I hope I am not the only person who sometimes wonders, “Am I really walking out the gift of righteousness that He’s given me?” Galatians 5:16 says, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (ESV).
We can take any passage of Scripture and read it through the lens of either grace or the lens of works and the Law. When I read Galatians 5:16, I sometimes get in the “works” mentality that says, “I have to try to do this!” I say to myself, “Okay, I’m going to do this today; I’m going to walk in the Spirit!” I get anxious and all of a sudden, I am not walking in the Spirit at all.
The next thing Galatians 5:16 says is, “You will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Sometimes we read this passage through the lens of, “I’m in the flesh. No, I’m in the Spirit. But then something comes along and I get mad and I’m back in the flesh!”
Galatians 5:18: “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
Are you in the Spirit? Has Jesus ever come into your heart? If so, did He say, “I’m going to check you out and if your heart is righteous enough, later on we’ll invite the Holy Spirit to come, too”?
No! He did not do that! You cannot get saved unless you have the Holy Spirit living in you. So when He says, “Walk in the Spirit,” He is not saying, “Try to be spiritual,” He is saying, “The Spirit of God lives in you, so walk it out!” He has granted you access to His righteousness and now He is just saying, “Catch up with the work I have already put in you. Put to practice the things you already have in life and quit being anxious and fearful and stressed out.”
Do not wonder if you are too much in the flesh. You don’t need to say, “God, can You help me become more spiritual?” No, you already are spiritual—the life of God lives in you! The Spirit, the breath of God, is in you and you are not under the Law.