“…walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
Galatians 5:16 NIV
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”
Ephesians 5:1,2 NKJV
So, how’s your walk?
Before you answer that, let’s reframe it. Suppose Jesus is the one asking the question and not me. Would that alter your answer?
It’s the birthright of the believer to enjoy and live by the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a birthright rejected by the first Adam. He chose to follow the lead of “the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience”. This is the spirit who decided to ascend to the heavens, to raise his throne above the stars of God. He chose to sit on the utmost heights. He said, “I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:13,14) Adam followed his lead.
The first Adam’s decision to “do his own thing”, to live by his own designs, his own choices, his own life, brought about his death. He was separated from the life of God as were all of his descendants.
“…as in Adam all die…” (1 Corinthians 15:22)
Adam’s and our spiritual death, separation from the life of God, necessitated a Second Adam. He would live the life man was meant to live. He would be man as God intended man to be. He was always dependent on the Father, even though equal He never used this to his advantage but always lived by the life of the Father. (John 5:18; Philippians 2:6) He never chose independence. He always pleased the Father. His attitude, thoughts and actions were all a result of the life of the Father living in Him. If you saw Him, you saw the Father. This is the way man was meant to live! Jesus’ death and resurrection would restore this relationship to man. Man is once again able to live by and enjoy the life of God through the life of the Lord Jesus! (Galatians 2:20) No longer us, but Christ who is living in us.
“…so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22, emphasis added)
To “walk by the Spirit” is our birthright. It’s ours by right of the new birth, the new life, lived out by Jesus. To “walk by the Spirit” is to receive a victory already won. We’re not told to stop doing the works of the flesh and then we will walk in the Spirit. We’re told to walk in the Spirit because then and only then we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. We’re not told to complete a list of proper behaviors in order to produce the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22,23) We’re told to be filled with or controlled by the Holy Spirit. We have been given the life of God! He is in us. He always pleases the Father. “Walk in the Spirit”.
There is nothing so pathetic as the flesh trying to be holy! It’s that religious bent in us, a perverted attempt to be righteous without or even for God. And when some measure of this is achieved in our minds it’s only self-centered, self-absorbed, self-righteousness. It’s always full of self-praise. We pat ourselves on the back and love it when others do. We thank God we’re not like others.
Satan wanted to have something, be something and do something. Adam wanted to have something, be something and do something. What about us? To me this is descriptive of much that passes for Christianity today. Are we simply gratifying the desires of the flesh? Does this describe you? Does it describe me?
Have I “despised my birthright”, the very life of God enjoyed and lived out through me, for a piece of bread and a bowl of lentils? (Genesis 25:34) Have we?