Walking in the Spirit isn’t based on emotions or intellect. While feelings and reason are a very real and important part of our make up they aren’t meant to be the shot-caller. Why is it so difficult to walk after the Spirit rather than our feelings or intellect? I think it’s because we have lived from them for so long it has become normal. I heard it said before that our feelings were never meant to be the engine rather they are the caboose. We have feelings and reason, but they are designed to follow the prompting of the Spirit, within our spirit, instead of the other way around.
It seems the fall of man brought with it a great upheaval in the way humans operate. God originally created man in his image and after his likeness, that means complete harmony in spirit, soul and body, but the fall shook the order of things up. Adam started being led around by his emotions and reason rather than his spirit. You may ask why? Well, it’s because the day he ate of the forbidden tree he died just as God promised him. Of course we see that he lived several hundred years in his body, but his spirit had been severed from the life of God’s Spirit. He no longer had the Spirit of God to be his leader, so he became soul and body conscious. He began to interpret everything in the world through his body and how he felt or saw things with only his natural senses.
It was going to take God, in the flesh–a man, to die in order to put his Spirit into us and start the re-imaging process. We lost our contact with God and the only way it is restored is by Jesus Christ, the exact representation of God, taking up residence within us, by way of the Holy Spirit.
Once the Holy Spirit joined to our human spirit lives within us, we start to undergo a transformation. The Spirit teaches us to say “No to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” He works within us and he reveals wonderful things to us along the way.
Walking after the Spirit is the only way we can say no to temptation. Like Paul said, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood.” The battle against temptation can only be won in the Spirit. Most of the time when we start to get pulled into something that leads to sin we try to fight it in the flesh, but this way will always end in defeat. We simply cannot fight fleshly stuff in the flesh. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” The victory over sin is always, and only, fought and won in the Spirit.
The book of James tells us “submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Notice the resisting the devil isn’t the first thing we do. No, actually when submitting unto God we are resisting the devil. This is spiritual warfare. When you are in the heat of battle, such as temptation, the only way to win is to turn to the Spirit. The only reason we are defeated is if we try to fight in the flesh realm. We think we can resist it and yet the resisting is the very thing that ends in our defeat. A great saying I heard along these lines is “what you fight, fights you!”
The way to fight in the Spirit sounds sort of foolish at first. Jesus gave us a hint though. He said, “agree with you adversary quickly, while you are on the way.” What did you say? Agree with my adversary? Yes! That is what I said. Let me explain a little further: Do you know anything about Judo? Judo is a martial art. One of the main methods used in judo is using your adversaries own weight against him. They utilize a lot of throws such as hip tosses and leg trips. When an assailant comes toward you, you move out of the way and let the forward movement of the attacker work for you rather than against you. If someone was to rare up at you, most of the time, the first thing you would want to do is rare back at them, but in judo it is the opposite. Rather than getting in a face-off you let the enemy defeat himself. Every time he comes at you, simply grab his arm, and use his own momentum against him. Our greatest battle comes when we get deceived into thinking it’s up to us to fight back. The truth is the battle is the Lord’s, and our job is to step out of the way.
Written by Louie