Living In The Spirit
By: Roberts Liardon
“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 (NKJV)
You can be born again and still live under condemnation. Many Christians do. But notice the rest of our text says, “to them which walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
We often quote the first part of the verse—“There is there now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,” and end it there, but the verse does continue. We need to examine this last portion because Christians will continually suffer from a sense of condemnation if they don’t learn to live in the realm of the Spirit.
Living in the Spirit realm is really very simple. Like Kathryn Kuhlman would say, “It’s so easy, most people miss it.” The Gospel is so simple, it takes man to mess it up.
Walking In The Spirit Is A Decision
Life in the Spirit is a decision. It’s not just a feeling or a vision that comes, or something dramatic that happens to you, even though supernatural experiences may happen in your life and ministry. It’s a decision about where and how you’re going to live your life.
There are times when you are making decisions, or you’re being hit by the enemy, that you may fluctuate a little in the realm of the Spirit, but you never have to come out of that arena.
We cannot engage in spiritual warfare unless we live in the Spirit. If we attempt warfare in the strength of our flesh, we’ll get worn out. Spiritual warfare should not wear you out; it should make you stronger and more alive.
We’ve got to learn how to pray through the leading and unction of the Holy Spirit, and not by the flesh. It has got to be by the Spirit, in the Spirit and for the purposes of the Holy Spirit.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) If there is no hunger in you, there will be no filling inside of you.
Becoming Addicted To Heaven
You have to become addicted to Heaven and to the things of God! Alcoholics drink and drink until their bodies acquire a taste, and eventually a craving, for alcohol. That’s the way we need to be concerning the realm of the Spirit of God. We need to keep putting the things of the Gospel and the move of the Holy Spirit in us to where we can’t live without them in our life and ministry.
Some people only like to have Heaven about once a month. The rest of the time, they say, “Let me do my thing the way I want to do it.” If you’re doing this—if you’re running your life and ministry according to the flesh—you’ll eventually wear yourself out. If you learn to run your life and ministry by the flow of the Holy Spirit, you won’t get so tired. You’ll have new strength.
Walk After The Spirit
The Bible tells us to walk after the Spirit. How do you walk “after” something? You make a decision to go after it. Life in the Spirit is a choice to go after the things of God all the way, allowing nothing to hinder or distract you.
You’ve got to want the move of the Spirit in your churches bad enough to go after it. You cannot settle for soulish activity. There are sermons that are preached by the soul and there are sermons that are preached by the Spirit. You must make it your goal to preach by the unction of the Holy Spirit.
There are songs sung in the natural and songs sung in the Spirit. Go after those that come by the Spirit. Reach out for them. If you don’t quite make it the first time, get back up and try again, just like a child learning to ride a bicycle. Don’t give up, because if you keep hungering and thirsting, you’ll get it.
A Holy Dissatisfaction
Never become satisfied with where you are in God. Become a person who has to have more, more, more! It’s a part of your addiction; you’re never satisfied with what you’ve got.
I crave Heaven! I crave the move of the Holy Spirit! If all I preach is just a pleasant sermon, I’m not happy. I have to feel the unction; the anointing. I have to know that what I did was right according to Heaven.
We need to be delivered from preaching through human ability. Yes, God will use our natural abilities, and that’s fine, but we shouldn’t depend on them. Our dependency must be upon the Holy Spirit.
One of the greatest truths that comes out of the life of Kathryn Kuhlman when you listen to her tapes or read her books, is her total dependence upon the Holy Spirit. She expressed it constantly, stating on all the stages she preached on, “I’m so dependent upon the Holy Spirit!”
We must become dependent upon the Holy Spirit, too. We must get to the place where we don’t know how to function without the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The problem is, we have learned the art of ministry without the moving of the Holy Spirit.
We’ve come to the point where there’s a whole generation that does not know the flow of the Holy Spirit! When the flow of the Holy Spirit comes and begins to work and manifest among them, they become nervous. They say, “We never saw it on this fashion before”—and they say it in a negative way, with no excitement.
We ministers must preach sermons to our people about the moving and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit—so they will not be afraid of what they will see happening in front of them in the days to come.
Becoming Normal In Heaven’s Eyes
I thank God I had my roots in the Pentecostal Movement. We had more Pentecost in my home than we did in our church. We had more prayer, more shouting, more praying for the sick and casting out devils in our front room than I saw in many church services.
Neighbors would come over for prayer. Even though they were sinners, they knew where to come when their children were sick. When someone faced a divorce or some other problem, guess who they would call? My mother and my grandmother. And what did we do? We prayed until we got the answer!
Often I’d come home from school and people would be lying on the front room floor. This was normal for my family, so when I began my ministry, I thought, “Everyone does this.” I didn’t know that we were such a rare breed in the earth.
We’ve got to know what’s normal according to Heaven—not what’s normal according to the soulish or natural realm. The standard of what is normal to Heaven is what we should crave and conform to.
Walking in the Spirit is becoming like Jesus. Walking in the Spirit is not always yielding to the natural desires of the flesh; it is staying in that high realm, on that narrow road. But you’ve got to make a choice to stay there.