Be Filled and Walk by the Spirit

Posted on June 24, 2017 · Posted in Encouragement, Faith, Freedom in Christ

As a believer, you know that God sent the Holy Spirit to indwell you when you believed in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for your sins, but do you also know what it means to be filled and walk by the Spirit?  To rely on the power of the Holy Spirit and not in yourself is an important teaching of the Bible that is often forgotten by believers.

I would like to learn just one thing from you:  Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?  Are you so foolish?  After beginning with the Spirit are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?  Galatians 3:2-3

It was by faith alone that you were born again by the Spirit.  Now that you are a child of God, when did you begin to rely on yourself to live out the life of Christ?  Instead of soaring like an eagle by faith, you have been flapping harder and harder, trying to live out the will of God in your own strength, apart from His Spirit.  Without relying on the Spirit of God, following Jesus becomes a joyless duty.  No wonder you have been thinking the Christian life does not work.  Life in the Spirit is supernatural! 

It is important to distinguish the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit from the filling of the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit does not automatically control you, so God commands you to submit yourself to Christ to be filled with the Spirit.  It is a choice you will make daily, moment by moment.

Do not get drunk with wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead be filled with the Spirit.  Ephesians 5:18

The analogy is that if you choose to drink too much alcohol, you are then filled and controlled by alcohol, and you will display the effects of alcohol to others.  Instead of thirsting for the things of this world, Jesus said to come to Him and drink and out of your heart will flow rivers of living water.  You are only filled by the Holy Spirit when you submit yourself to His influence and control.  By faith, continually ask Jesus to lead you, to guide you, to teach you and to help you do the things God wants you to do.  Are you filled and controlled by the Spirit’s power?

The Flesh Opposes the Spirit

The flesh is your independent human nature and your natural bent is to rely on yourself and leave God out.  When you live by the flesh, you do what comes naturally which means you do not naturally want to serve God; you want to serve yourself.  Your flesh also explains why it is such an effort to set aside time for spiritual things such as Bible study and prayer.

Worship by the Spirit of God, glory in Christ Jesus, and put no confidence in the flesh.  Philippians 3:3

There is no self-sufficiency in the Christian life because there is no power in the flesh to do the will of God!  God does not help those who help themselves.  Followers of Christ are not masters of their fate nor the captain of their soul.  You cannot please God in the flesh, by human effort, because your fallen human nature is opposed to the will of God and actively fights against it.

For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.  They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.  Galatians 5:17

You cannot live in the flesh and walk by the Spirit at the same time because the flesh part of you wants to serve sin.  The flesh works through your self-sufficiency and demands that your sinful attitudes and desires be gratified, but the Spirit wants you to rely on His power to overcome temptation.  Ask God for help to surrender your will to the Holy Spirit’s control for victory over sin.

The Lord Jesus saved you from the penalty and power of sin but not from the presence of sinWhat the natural life produces apart from the Holy Spirit of God is plain to see.

The acts of the flesh are obvious:  sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  I warn you, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Galatians 5:19-21

As a follower of Jesus, you will have the flesh to contend with until you see Jesus face to face.  The Christian life is an ongoing process of learning to rely on the Holy Spirit to do the will of God.  When the flesh breaks out, you are not walking in the Spirit in that moment so confession of sin is key to walking by the Spirit.  God gave believers a wonderful promise.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

Only Jesus lived a sinless life so you will sin, but as you rely on the Holy Spirit, He empowers you to put away sin.  To walk by the Spirit is to keep in step with the Spirit.  When the Spirit of God convicts you, confess your sin and believe that God forgives you.  Ask God to again fill you with the Holy Spirit and renew your commitment to walk by the Spirit.    

And Jesus died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and rose again.  2 Corinthians 5:15

Walk by The Spirit

The Christian Life is not natural but Supernatural!  Those who walk by the Spirit, worship by the Spirit of God, rely on what Christ has already done, and put no confidence in themselves to live the Christian life.

Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  Galatians 5:16

Before your life in Christ, you gratified whatever impulses your flesh demanded.  As a believer, learn to rely on the Spirit and allow Him to take control over more and more areas of your life.  When you are controlled by the power of the Holy Spirit, you will not do what your natural self yearns to do.

To walk by the Spirit is to live the life of Jesus.

To walk by the Spirit is to stay connected to Jesus by faith and live a life of continual surrender that says, “not my will but your will be done, Lord.” 

Jesus taught:Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  “I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:4-5

Lord Jesus, help me to depend on your Spirit to live as you lived.  My flesh is weak and prone to sin so I believe that apart from you I can do nothing of spiritual value.  I believe that your power is made perfect in my weakness and that your grace is sufficient for me. 

To walk by the Spirit is to live by faith.

The Holy Spirit empowers those who rely on Christ by faith.  Jesus is the Word so Bible study is essential to knowing His will and keeping in step with His Spirit.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  Galatians 2:20

Father God, strengthen my faith and help me yield control to the Spirit of Christ who lives in me and who empowers me to do your will.  Help me commit to a time to study your Word and to rely on the Holy Spirit to give me understanding as I study so I will obey your Word. 

Those who follow Jesus are led by the Spirit. 

To be filled with the Spirit of God is to be surrendered to the will of God and led by His Spirit.

Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God and the Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Romans 8:15, 16

Father God, I confess that I often ignore you and go my own way.  Teach me to be sensitive to your Spirit so I will follow your lead instead of depending on my own understanding.  I want to see more of Jesus and less of me.

To walk by the Spirit is to put sin to death.

If you continue to ignore the Spirit of God and choose instead to harbor sinful attitudes and gratify sinful desires, you will grieve the Holy Spirit and quench his activity in your life.  When you understand that your flesh is weak and the power of sin is strong, you will ask God to help you overcome temptation.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it is not the flesh, to live according to it.  For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.  Romans 8:12-13

Thank you, Father God, that because of the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, I am empowered to say no to the flesh and yes to you.  Thank you that I am not obligated to give into the demands of sinful desires because the Holy Spirit is strong enough to put away sin in my life.  

The result of walking by the Spirit is the fruit of the Spirit. 

A life lived under the control and direction of the Holy Spirit will reveal the visible fruit of faith:  the character of Christ.   

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Galatians 5:22-25

The Work of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Trinity who will never leave you or forsake you.

The mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  Romans 8:14

You are Born Again by The Holy Spirit

Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, No one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”  John 3:5-6

And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.  Romans 8:9

He Empowers You to Live by Faith

I pray that out of His glorious riches, He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  Ephesians 3:16-17

He Teaches You from the Word of God

The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my (Jesus’) name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  John 14:26

He is The Spirit of Truth

Jesus taught:  But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.  John 16:13

He Glorifies Jesus

He will glorify me (Jesus) because it is from me that He will receive what He will make known to you.  John 16:14

He Empowers You to Tell Others about Jesus

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses.  Acts 1:8

He Helps You to Pray

The Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.  Romans 8:27

He Gives You a Spiritual Gift

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.  1 Corinthians 12:7

He Gives You Understanding of God’s Word

No one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.  1 Corinthians 2:11-12

He Gives You Hope

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

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Bible study for “Be Filled and Walk by the Spirit”

Week 1:  Genesis 1:1-2; Psalms 86:11; 119:1-2, 9-11; 16, 33-37; 139:7-10; 147:11; Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 30:19-21; 40:28-31; 48:16-18; 63:7-14; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 4:6; Matthew 4:4, 10; 10:19-20; 11:28; 12:30-32; 26:41-42; 28:18-20; Luke 4:1-2, 14-19; 11:27-28

Week 2:  John 1:32-34; 3:3-8; 4:23-24; 6:63; 7:37-39; 14:15-27; 15:1-8, 16-17, 26-27; 16:7-15; Acts 1:1-8; 2:1-4, 15-18, 32-33, 38-39; 4:31; 5:3-4; 9:31; 10:43-48; 20:21-24, 28; Romans 1:1-4; 4:1-5; 6:11-14, 19; 7:4-6, 18, 24-25; 8:1-17, 26-27, 29; 10:17; 12:1-2; 13:12-14; 14:17-18; 15:13-19; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16; 3:1-3, 16-17; 6:9-11, 18-20; 10:13; 12:1-13

Week 3:  2 Corinthians 1:8-10, 21-22; 3:17-18; 5:5-10; 15, 17; 12:7-10; 13:5, 14; Galatians 2:19-21; 3:1-5, 11-14, 26-27; 5:4-5, 13-26; 6:7-8; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2:8-10; 3:14-21; 4:1-6, 17-24, 29-32; 5:1-2, 8-10, 15-20; 6:10-18; Philippians 1:2-6; 2:1-5, 13; 3:3; Colossians 1:3-14; 2:6-12; 3:1-10, 12-17,23-24

Week 4:  1 Thessalonians 1:4-6; 5:19-24; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; 2:13-17; 2 Timothy 1:5-7, 13-14; 3:16-17; Titus 2:11-14; 3:3-8; Hebrews 11:6; 12:14-15; James 4:2-6, 17-18; 4:1-3; 1 Peter 1:1-16; 2:2, 11, 16; 4:1-3, 6, 10; 2 Peter 1:3-8, 20-21; 1 John 1:5-10; 2:1-6, 15-17, 20-21, 27; 3:9-10, 21-24; 4:1-6, 13-16; Jude 1:17-21, 24-25; Revelation 2:7

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