Gal 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 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. (NASB)
A couple of days ago I was running through some pathways around a big nature park close to my house. The path was covered with a blanket of autumn leaves so it was difficult to see any obstacles. As I ran I was looking at the ground very cautiously because I feared that I would run across a root or step into a hole and twist an ankle or knee. If I injured myself I would have grave consequences so being careful and staying free from trouble was my goal.
On occasion I would get sidetracked and look around at all of the trees and beautiful colors and textures that I encountered along the way. Each time I caught myself doing this I quickly pointed my head downward to see the path once again as to not stumble.
Walking in the Spirit for me is the same way. I desire the things of God to keep me safe so I am daily trying to keep my eye on His path for me so I remain holy and faithful to Him.
What does it mean to me to walk by the Spirit of God and not carry out the desires of my flesh. I have pondered that on several occasions in my Christian walk. I have tried to rationalize it many times to mean something it isn't in order to make me feel better about certain decisions I was going to make.
Sometimes as Christian's we make the Word of God a little more complicated than it is. This part of the letter from Paul to the Galatians is to help us understand that living in the Spirit of God will produce holiness.
For me to walk means to be active. To continue walking step after step, mile after mile. It isn't a destination we are trying to get to, such as achieving a certain level of maturity so now I can "walk in the Spirit." Walking in the spirit is for all Christians big and small. From the new believer to the seasoned veteran, God calls us to walk and walk and walk in the Spirit. This will keep us from the desires of the flesh.
I did a search for "fleshly desires" on the internet and this is what I came up with: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these... Many of these desires are easy to hide from our family and friends, but we can not hide them from God. He sees the desires we store in our heart and wants us to desire what He desires.
2Pe 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
2Pe 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
2Pe 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
2Pe 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
2Pe 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
2Pe 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pe 1:9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
2Pe 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;
2Pe 1:11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you (NASB)
I am encouraged today because I know that He is walking with me. I desire the things of God and today I am going to make it a point to carefully watch where I am walking so I don't step on a root or into a hole and stumble.
Lord, help me to walk in the Spirit today and every day. Thank you for showing me your path and making it easy to walk on. I desire your ways in my life Lord and ask that you keep me walking and walking and walking.