If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:25 (KJV)
Spirit – We absolutely love this line. We’re a spiritual people, so we walk in the Spirit. I think I hear it in almost every conversation I have regarding obedience to God, and it’s often used to justify our disobedience to the law revealing our lack of desire to be conformed to the image of Christ. But what does it really mean?
If I were to approach an atheist and tell him that he needs to be more spiritual, it probably wouldn’t make much sense to him. If I walked up to a new-age Buddhist and said something similarly, he’d assume I was speaking mystically. If I said the same thing to a new Christian who was only recently exposed to Yeshua and only recently come to repentance, they too would be confused. What does it really mean to live/walk in the Spirit?
Do we somehow transcend our physical bodies and deny ourselves of every physical benefit, and somehow project ourselves into the spiritual realm? Well the mystic might think so, but this is far from it.
So what does it mean then? Some might point to the fruits of the Spirit, which are written just above this line in Galatians, some might suggest that we live by the spiritual law or the spirit of the law, and still others might speak about loving God and loving one another. But again… how do you actually do that? If you really want a physical human being to show love to another person, it’s not by radiating feelings of goodness through magnetic energy waves… it’s done through physical action. Our physical lives are a reflection of our spiritual standing.
So how do we actually love one another then? Rather than trying to make stuff up because even prostitutes can say they are being loving towards their clients, let’s look to the law. It tells us exactly how to love one another. There are laws about helping your brothers, laws about treating the Gentiles fairly, and laws returning land to their rightful owners. These are real physical ways in which you can show that love to another human being!
Okay, okay, okay, maybe that’s because we’re physical beings. But what about loving God? That seems like a spiritual thing, right? Well how are we supposed to love God?
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1 John 5:3
So loving God is equivalent to physical action, and that action is defined how? By His law. These two greatest commandments which we love to quote when speaking spiritually can be defined in detail within the law of God.
Maybe walking spiritually is just really referring to the fruits of the Spirit because it’s written in context with those, right? Well let’s look at them: love, peace, joy, patience, faithfulness, long-suffering, goodness, kindness, self-control. Again, how do you actually do this stuff? Do we just meld our minds with some spiritual hoopla? No. Every one of these fruits are revealed physically in our lives.
Now think about those who claim that we keep the spiritual law, or the spirit of the law, not the physical letter. Really? So I know that spiritual adultery is idolatry against YHVH, and now that I know the spiritual interpretation of adultery, can I go out and commit physical adultery because the physical part of the law just doesn’t matter anymore? Of course not. I’m hoping you see my point. Living spiritually is reflected in our physical actions. They aren’t separate. Maybe our conversations should stop being so mystical and foggy where broad general spouts become open for everyone’s interpretation. Even the heathen can use Scripture to justify their outright rebellion. But when we converse about the spiritual things, allowing the Spirit to move us, we can discuss real ways in which we can love each other and God, or real ways in which we can bring forth the fruits of the Spirit. In this way, the Spirit takes us back into obedience to our Father who has given us the perfect example of how to live, His Son, Yeshua, who kept the entire law and was blameless from birth to death.
Maybe we should let the Spirit be our teacher as the Gospels claim it to be. It might be quite shocking when we realize what exactly the Spirit is meant to teach us.
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
But alas, it takes a spiritual man understand this.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
So if the carnal mind can’t be subject to the law which results in enmity against God and can’t possibly please Him, then the flip side is that the spiritual mind would be aligned with God and aligned with His law. Besides, even though the law is full of physical actions, Paul still says the law is spiritual (Romans 7:14).
Your physical actions reveal just how spiritual you really are. So if you want to really walk in the Spirit, then go out there are do something physically beneficial for another human today. If you need some ideas, just read through the Torah.