“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk in line with the Spirit.”
God’s Spirit indwells us, and this verse calls us to “walk in line with the Spirit.” The Greek word used here is stoicheo, and it means “to march in line,” or “walk in a row.” It communicates the idea of walking, marching, or living in alignment with a standard.
In other words, stoicheo means to behave properly, to conduct one’s life, to live in conformity to the standards of the Holy Spirit. It means to live your life guided and enabled by the Holy Spirit. It is a theme we see throughout scripture: God calls us to follow the path of his principles, and to avoid anything that would take us off-path.
Jesus himself makes it clear that there is a right path and a wrong path. “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7.13-14)
The importance of paying attention to what you are doing and where you are going cannot be overstated. Your actions and habits have you on a path, and the path you are on leads to a destination. It’s very straightforward: Right path = good destination. Wrong path = bad destination.
Consider these scriptures, as well:
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30.21)
“Thus says the Lord: Stop at the crossroads and look around you. Ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it. You will find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6.16)
“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” (Proverbs 4.25-27)
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5.15-16)
There is nothing more important in your Christian life than to walk in line with the Spirit … to get on path and stay on path. It is for this purpose that God created you, redeemed you, and empowers you through his indwelling Spirit. It is a daily calling that extends to every dimension of your life.
Here are seven practical steps for an on-path life that “walks in line with the Spirit.”
- Clarify the path. Read, listen to, and study the word of God. Know what the path looks like.
- Get on the path. Obey the word of God. Follow the directives of scripture and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
- Do the work to build the habits and skills the path requires. Trust God and train yourself in godliness. Tap into the power of the indwelling Spirit of God in your life.
- Say no to anything off-path. Turn away from the things of the fallen world and reject the impulses of your old sin nature.
- If you drift off-path, confess, repent and get back on-path asap. Be accountable. Allow God’s standards and God’s Spirit to correct and redirect you.
- Invite other people to follow the path. As a Jesus follower, you are called to be an ambassador for Christ; to share the gospel with people within your sphere of influence; to invite others on the great journey of life in Christ.
- Help other people on the path. The Christian life is designed to be lived in fellowship and community. We are called to serve and support one another as we seek to follow the path; to challenge and encourage one another; to love one another.
“But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you” (Romans 8:10-11).
The Lord is calling.