itself is a sign that you are alive in the Spirit. The unsaved have no choice as they will sin anyway because the old nature controls them and they do not have within them the new nature of the Spirit of Jesus. The life that overcomes sin is only possible through the new spiritual rebirth from above which the Lord Jesus gives through the Holy Spirit. In the work of the new birth the surrender of the will is also needed. While the emotions and the intellect are involved in the new birth it cannot occur until the will is laid down.

  1. We need to make sure our will is fully surrendered to God.

The Lord Jesus came to do the will of His Father as He clearly said; “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but to do the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38) Even though He asked the Father to take away the cup of the cross to come, in loving submission to His heavenly Father He said; “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Yours’s be done.” (Luke 22:42)  The surrender of the will is the secret to spiritual power in the believer’s life. It is not just the surrender of the emotions or the intellect to spiritual truth, they are involved but without the surrender of the will there will be no real and genuine spiritual power from on high.

We just need to say No!

The Bible says; “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men. It instructs us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live sensible, upright, and godly lives in the present age, as we await the blessed hope and glorious appearance of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:11-13)

This principle is true in the work of the new birth but is equally true in the work of the mighty Baptism or infilling with the Holy Spirit. The new birth enlists us into the army of the LORD and the baptism with the Holy Spirit gives us the spiritual weapons we need to fight the battle against the world, the flesh and the devil. Our attitude should be the same as our Lord Jesus who submitted His will to the will of the Father as the apostle John writes; “as He is, so also are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17) Sometimes our will wants to resist the will of God and at such times we should pray; “Father if you are willing take this cup from me never the less not My will but Yours be done.”  Walking in the Spirit does not mean everything will be ‘hunky dory’ as such and there will be times when we just have to say “No” to those persistent desires from the flesh that go contrary to the desires of the Spirit. God’s grace is always available to us to empower us “to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live sensible, upright, and godly lives in the present age, as we await the blessed hope and glorious appearance of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.” The Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ should always be a factor when we are contemplating yielding to temptation.

Being regularly led by the Spirit

In the time of Moses after the children of Israel had left Egypt and were sojourning through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land they were guided by a pillar of cloud by day and by a pillar of fire at night. When the Pillar moved they moved but when it did not move they also did not move. On the Day of Pentecost the cloud descended upon the 120 gathered in the upper room and tongues of fire were thoroughly distributed on all of them gathered there. The Shekinah glory that led Israel as a nation in the Old Testament would now lead the Church not only corporately but also individuals as well. As the apostle Paul wrote; “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Romans 8:13-14)

With nothing held back

In the Old Testament when the whole of the sacrifice was laid on the altar with nothing held back the fire from God would fall and consume the sacrifice. In the New Testament the altar is the heart and when the will is surrendered the purifying and empowering might of the Holy Spirit falls on that alter of the heart fully surrendered to God. If the will is not laid down, even though the emotions and the intellect are laid down, the fire from heaven will not fall!  When the will is laid down the rest of faith is possible, a rest that the Lord Jesus wants every child of God to experience. This rest of faith is to be a continuous resting in the promises of God with the will in submission to those promises. This is the only way we can be empowered to walk in the Spirit and in doing so not fulfil the desires of that old man that at times can severely afflict us.

Peace (Shalom) even in turmoil

If our will is laid down the mind and the emotions will eventually fall into line with our will. We can be emotionally and mentally fragile but if the will is laid down then we will know the peace of God even in the time of turmoil and conflict. Shalom implies this. You can be in a crisis in your life and still know the peace of God even though your mind and emotions are being hammered. God’s peace comes up out of the inner spirit of a believer because God resides there in the person of the Holy Spirit. God’s supernatural peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22)  It is a peace that the world cannot give but only the Lord Jesus can give. As He said to His anxious disciples; “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) He said this in the context of the Holy Spirit who would be poured out upon them after He had risen and ascended back to the Father. (Luke 24:49) (Acts 1:8) (Acts 2:4) So then unless the will is laid down there will be no spiritual power from on high.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law… Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires… If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-19, 24-25).

We discovered four things related to walking in the Spirit…

  1. We need to recognize the fact that we have two natures that are in conflict with each other. (Galatians 5:16-19, 24-25)
  2. We need to understand the difference between the law of gravity and the law of lift. We can use the illustration of the two balloons. One filled with Oxygen the other filled with helium. The one with oxygen is not stronger than the law of gravity whereas the one with helium is stronger than the law of gravity. The one with oxygen is like an unbeliever without the power of the Holy Spirit to lift them above the downward pull of the sinful, fleshly nature. The one with helium is like the believer filled with the Holy Spirit who has the power to oversome that downward pull of the sinful and fleshly nature.
  3. We need to recon on the fact that we still have the old nature to deal with.
  4. We need to Make sure our will is fully surrendered to God Not just our emotions and intellect. If our will is surrendered to the Holy Spirit then out mind and our emotions will come into line resulting in the peace of God that passes all human understanding regardless of our circumstances. As we continue these studies we come to our fifth point… Just say yes!

The Bible says; “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:20) God has given us his very great and precious promises. As the apostle Peter writes; “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. Through these He has given us His precious and magnificent promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, now that you have escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4)

God’s promises are always “yes” and “amen.”

Sometimes there is a waiting period between the yes and the amen but if what we have asked for in prayer lines up with the promises of God then it will come to pass in God’s time and in God’s way. As the apostle John writes; “I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have before Him: If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we already possess what we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:13-15)  Sometimes God will say “yes” and sometimes He will say “no not now” but if what we are asking and believing for is in line with His Word then it will come to pass as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow.

The dark night of the soul

At some time every believer will experience the ‘dark night of the soul’ when nothing seems to be happening and the emotions and the mind are in turmoil but we must always need to keep in mind that the sun will shine again. Even in the darkness we have the assurance that what is dark to us is as light to God who sees all things and why they happen. (Psalm 139:11-12)  If we have escaped the spiritual corruption in the world caused by evil desires, and are saying “yes” and “amen” to the promises of God then we can know the power of God in us, upon us and at work through us to the glory of God as we wait for His promises to come to pass! After all we walk by faith and not by sight! (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Three little words

Three little words are required to bring us into the flow of God’s power and they are; “Just say yes!” As big doors swing on little hinges so a “yes” can open the way for the will and purposes of God to happen on earth as it does in heaven. Our confession is also important as the Lord Jesus Himself said; “…“Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.” (Mark 11:22-26)

Leaves without fruit

In its context the Lord Jesus had previously pronounced a judgement on the fig tree because it had leaves but no fruit. The leaves represented works of righteousness but there was no fruit of faith. This was the spiritual condition of Israel at the time. They had a works based righteousness but not a righteousness that proceeded from real and genuine faith in God. Confession and faith go together in the spiritual life and especially in regards to salvation. Paul wrote about this. “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)

Believing, confession, action

In the work of salvation faith, confession and action is required and it is the same with walking in the Spirit daily. When you were saved you repented before God, believed in Jesus to save you and confessed it and then made the choice to live under His lordship. This was a once off commitment to Him but one that also needs to be continued moment by moment as you walk by faith and obedience to His Word the Bible.  So then when we see a promise of God’s Word that is ours in Christ we just need to say “yes” and “amen!” Also it is important that we exercise forgiveness towards others especially those who are of the household of faith. If we do not forgive our brother or sister from the heart when we have been offended then we ourselves will not be forgiven by God even though we plead for it with tears!  In the Bible ‘mountains’ are kingdoms and through a confession of faith and surrender of our will to God we can achieve great things for God! We are not all called to be evangelists, prophets, pastors, teachers or missionaries but we are all called to be witnesses and to faithfulness in the sphere that God has called us to work. Always remember that when the Lord Jesus comes back the one thing He will be looking for in us is faithfulness and the right use of our talents that He has given us to extend His kingdom on earth. (Luke 18:8) (Matthew 25:14-30)  Mountain moving faith will grow in us from hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) If we would know the joy and peace of the blessed Holy Spirit moment by moment as we walk by faith and know a deep sense of fulfilment and contentment in our work for God then we need to believe His promises and “just say yes!”

  1. In all your ways acknowledge Him.

King Solomon wrote; “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs 3:5-7)  If we would grow in our walk with the Holy Spirit then we need to be doing several things. 1. We need to trust the LORD with all of our heart moment by moment in faith including the surrender of our wills. 2. Then we must not be solely relying upon our own way of doing things or thinking but have our thoughts constantly garrisoned by the Word of God so that our thinking lines up with God’s thinking. 3. We must be acknowledging Him as Lord in every area of our lives and this will effect what we say and do and the things and goals we pursue in life.

Do they own us?

There are some things we can and do enjoy in this life involving wholesome relationships and secular activities and times of leisure and relaxation, and these things have their place. However, the moment someone or something or some activity owns us and becomes the main focus of our lives instead of the LORD being first in all things then we will not know the power of the Holy Spirit crucifying the sinful desires of the old nature or have a sense of the presence of God even though He is still in us. God has put His wisdom into the Bible and we can have wisdom from Him that transcends the wisdom of the world.

Wisdom from God

There are some in the world who are wise and their wisdom at times may be helpful to us in certain situations but we must always keep in mind that God’s wisdom is always the best. As the apostle James writes; “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere.” (James 3:17) God’s Word will make us wiser than the wisdom of this world. (Proverbs 2:1-9) (Psalm 119:130) God’s Word will keep us from sin or sin will keep us from God’s Word. (Psalm 119:9-11, 133) His Word will always lead us on a level path in this life. (Psalm 119:105) So then we must acknowledge Him on all our ways.

  1. Put on the full armour of God every day.

Paul gave us very good advice as to how to short circuit the devil gaining a foothold in our lives. Paul writes; “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”(Ephesians 6:10-18)

 Armed and ready for action!

When you were saved you were enlisted into the ranks of the LORD’s army under your Commander General the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the new birth the Holy Spirit made you part of God’s victorious team over the forces evil and wickedness in high places. This is what happens when you get saved. However, as you start your recruit training in God’s kingdom you also need to have the armour and weaponry you need to fight the battle against the world, the flesh and the devil. The blessed Holy Spirit will give you the power and the gifts you need to successfully do God’s will. Sadly many believers who have been born again and enlisted into the LORD’s army do not have the armour and weapons they need. They may be well trained but do not have or even know how to use the spiritual weapons God has provided for them. These weapons are released in the believer’s life when they are baptized with the Holy Spirit, receiving power from on high. (Acts 1:8) (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)

Make it a personal prayer

Paul writes to the believers at Ephesus and tells them that they need to put on all of God’s armour if they are to win the spiritual battles that lay ahead of them. If we are to be effective in the Christian life then we need to be born again and baptised with the Holy Spirit. Every day, after we have had our prayer time, we need to put on God’s armour piece by piece. You can make Ephesians 6:1-18 your own personal prayer every day. Put the armour on piece by piece and say it out loud so that the devil can hear you and at the end make sure to start praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law… Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires… If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-19, 24-25).

Not an option!

To walk in the Spirit is to work in partnership with Him and to do what He says and allow him to control every area of our daily lives. Paul writing to the Ephesians said; “Be filled (controlled completely) with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) In the Greek text it is a command to be obeyed and also a continuous experience. Literally it could be rendered like this; “Be ye being continuously filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit.” It is not an option to take or leave. If we are not filled with the Holy Spirit them our spiritual life will be hindered, we will find our old nature starting to dominate our mind, our emotions and especially our will. We will also have no power or confidence in witnessing and we will not be a good testimony to the unsaved when they observe our conduct.

In our last two studies we discovered six things related to our walk in (or with) the Holy Spirit. 1. Recognize we have two natures that fighting with each other. 2. Understand the difference between the law of gravity and the law of lift. 3. Recon on the fact that we still have the old nature to deal with. 4. Make sure our will is fully surrendered to God. 5. Just say “Yes” 6. In all your ways acknowledge Him. Now we come to the last two steps related to walking in the Spirit.

  1. Praying in the Holy Spirit.

Once we have put on the armour of God we need to keep praying in the Holy Spirit. The secret of walking in the Spirit is to be continuously filled with or controlled by the Holy Spirit moment by moment as we pray in the Holy Spirit. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is the initial filling but to stay filled moment by moment we need to pray as we walk and walk as we pray. As we do this it will build us up in our most holy faith and keep us living in the flow of God’s love. (Jude 1:20-21) (Ephesians 5:18) (Romans 5:5) Someone once said years ago; “We can pray in the context of life or live in the context of prayer.” The Bible also says; “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Even when words fail

Praying in the Spirit continuously is prayer that comes up out of our regenerated spirit where the Holy Spirit resides. Sometimes it will be desires and groaning that cannot be uttered in words. At such times the Holy Spirit will be praying in us and through us. One of the benefits of the prayer language of the Holy Spirit is that it is the way to express the inner longings of the heart that we cannot fully process mentally. In all such praying we do not lay aside our intellect but sometimes what we are feeling on the inside cannot be expressed in our own language but in the Holy Spirit those deep longings and desires can be expressed. We can pray in the Spirit in our own language or in the language of the Holy Spirit when words fail but the secret is the surrender of the will and the tongue to God’s control. As we walk by faith so we pray by faith. (Romans 8:26-27) Walking and praying in the Spirit is to be a daily discipline.

Yielding our tongues to God

The Bible says that “the power of life and death is in the tongue.” With the tongue we can curse or bless others. If our tongue is yielded to God along with our will then we can safely trust the Holy Spirit to enable us to pray according to God’s will even though we may not understand what we are praying audibly. (1 Corinthians 14:4) Once again the secret to praying in the Spirit is the complete unconditional surrender of the will to God. Our bodies are also involved in this. If we give God control of our physical bodies including its appetites and physical desires then God gets the contents and then we will prove what the good acceptable and perfect will of God is for us. (Romans 12:1-2) We can pray in the Spirit on every occasion and continuously as we go about our daily lives. If we do this daily then the joy of the LORD will be in us and we will be enabled to give God thanks in all of our circumstances whether they are good or not so good.

Practice makes perfect

They say practice makes perfect. When you first start to pray in the Holy Spirit Satan will attack you with everything he has. The old temptations and past sins and images from the past will come into your mind and if you are not careful feelings of condemnation for past sins will arise up like spectres in the night. Satan is called the accuser of the brethren who accuses them day and night before God. (Revelation 12:10) If you have confessed and renounced past sins then they are cleansed and forgotten. (Isaiah 43:25) (Psalm 103:12) (Hebrews 8:12) If God has chosen to forget then we likewise should cast those dark imaginations out by calling on the name of the LORD. As we seek to submit our wills to God and resist the devil he will flee from us. When we verbally confess and testify to what the Word of God says that the blood of Jesus does for us and seek continuously not to love our lives in this world even unto the death we will overcome Satan every time he attacks us and his attacks will be merciless, unrelenting and severe at times. (Revelation 12:11).

  1. Walking in the Spirit takes time.

Walking in the Spirit takes time and practice but in the end saves time. It is not an instant spiritual ‘fix.’ Sometimes when we seek to pray the flesh wants to do something else. We walk by faith and not by feelings. At such times we need to just start praying trusting that the Holy Spirit will give us the words to say. If words fail then the language of the Holy Spirit that bypasses the intellect can enable us to pray according to God’s will if we have consciously yielded our tongue and especially our will to God’s control. If you have done that then whatever you pray whether in a language you understand or don’t the blessed Holy Spirit will take those words and present them before God perfectly in line with His will. Because the Holy Spirit knows the mind of God He is able to intercede for us and through us according to the will of God. What a wonderful, loving and divine fried we have in the Holy Spirit.

You can start your walk today

  1. Recognize that you still have a fallen nature that is at war with the new nature in you and that Satan is working 24/7 around the clock to destabilize your faith. All of his fiery darts are aimed at the shield of faith. (Ephesians 6:16)
  2. Make sure you will is surrendered completely to God and that there is no unconfessed or hidden sin in your life and if there is confess it and ask for cleansing from it and power to overcome it. (1 John 1:7-9) When you confessed it and renounced it is when you got rid of it. Refuse the feelings of condemnation after having done that before God. King David said that if we harbour sin in our hearts then the LORD will not hear us. (Psalm 66:18)
  3. Ask the Lord Jesus to fill you with His Holy Spirit so that when you see a command or a promise in the Word of God determine to say “yes” and “amen!” (Ephesians 5:18) (Luke 11:13) When He speaks to you just say “yes” and do it. We are commanded to be continuously filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)
  4. Ask Him to be involved in every activity and decision everyday of your life for the day ahead and acknowledge His right to every part of your life.
  5. Put on the armour of God and personalize it. Make it a personal prayer and do it out loud as doing this verbally will cement your commitment.
  6. Begin to pray in the Holy Spirit praying by faith and looking to Him to give you the words to say. It may be in a language you understand or do not understand. If your will is submitted to God in everything then whatever you pray, whether in a known or unknown tongue, will be presented before God perfectly by the blessed Holy Spirit, who is always interceding for the saints according to God’s will. (Romans 8:26-27) We live by faith and we pray in faith. Prayer takes time but in the end it saves time!
  7. Start the day with praise and thanksgiving and say it verbally to God and speak His promises and thank Him for His blessings. It will strengthen your faith and confidence in God. In this way you will be able to walk in the Spirit during the day and not fulfil the desires of the flesh when they assault you and they will because we are still living in this fallen world and we still have our the desires of our fallen nature at war with the desires of the Spirit. Praise will stop Satan in his tracks! (Psalm 8:2) (Psalm 56:8-10) Also using Psalms in praise and worship will guide our hearts and minds to pray and praise in line with God’s will.
  8. Resist the devil. When Satan attacks your mind with all kinds of impropriate thoughts and desires and resist him by testifying to what the Word of God says the blood of Jesus does for you. He will flee from you! (James 4:7) Sometimes he will flee straight away but at other times he will need to be resisted with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, coming out of our mouth.

Epilogue

These things are a daily spiritual discipline. Of course we all need a set time every day to pray and read the Word of God. Pick the best time of the day when you are most alert to do this. After doing this, as you go about your daily life, keep praying in the Holy Spirit continuously because Satan’s ‘U-Boats’ are always circling seeking a target to torpedo. (1 Peter 5:7-9) One thing we must all learn to do more effectively is how to pray in the Holy Spirit. If you have been born again by the Holy Spirit then He is in there inside of you and wants to work on you and in you and through you but if your will is not laid down then He is like a prisoner without power. He has the power but He needs your will submitted to Him otherwise He cannot operate in you as He wants to. He never overrides the human will. When you have been baptized with the Holy Spirit your life in the Spirit will be deepened. The prayer language He gives you will enable you to pray beyond your human mind and lift your prayers up to the very throne room of God. In this way you will build yourself up in your most Holy Faith as you pray in the Holy Spirit. (Jude 1:20) Having said this even if you do not have the prayer language you can still pray in the Holy Spirit if your tongue and your will is surrendered to Him. As you pray in faith He will pray for you, with you and in place of you. (Romans 8:26-27)

Walk in the Spirit!

And so Paul writes…  “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law… Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires… If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-19, 24-25). The surrender of the will is the key to praying in the Holy Spirit.


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