Summary: 1st in series on walking in the Spirit. This compares our spiritual walk with physically walking. How are they similar, and how can they encourage us?
Galatians 5:16-25 – Take a Hike
As I mentioned this morning, I heard Dr. Wilson speak yesterday in Miramichi. I love to hear him. The stuff he comes up with is hilarious. Yesterday he read something called The Cowboy Code. Gene Autry came up with his version of The Cowboy Code many years ago, but a more recent author or 2 humorized the Code. Let me share some cowboy advice with you tonite.
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier ’n puttin’ it back in. If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there. If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day. There’s two theories to arguin’ with a woman. Neither one works. Never slap a man who’s chewin’ tobacco. If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’. Always drink upstream from the herd. Don’t kick a sleeping dog. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket. Don’t squat with your spurs on. Never miss a good chance to shut up. Life is simpler when you plow around the stump. A bee is faster than a John Deere tractor. Don’t name a cow you plan to eat. Forgive your enemies - it messes with their heads. Don’t worry about bitin’ off more’n you can chew; your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger’n you think. It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. It’s better to be a has-been than a never-was. Don’t interfere with something that ain’t botherin’ you none. Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce. And finally, after eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him... The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
The Code works well to get a person through life on the range. Over the next few weeks, I’d like to look at some things that will help us get through life here, as well. I’d like to look at the concept of walking in the Spirit. Our text tonite is Galatians 5:16-25.
Well, what does it mean to walk in the Spirit? The Bible tells us to walk in truth, to walk after His commandments, to walk in the light, to walk in wisdom, to walk as children of light, to walk by faith, and to walk in newness of life, among many others. To walk means to live. It means to carry on. It means to conduct ourselves. It means to be believers not just in what we say, but in how we behave. Walking means our whole lives being pleasing to God.
Now, as the weeks progress, I’d like to look at various things that walking in the Spirit means. How we pray, how we study, how we spend our time, how we treat God and our relationship with Him, how we treat others, and so on.
But tonite, I’d like to look at the word “walking”. It’s a word we know well enough. It’s a word we can picture. And the 1st thing we picture is movement. Walking means going somewhere. It means starting out at one place and ending up at another.
Well, walking in the Spirit is the same. It means movement. It means not being content to be where you are right now, and it means stepping out from that. Many people don’t. They get saved, they like their new condition, and they never budge again. Never mind growing up. Never mind changing. Never mind doing different things. For them, following Jesus isn’t really following. Following means going somewhere. That’s movement. No, they are non-following followers. Obedience isn’t an issue. Doing anything new and different else isn’t an issue. Their theme song is not, “I Feel Like Travelling On.” It’s more like “I Shall Not Be Moved.”
Folks, you can’t walk in the Spirit and do what you’ve always done. You can’t walk and stay in the same place, at the same time. Listen: if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always have what you’ve always had. And doing what you’ve always done is what got you into trouble in the 1st place.
So do something different. Read through your Bible. Come to prayer meeting. Come to Sunday school. Volunteer to do something. You can’t walk in the Spirit by never going somewhere new.