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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Power From God APRIL 15


There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Rom. 8:1.

The figure of walking is frequently used in the New Testament to describe our daily Christian experience. We walk by faith (2 Cor. 5:7). We walk in love (Eph. 5:2). We walk in Christ (Col. 2:6). We walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4).

We are commanded not only to have the Spirit but also to walk in the Spirit. That is, we form no character, we follow no course, we perform no acts, but such as the living Holy Spirit produces and inspires in us. Walking by the Spirit means dependence on Him as our way of life. Daily we allow the Spirit to possess our minds, to guide us at all times. We stay on the narrow path with Christ.

But it is not always easy. Paul counsels us to "walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

Here are two tendencies in the life, or two powers as it were. On the one hand we are tempted to walk or operate from our own center, independent of God. This is always a possibility even for its as Christians. Our most frequent lapses are in this area. "Flesh" does not mean our being sensual or physically degenerate. It has primary reference to the whole person dependent on himself, his own wisdom and ability; to seek glory for himself, the praise and the approval of men.

The devil continually tempts us, as he tempted Christ, to look to ourselves, even in religion. We find satisfaction in those things that we can do without any help from God. Our obedience to the law gives its something to be proud of. We can point to our religious achievements with a sense of self-satisfaction. It is amazing how many good things we can do by sheer will power on our own. We thank God for giving us the Ten Commandments. We tell Him that we intend to do our best; we will go as far as we can on our own; then when we get in difficulty, we will call on Him for help.

But walking with the Spirit and by faith means we are in cooperation with God in living the Christian life. We don't live in anxiety wondering whether we are going to make it or not. That is not our responsibility. The Holy Spirit is the only one who knows just what God can make of us here on earth.

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