Galatians 5:16 – But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
Walking by the Spirit is a choice one makes on a daily basis. Once you begin to practice walking by the Spirit, it becomes something like breathing. You don’t have to think about every decision or choice you make. Supernaturally, you just do it. It is supernatural in that you know it is the Holy Spirit who is leading your decisions and lifestyle.
The Spirit desires to make us a lover of people so we will instinctively respond in love. He wants to produce in us peace so that no matter what disturbances are happening around us, we are at peace. The Holy Spirit does not automatically produce these qualities in us. We choose to allow Him freedom to work and guide our lives for the glory of God. His nature is made up of the qualities Paul lists in Galatians 5 known as “the fruit of the Spirit.”
First, we allow the Holy Spirit to deal with our issues. That includes our hurts, unforgiveness, perhaps childhood wounds, and whatever others might have done in the past to harm us. He wants to heal our heart. Secondly, He wants to establish us in the Word of God. It is the “washing of water with the word” (Ephesians 5:26), that renews one’s mind. This begins to help us think correctly. Many years ago, an early mentor of mine would say “God is a do right God and we must therefore do right.” In essence, he was teaching me to be led by the Spirit because the Spirit of God always leads us to do the right thing. Thirdly, we must establish “Spirit-lead habit patterns.” We choose to love another, we choose to be at peace and rest in God, and we choose to allow joy to be predominant in our lives. The Spirit of God will quicken our choices and empower us to live above the natural realm in His supernatural ability.
These three basic areas must be applied in our lives as we learn to be led by the Spirit. As we learn to allow the Spirit of God to lead us, the flesh begins to be brought under control. Paul expresses it like this: “You will not carry out the desires of the flesh” (emphasis is mine). Many saints struggle with “being led by the Spirit”. Many still carry unforgiveness toward people who have inflicted past wounds. There are those who read the Word of God as a religious obligation, rather than for application purposes. Finally, many have not broken old habit patterns and are still being led by their carnal, fleshly nature rather than the new nature which the Holy Spirit gives at the time of new birth.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any areas that are hindering you from being led by the Spirit. Forgive, forsake, and surrender to Him, as He reveals the objects which hinder your growth in the life of the Spirit.