Walking in the Spirit is a conscious, deliberate focus on the Lord and His principles, not yielding to the flesh but rather yielding the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:19-22).
If anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks into a mirror and after seeing who he is he walks away and forgets what kind of person he is. But the one who looks into the perfect law of freedom and remains becomes not a hearer who is forgetful, but a doer of work. He will be happy in his works.
If anyone thinks he is walking in the Spirit, but does not bridle his tongue he deceives himself. His “walk” is vain.
All believers should be quick to listen to others and slow to speak. But above all we must be slow to anger. One of the traits of a fool is that he does not listen to others. A fool will not listen to counsel because he thinks he knows everything (Proverbs 12.15; 18.2). It is impossible to learn anything without listening to others either in word or in print.
A wise man listens to others before he speaks (Proverbs 1:5) and carefully considers what he has heard. He also says very little for he knows that the more he speaks the better the chances are he will say something to offend others (Proverbs 10.19).
A SPIRIT controlled believer will have control over his anger. He will not blow up on people and say rash things. Patience (control over one’s tongue) is a powerful quality, which is more valuable than being physically strong or commanding large armies (Proverbs 16.32).
We should control our anger because it never brings forth righteous fruit. Anger is sin and it always causes problems in a family, especially the family of God. We are commanded to let go of anger (verbal and physical) along with bitterness, clamor, slander and abusive speech (Ephesians 4.31; Colossians 3.8). When we get angry with someone we should resolve it before the end of the day (Ephesians 4.26) or it will fester and grow into hatred. Hatred is something that can interfere in our fellowship with God..
There are times when we should have righteous anger toward evil deeds and sinful acts (Ephesians 4.26), but we should never act in the flesh. We should pray and wait until our anger has subsided before we do anything. This type of anger is still in keeping with “walking in the Spirit.”
All believers are to put away the old sinful self â€“ stop committing the sins we did before we trusted in Jesus. Instead of continuing to live like the wicked we are to humbly receive the Word that was implanted in our hearts the Scriptures, which brought us to a saving knowledge of Christ. After receiving the Word we are to act upon it not hide it under a bushel (Matthew 5.15). We are the light of the world through our actions. If we do not let our light shine by obeying God the lost world will remain in darkness and never come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Believers who do not walk in the SPIRIT (Galatians 5.16, 25) are living in sin and deluding themselves. All believers must prove that they are born anew and a new creation (2 Corinthians 5.17) by living the Christian life, not just professing to be saved. People who claimed to be born from above and are not doing the good works which God prepared for them to perform (Ephesians 2.10) may not really be born of God (1 John 5.1-2).
Believers who listen to the preaching of the Word and read it, but do not act upon it are simple-minded people. They are simple minded because they choose to be. It is an act of the will, so they are missing out on an opportunity to walk in the Spirit and grow in faith.
Believers who say they can’t read, study, memorize and meditate on the Scriptures because it’s too hard for them are fooling themselves Every believer is smart enough to understand the Bible because the HOLY SPIRIT teaches them (John 14.26; 16.13; 1 John 2.20, 27). No believer has an excuse. We all have teachers who help us (Ephesians 4.11-13) and we have no excuse to not use them. If you have difficulty understanding the Bible go to your pastor and ask him to personally train you how to study and to help you set up a study program.
All believers are to study the Scriptures every day (Acts 17.11) as well as read them (Matthew 21.42), memorize them (Psalm 119.11; Proverbs 2.1) and meditate on them day and night (Joshua 1.8; Psalm 1.2). All believers should be well trained in the Scriptures enough to be able to teach others (Matthew 28.19-20; 2 Timothy 2.2), especially fathers (Deuteronomy 6.7). We are to share the gospel of eternal life with the lost (Deuteronomy 6.8-9; Psalm 57.9; 119.46; Matthew 28.19-20; 1 Peter 3.15).
Those who study the Bible diligently and obey it are happy serving the Lord. Believers who walk in the SPIRIT (Galatians 5.16, 25) are happy while believers who walk in the flesh are only happy when they are fulfilling their fleshly desires. The rest of the time they are fighting the SPIRIT and in spiritual turmoil (Galatians 5.17). Eventually backslidden believers will get a fill of their sins (Proverbs 14.14), and return to God or be taken home (John 15.2, 6; 1 Corinthians 5.5).
It is far better to diligently serve God and be happy in this life and experience the peace (John 14.27; 16.33) and the joy of Jesus (John 15.11; 17.13). Besides having a full and rewarding life in this world we will have great reward in heaven (Matthew 5.12; 1 Corinthians 3.12-14).
You can tell if you are walking in the Spirit if you have control over your mouth. If you do not speak in anger, slander and gossip (1 Timothy 3.11; Titus 2.3), tell silly stories and crude jokes (Ephesians 5.4) you are religious. If you cannot control your mouth your faith is worthless.
To walk in the Spirit is to keep from living a life of sin â€“ keeping your self unpolluted by the world. If you are very involved in worldly matters, you are not walking in the SPIRIT (Galatians 5.16, 25).