… is Walking!
By which i mean the way we walk while in Spirit.
For those who would wish to walk in Spirit (as did Christ whilst in the flesh), St Paul’s words to the Galatians (Particularly Ch 5 below) might prove useful as he tells us what we all should do (vs 14,22,23 & 24) as well as what we should not do (vs 19,20,21 &26) .
14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, ¹patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Overcoming the will of our flesh, that battles daily with the Spirit, is never an ‘easy’ thing for any one of us.
Loving Christ in Spirit means a life of long-suffering here on earth.
I have sadly come to realise that it means for me – amongst other things – that i have to love Donald Trump and those of his ilk; to love terrorists who have committed, or are planning to commit, the most heinous of crimes; to love the NRA membership; to love all politicians (Man, that’s gonna be hard!); to love my broker who’s advice wiped out over 80% of my account; to love all criminals, hypocrites and the ignorant; to love all atheists and all peoples of all religions all over the world. In short, to love my fellow man.
It does not however, mean i have to love whatever they may do or what they think, or excuse when they do that which is against God and the Spirit. Correction of error is a part of living in Spirit.
- This was the NLT version and gives the word patience in verse 22. The NIV gives the word as forebearance and my personal Authorised KJV gives the translation as long-suffering.
My preference of these is long-suffering as it help me keep in mind the suffering of Christ whilst making every effort to be as Him and recognising that my suffering is an essential part of my life in flesh as i try to overcome my selfish desires for the good which only the Spirit can bring me.