The born-again believers don’t need to do anything to be in the Spirit; they are already in the Spirit. It is a sheer ignorance for you as a believer to be striving or seeking to get into the Spirit by any means – fasting and prayer. Why? Because you are born again to live in the Spirit!
As a result of the new birth, your spiritual condition, position, location, habitation and eternal destination have changed completely and permanently.
Paul aptly states this truth in Romans 8:
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. (NKJV).
Having been born of the Spirit, you are no longer confined to a life in the flesh. You are now living in the Spirit and thus free to operate and walk in the Spirit (John 3:6).
We all were born through the flesh, in the flesh, and as the flesh through the natural birth. The Scripture testifies, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh…” (John 3:6 NKJV).
From birth we were confined to live, walk, and operate in the flesh. We couldn’t live or walk otherwise no matter our efforts. Therefore, we couldn’t please God, for “those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom. 8:8 NKJV).
But thank God for the new birth! It changes everything – our nature, our spiritual condition, position, location, habitation and eternal destination.
The word that was translated “in” in Rom. 8:9 is the Greek word “en” and “it denotes a (fixed) position (in place, time or state)” (BLB Lexicon).
So, to be “in the flesh” or to be “in the Spirit” is a fixed state, position, or condition.
While the unbelievers are in the flesh (in an unregenerate state or condition), the born-again believers are in the Spirit (in a regenerate state or condition).
The unregenerate person can never live in the Spirit unless he becomes born again through faith in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ. Similarly, the born-again Christian can never live in the flesh unless he renounces his faith in Christ.
The born-again believers have been plucked out of Adam, a man of flesh and dust, and grafted into Christ, a life-giving spirit (1 Cor. 15:45-49). Jesus Christ is the True Vine and we are the branches in Him (John 15:5).
The Scripture states: “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28). Hallelujah!
While it is true that all the born-again believers are now in the Spirit, yet not all believers are walking in the Spirit.
There is a great difference between living in the Spirit and walking in the Spirit.
This is why Paul admonishes, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25 NKJV).
It is possible to be living in the Spirit and yet not walking in the Spirit. Many believers today are only living in the Spirit, but not walking in the Spirit or walking according to the Spirit.
Living in the Spirit alone does not guarantee a victorious Christian living. It takes walking in the Spirit or walking by the Spirit to appropriate, experience and enjoy all the benefits of the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
This is why the Scripture commands, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16 NKJV).
Being in Christ or having the Holy Spirit does not automatically give the believers victory over the flesh, the world, sin, Satan, and challenges of life. If that is the case, no believer today will be experiencing or struggling with sickness, poverty, lack, failure, oppression, defeat, anger, or any sinful habits.
Although it is an undisputable truth that everyone in Christ is a potential overcomer, victor or winner in life; nevertheless, a believer in Christ can live a life of perpetual defeat and even die without realizing his potentials and experiencing the benefits of his new status or condition in Christ if he does not walk in the Spirit or walk by the Spirit.
The power for a victorious Christian living is only activated and appropriated when you walk in or walk by the Spirit. Sadly, many believers today are only living in the Spirit but not walking in the Spirit.
The primary cause of the daily defeat that many born-again believers are experiencing today in their lives is walking in or walking by the flesh instead of walking in or walking by the Spirit.
When you think, imagine, perceive, speak, judge, act, react, or conduct yourself as the unregenerate people who are in the flesh; your experience in life will be exactly the same as theirs.
Paul warns, “For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.” (Rom. 8:13 AMP).
While as a born-again believer you are constantly and consistently living in the Spirit without any personal effort because when you became born again you were divinely translated from the flesh into the Spirit; however, walking in the Spirit will require your conscious and constant cooperation, obedience, and submission to the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.
Daily victory over the flesh, the world, sin, or Satan is beyond the natural power, effort, wisdom or strength of any mortal man. It is therefore useless striving to live a victorious life in your own wisdom, might or strength.
This is why the Lord Jesus has sent you a suitable Helper, the Holy Spirit, to live in you and thus help and enable you to walk in perpetual victory in life and also empower you to do the perfect will of God.
The Holy Spirit is not a mere influence, power or force of God. The Holy Spirit is a living and divine personality. The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead. He is in no way inferior to God the Father and God the Son.
The Holy Spirit has been sent by the Father and the Son to indwell, preserve, seal, help, enable, anoint, strengthen, empower, comfort, teach, instruct, transform, direct, guide and guard the born-again believers in this life.
Before leaving this world, the Lord Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.” (John 14:16 NKJV).
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26 NKJV).
Although you may have the Holy Spirit, the great divine Helper, dwelling in you, yet you may not enjoy or experience His divine wisdom, help and power for a victorious Christian living if you choose not to cooperate with Him, submit to Him, listen to Him, obey and follow His instruction, guidance, and prompting which are always consistent with the written Word of God.
The Holy Spirit is not a mere divine power or force to invoke, wield, employ or use whenever you need something to be done. He is a divine person to fellowship with, honour, listen to, obey and follow.
You cannot enjoy the divine power, help or ministry of the Holy Spirit by just having the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit must have you. This is the reason why many believers today who have the Holy Spirit and speak in great tongues are still living in confusion, defeat, sin, poverty, sickness, failure, etc.
What does it imply to walk in the Spirit?
Carefully consider these scriptures (Gal. 5:16, 25) in the following various translations:
“But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).” (Gal. 5:16 AMP).
“If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.]” (Gal. 5:25 AMP).
“What I say is this: let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature.” (Gal. 5:16 GNT).
“The Spirit has given us life; he must also control our lives.” (Gal. 5:25 GNT).
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” (Gal. 5:16 NLT).
“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” (Gal. 5:25 NLT).
“This is my meaning: Let your steps be guided by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16 MNT).
“If we are living by the Spirit, let us also keep step in the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25 MNT).
“This then is what I mean. Let your lives be guided by the Spirit, and then you will certainly not indulge the cravings of your lower natures.” (Gal. 5:16 WNT).
“If we are living by the Spirit’s power, let our conduct also be governed by the Spirit’s power.” (Gal. 5:25 WNT).
In a summary, looking at these scriptures (Gal. 5:16, 25) in different translations, we can deduce that walking in the Spirit implies the following:
“Being responsive to, controlled and guided by the Holy Spirit;
Walking in line with the Holy Spirit;
Allowing our conduct to be controlled by the Holy Spirit;
Letting the Holy Spirit control our lives;
Allowing the Holy Spirit to direct our lives;
Letting the Holy Spirit guide our lives;
Following the leading of the Holy Spirit;
Letting our steps be guided by the Holy Spirit;
Keeping steps with the Holy Spirit;
Letting our conduct be governed by the Holy Spirit.”
Beloved, it is not living in the Spirit, but walking in the Spirit – being responsive to, controlled, guided, governed, directed or ruled by the Holy Spirit that actually releases to you the supernatural power to live a victorious, overcoming, prosperous or successful Christian life in this evil world.
You were born again of the Holy Spirit and of the Word (John 3:5). Similarly, it is also by obeying, yielding or submitting to the Holy Spirit and God’s Word constantly that you can constantly appropriate, experience and enjoy all the blessings that Jesus Christ has purchased for you through His finished work.
Therefore, don’t just live in the Spirit, arise today and begin to walk in the Spirit – allowing the Holy Spirit to direct, guide, govern or control your life.