Have you ever felt that life is so hard that you just want to give up? I can sometimes feel this way when unexpected circumstances occur, when I don’t live up to others’ standards (or my own), or I am just having a bad day when everything seems to be going wrong.
As a Christian, you can find refuge in the fact that Jesus has given you the gift of the Holy Spirit, who lives within you. If your heart’s desire is to truly live for Jesus, then you need to learn to rely on the Spirit to lead you and guide you. Learning how to walk in the Spirit is essential.
What Does It Mean to Walk in the Spirit?
Walking in the Spirit means that you are daily seeking to be led and guided by the Holy Spirit. It means that your heart is humble and you know you can’t live this life—or do the things God is calling you to do—without help.
This surrender means that you should give your everyday decisions to God in prayer, and heed the leading of the Spirit for big and small things.
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25, KJV)
How you act towards others; how you speak; how you spend your time; what your inner life looks like—these should all be powered by the Spirit to love God, love yourself, and love people. This pleases God, as it follows his greatest commandment. This is the true “walking in the Spirit meaning.”
The everyday little things that you do should be pleasing to Jesus; living by the Holy Spirit and abiding God’s word represents him well. The little things are so important; they matter. They allow you to have a virtuous character—you can do this when you learn how to walk in the Spirit.
How to Know if You Are Walking in the Spirit
When you are walking in the Spirit, you have peace. Peace at all times. You can see yourself being transformed to be more like Jesus, and bearing fruit. Others will see this, and be enamored by Jesus within you.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV)
You are not who you used to be. You are becoming more refined in your character. You are less focused on yourself.
“He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30, NIV)
Your desires, perspective and focus will change to being centered on Jesus instead and you’ll want to be more like him. A Spirit-filled walk is evident in a changed posture in your heart, which exudes outwardly.
Benefits of Walking in the Spirit
Jesus loves you so much and has the best for you. One of the ways he showed you this was by leaving, which is when he gave you the Holy Spirit that lives within you.
“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7, NIV)
The power that you have through him—when you choose to rely on the Holy Spirit—is evident to others and glorifies him. It is so beneficial to walk in the Spirit; in fact, there are many Bible verses about walking in the Spirit:
- You have the ability to live in the truth, as the Spirit helps you discern the truth (John 16:13) that sets you free from the lies and tactics of the enemy.
- You don’t have to worry about feeling ill-equipped in this life to do the things God is calling you to do when you walk by the Spirit or to live out the word of God. The Spirit of God will instruct you and help you to remember Jesus’s teaching. (John 14:26)
- You can be set free from a life of sin and walk into the life God designed for you, which gives you abundant joy and peace. (Galatians 5:16)
How to Walk in the Spirit
Jesus wants us to walk in the Spirit. We know it is beneficial to live the Spirit filled life, but you may ask yourself “How do I walk in the Spirit?” Below, you will find 3 ways to walk in the Spirit.
1. Daily Surrendering Control
One of the ways to walk in the Spirit is daily relinquishing control in all areas of your life to the leading and guiding of the Spirit. This will allow you to walk every day according to how Jesus calls you to, in righteousness.
“But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)” (Romans 8:9, NLT)
Start each day in prayer by letting go; give control to God so that the Spirit can lead you into making the right choices to act well so you represent Jesus well. Come before him with a humble heart, knowing you need him.
Surrender your day. Be flexible—go in knowing that your day might not look the way you think it should, and your to-do list might not get completed.
This is walking in the Spirit, living a surrendered life and being sensitive and open to his leadings. Doing this means being in constant communication with Jesus to heed the leading of the Spirit. When you feel a nudge to do something, or a strong feeling, know it could be the Spirit and take action.
2. Denying Yourself
Walking in the Spirit daily entails denying yourself. You need to daily deny your flesh and live as Jesus calls you to.
“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 are not to do whatever you want.” (Galatians 5:17, NIV)
You can’t walk in the Spirit and follow the flesh. This means not always doing what you want to do and living as the world calls you to. Be intentional about keeping your eyes open to how you can help others, having a servant’s heart, and focus on furthering God’s kingdom. Discipline yourself to make choices that will draw you closer to Jesus like attending a Bible study group instead of watching tv all night.
3. Don’t Live in Opposition to Jesus’s Teaching
It’s important to know how Jesus calls you to live. This is in the Bible. If you desire to live in his will, but you know you have a sin that you aren’t dealing with, you are ignoring the Spirit.
“Do not quench the Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19, NIV)
Regularly walking in the Spirit requires you follow how Jesus calls you to live by having the Holy Spirit open your eyes via the Bible.
Don’t do things that God calls you not to. In everyday things, ask yourself if that is what Jesus would do. This will allow you to be led and guided by the Spirit and feel his leading.
If you desire to live more for Jesus in order to love God, love yourself and love people, you need to know how to walk in the Spirit. You can walk in the Spirit by daily surrendering control, denying yourself, and not living in opposition to Jesus’s teaching. Walk in the Spirit so you can live your best life.
Hi, I'm Nikki
My goal is to help and equip Christian women like you to live for Jesus by following Matthew 22:37-39: to love God, to love yourself, and to love others.