Walking in the Holy Spirit
I often compared myself—and anyone else who doesn’t know the Holy Spirit personally—to the crippled man in chapter three of the book of Acts.
And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. Acts 3:2
No, I wasn’t born physically lame, but this man’s physical disease is a picture of a spiritual dilemma that many people experience. He was born lame from his mother’s womb. He was carried to the temple and laid there to beg for money. But one day, Peter and John met him and, instead of giving him money, they gave him something more valuable that changed his entire life.
That lame man had legs at birth, but those legs didn’t work. He couldn’t walk and lived his life crawling or having to be carried by others. His problem wasn’t that he didn’t have legs; his legs didn’t support him.
Having vs Knowing the Holy Spirit
Just as he had legs at birth, so it is with us; we receive the Holy Spirit at our spiritual rebirth. None of us walked out of our mother’s womb; we had to learn how to walk. Some take longer than others to learn. In other words, legs come with birth, but walking comes with practice. Legs are a gift, but walking is an action. Your birth was a relatively quick event, but learning to walk took time. As for the lame man in the book of Acts, however, he was unable to learn to walk; even though he had legs, he had a physical disability. He had to learn how to crawl and to depend on others to carry him instead of using his legs.
Similarly years ago, I had the Holy Spirit in my heart, just as this lame man had legs on his body, but I didn’t know the Holy Spirit as a personal Friend. I didn’t walk and talk with Him. My spiritual life and ministry felt more like crawling in the flesh than boldly walking in the Spirit. I was a crippled Christian.
We are Called to Walk in the Holy Spirit
Paul urges believers who already have the Holy Spirit to “walk in the Holy Spirit.”
So many of us are like this lame man:
- We have legs but don’t walk
- We have legs but they don’t carry us
- We are brought to the temple by others
- We sit at the gate instead of entering
- We beg for other things that are secondary
- We lie on the ground
Many of us have the Holy Spirit, but we don’t live a life that is surrendered to Him. It’s so easy and normal to live a carnal life according to the flesh. We complain, bemoan our fate, and question our destiny. Why do we carry the weight of our marriage, ministry, and finances all alone, even though we have the Spirit of God living in us? We have the Holy Spirit abiding in us, but instead, we rely on others for solutions.
Living a “Natural” Life?
So many people remain at the gateway to a beautiful breakthrough but fail to enter through it. Their prayer life is nothing more than chasing after things that God promised them if they seek Him, but they don’t see results. Their spiritual life can be characterized by lying in self-contentment instead of walking in God’s Spirit, standing in God’s Word, and sitting in the finished work of Christ as described in Psalm 1:1. They don’t bear lasting spiritual fruit because of all of the busyness and distractions in their lives. That pretty well describes the lame Christian: one whose life is summarized by his ability to operate only in the natural realm. There is very little “supernatural” in his life—his work is the result of his own efforts.
A “lame” believer doesn’t deny the Holy Spirit, but he lives his life without relying on Him. Results are minimal. The Christian life becomes hard and, at times, very boring.
We, as believers, weren’t meant to carry the weight of life and its many responsibilities all alone. The Holy Spirit lives in us to help us stay in touch with God through our prayer life and ministry. He wants to alleviate the weight of the load. If we don’t walk in the Spirit, we will operate in the flesh. We will toil in the flesh, grow tired, weary, and bitter.
If we don’t learn to walk in harmony with the Holy Spirit, life becomes a heavy yoke and ministry becomes a difficult burden. Maybe you are sitting at your temple gate right now, really seeking the power of God or some extraordinary change in your life and ministry.
I want to encourage you to endeavor to get to know Him personally, more and more on a daily basis: spend much time talking with Him and loving Him. Live in harmony with Him, and listen for His quiet voice speaking into your spirit.
We need to get well-acquainted with the Holy Spirit—not to just learn more about Him, but to know Him personally, as a Friend. The truth is, we can never get more of the Holy Spirit, or a greater measure of the Holy Spirit, simply because He is an individual Person. We already have Him in all His totality.
He is already in you. Now, you need to walk in close harmony with the Spirit, always keeping your focus on Him alone. That walk with Him will change your life and ministry forever.
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