By Jay Pearson

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


In my previous article, “Where Do We Start?” I concluded that we start right where God calls us. Now I would like to explore the question, “Now what do we do?” Our life on earth is directly affected by our choices and the consequences of those choices. The consequences of our choices are never isolated to us alone. Natural man has family, friends, and acquaintances. We as Christians have all of these too, but more importantly we are the Body of Christ. The consequences of our choices affect the Body.

The commandment is clear and the instruction on how to walk is just as clear: Love one another and walk after his commandments. Our performance of the commandments of God often become weighted down by focus on ourselves and our own imperfections.

Hebrews 12:1:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Have you ever taken a wrong turn while driving down the road? Did you stop and analyze your mistake? Did you stop for a week and tell yourself how stupid you were for making a wrong turn? A mistake requires another “take” to correct the “miss.” Realizing a mistake is one thing, but wallowing in it is quite another. You’ll reach your destination faster if you get back on the right road. Every turn, every choice in life, takes you somewhere. Let the peace of God rule your every turn.

If you are walking and find yourself on the wrong path in the wrong direction, you need only to turn, looking unto Jesus... He is the way. He is the way in which you are to go and he is the way back from a wrong turn. How far do you have to go if you have been walking in the wrong direction for a month, a week, a moment? You need only to turn and change direction. The Lord is forgiving when we repent. The moment you turn in repentance, you are looking unto Jesus and you are going the right way. It requires a U-turn, not a He-turns-you. Many intersections in America have signs that say, “No U Turn.” But God allows U turns when you end up facing the Lord. God promises to hear from heaven when you turn to him in prayer.

2 Chronicles 7:14:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

God uses a variety of expressions to communicate his direction. They often are expressing the same truth. We are individuals and our experiences in life have tuned our ears differently. A simple word of truth might encourage you, but the same truth might convict me. In chapter 8 of Romans there are some different expressions reflecting the same truth. Walking after the Spirit, minding the Spirit, being spiritually minded, in the Spirit, and in Christ Jesus all mean being in compliance with or in obedience to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These expressions are all in one accord and agreement.

Walking after the Spirit is reflecting the Spirit in your behavior and daily tasks. It is making decisions that agree with the Spirit. I have often heard the expression, “She takes after their mother,” or, “He takes after his father.” In other words, they exhibit the traits of their parents. When we walk after the Spirit, we exhibit the traits of Jesus Christ. Walking is simply placing one foot in front of the other, one decision at a time. You enter a room doing just that. You had a direction and you proceeded in that direction. Walking requires decision and choice of movement in the way you want to go. Let us follow the Way, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Minding the Spirit is much the same. The Spirit has a set of rules to follow. Minding the Spirit is following the rules mandated by the Spirit. When I was young I was often told, “Mind your mother,” or, “Mind your father. Your parents know what is best.” Well, the Spirit knows best. Mind the Spirit.

Being spiritually minded is having the mind set to be ruled by the Spirit. Your decisions are based on the Spirit’s instructions. You don’t have to wait for the instructions. You have a book full of them, God’s Holy Word. One aspect of waiting on the Lord is doing what He has already instructed you to do. In a restaurant, a good waiter brings what you ask for when you ask for it. If you ask for a cup of coffee the waiter should bring the coffee. He shouldn’t say, “Oh but couldn’t I make you a big steak? I know how I can do it, really I can do it all by myself, want to see?” He simply brings the coffee you requested. The child of God is Spirit minded and obedient to the instruction given in the Word. He is exercised thereby and prepared to do the bigger job when the Master calls.

Being in the Spirit and being in Christ Jesus are attainable only because of God’s performance and not yours. You can walk in the Spirit only by God’s grace because he has given you his Spirit.

Romans 8:1-9 are things you do. Romans 8:10-39 are things God did and is doing. Our proper response to God’s working and our work is written in Romans 12:1-2.

Romans 12:1-2:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The only way one can do this is by walking in obedience and compliance to the Holy Spirit. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, we are beholding his glory and not our own. We will be changed by his strength and not our own. We will be on the right road to glory.

2 Corinthians 3:18:
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Being in obedience to and in compliance with the Spirit is walking in the Spirit and minding the Spirit. In so doing we will be spiritually minded. Walking in the Spirit of God is not a robotic walk, nor is it identical for each person. We are not clones; we are members in particular of the body. God has made us this way. We do not have identical minds nor do we mind exactly the same things. We mind the same one, Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:10:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

It’s our choice. Are we going to park on the side of the road and examine our faults, or are we going to walk in the newness of life and press toward the mark and run with patience the race that is set before us?

Romans 6:4:
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Let us exercise ourselves to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.



From the January 2008 issue of The Vine & Branches