Living in the Spirit
Wade E Taylor
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25
To “live in the Spirit” is a state of being in which we have died to our self-life and have yielded the totality of all that we are and have to Jesus, so He can live His life through us as a present day witness.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me….” Galatians 2:20
“I live; yet not I.” This requires us to live on a high plain of integrity and commitment in order to maintain the necessary spiritual sensitivity that will make this possible.
“If we are living by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us be guided” Galatians 5:25 BBE
To “walk in the Spirit” is to live one step at a time, with every aspect of our life experience being lived in total yieldedness and willing obedience to the will and purpose of our Lord.
As we walk with the poise of our spirit upward toward the Lord, His abiding presence and peace will confirm that we are walking in the center of His will.
Now, we are both living and walking in the Spirit.
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts….” Colossians 3:15
The word “rule” means to judge, or arbitrate. Should we take a misstep, a voice of correction (Holy Spirit conviction) will speak to us, saying:
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk you in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21
If we desire to experience the Lord’s best, we should seek to live a committed, “Holy Spirit led life.” To do so means that we have died to our own ways and have given to the Lord the unconditional right to choose “for” us. Only then can He guide our steps by either a “confirming” or a “checking” witness.
For us to walk as Jesus would walk necessitates an unquestioning submission to the governmental rule of His kingdom. In His first coming, Jesus functioned through a single body. In His second coming, He will again do all that He did, except through a corporate body.
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done in (our) earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
This ability to “live” in the Spirit, in which His will is being accomplished in our earthen vessels (our daily life experience), requires that we have a basic understanding of the laws that govern a Spirit-led life. These “spiritual laws” are set before us by the Lord in progressive order in the Sermon on the Mount, which reveals the requirements for us to live an overcoming life.
These principles do not deal with externals, but primarily with the motives of our heart – that which underlies all that we say or do.
“And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set, His disciples came to Him: And He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:1-3
Being “poor in spirit” means that we have come to the end of our self-life, and in an attitude of submissive dependence, we are being led by the Spirit (for theirs is the kingdom of heaven). As we spend quality time in His presence, we will be “lifted” into the realms of the spiritual and “enabled” to walk with Him in the outworking of His will and purpose.
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
We cannot help but mourn, as we have this treasure in an earthen vessel. The Lord understands that it is not easy for us to give up our own ways, in submission to His will and purpose for us. Therefore, we will be comforted by Him as we take up our cross and die to all that we desire, apart from His will and purpose for us.
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
Our being “meek” is not living in a state of weakness, but rather one in which the strength of our self-will has been broken, and the attributes of the divine nature are resident within us.
“The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakens morning by morning, He wakens my ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.” Isaiah 50:4-5
The purpose of our being “awakened” (spiritually) by the Lord, morning by morning, is to provide us with the opportunity to spend quality time in His presence. As we “respond” (I was not rebellious) and “wait” upon Him in expectation, we develop our sensitivity to the presence of the Lord.
“To the victor will I give the privilege of sitting down beside Me on My throne, as I also have won the victory and have sat down beside My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:21 Weymouth
There is a price that must be paid, if we are to come into His best.
“Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.” John 14:23
As we abide in His “manifest presence,” we will be enabled to “both live and walk in the Spirit.” This involves dedication, and the sacrificial giving of ourselves. These are the marks of our having the “measure” of spiritual maturity that will enable us to function in the realms of the kingdom.
The schoolmaster for this “processing” is our Heavenly Father. The teacher is the Holy Spirit.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
The word “should” in the above Scripture tells us that our entering this “School of the Holy Spirit” is conditional. We must specifically enroll ourselves in this school of training and preparation, if we are to receive its benefits. The Registrar is always available.
Our own thoughts and ways must be set aside in order to follow Him. He is the Christ, the Anointed of the Lord. Therefore, the natural man cannot come this way, for he cannot discern the presence, nor receive the anointing to bring us into this higher realm. This is a function of the Spirit, not of the mind.
The Lord greatly desires to introduce us to “His kingdom” through a Spirit-led life. He cannot allow us to have a part in this higher governmental realm of His kingdom until we have totally submitted our lives to be governed by Him and have in some measure, learned how to “walk in the Spirit.”
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” Ephesians 1:18
There is much that is available to us - which we have yet to appropriate, as we have a tendency to settle for less than His adequate provision. Our Lord is challenging us to move upward and onward. The present feeling of spiritual dissatisfaction by many within the Body of Christ is His prodding. These “stirrings” within us are His means to bring us “higher.”
“Brethren, I do not imagine that I have yet laid hold of it. But this one thing I do – forgetting everything which is past, and stretching forward to what lies in front of me, with my eyes fixed on the goal I push on to secure the prize of God’s heavenward call in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 Weymouth
“I push on to secure the prize.” The kingdom of God is the goal.
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up here, and I will show you things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” Revelation 4:1-2
For us to “live in the Spirit” is to become subject to the guidance that comes from the “throne” in His kingdom.
During this time of transition from the Church into the Kingdom, a remnant is being called to “come up” into a higher realm of identification with our Lord, in His throne.
May we, as overcomers, rise above every desire to do as we please, and begin living a Spirit-led life.