What You'll Discover in this Episode:

                178: Walk According To The Spirit

Welcome to the Biblical Counseling Podcast!

What is the righteous requirement of the law?How does the righteous requirement be fulfilled? In Today’s episode we will know how to walk according to the spirit. We need to walk in accordance with the Spirit since the Holy Spirit has already transformed us.  Listen to the podcast and leave your comments down below. 

Romans 8:4 "...that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."

  • Learning about the Holy Spirit is precious to me. All of God and HIS Word is. When you asked that question about the difference between flesh and Spirit in my life. I paused for the cause and sat and thought about my day, about a few days ago, and really assessed if I am living out Romans 8:4. It is easy to walk in the flesh and get caught up in the days “drama” but it is so much more productive when we are being lead by The Spirit and walking our Christ follower walk out with HIM, brings me Joy and Goodness throughout the day.

  • Great challenge in maturing in the discernment of flesh & Holy Spirit. Progressive walking and asking God for help to act justly, love mercy and humbly with God. Is it increasing? Is God producing fruit or am I getting accolades? If so, do I give the glory to God easily or do I simply say thank you, as if it had anything to do with me? Again, a lifetime of surrender.

    • Doretha, what a great challenge. I agree! I appreciate how Pastor Jeff asked us, “What is the difference between flesh and Spirit” Within our own lives. I had to pause for a minute, Only God truly knows. Others would take notice if we were not living the Romans 8:4 life. We will always be transforming into His image; I need to daily! and so Blessed by His Grace and Mercy every morning.

  • Jeff I have really appreciated your podcasts on the Holy Spirit. I enjoy filling my mind with God’s Word and your insight as you teach on this vital topic. I am getting ready to meet with a friend in a few days who is struggling and I appreciated your admonition at the end of this broadcast that we as counselors need to be prepared for the growing in leaps and bounds as well as the need to take baby steps. May the Lord guide our efforts as we seek to help people walk in the Spirit and not give in to the desires of the flesh!

    • Sue, I also appreciated what Pastor Jeff has said about us growing in leaps and bounds, and the need to take baby steps, it is not just for us, but for the counselee as well. I have to admit, a few ladies that I have recently met with, just as a one on one to discuss certain situations, I wanted to see the leap and bound! but that was my flesh, The Spirit lead me to Psalm 23:1 -2 He lets me rest. I had to sit with that for a bit and show this Scripture to the lady I was with. Baby steps and resting in His Word.

  • “We are not to walk out of the resources of the self life.”

    Setting ourselves apart to be available to receive the work that the Holy Spirit is wanting to do in and through us by His power and empowering.

    This is great insight for us to trust in God (spirit) vs trusting self (flesh).
    God bless you Jeff!

  • About 11 years ago I asked the Lord for a person to mentor. I became friends with a gal. A brand-new baby Christian fresh out of the New Age lifestyle. The pastor of the church asked an older lady who taught the women’s Bible study to mentor/disciple her and she refused. But God had a different plan. She and I hit it off right away. Yes, she was very rough around the edges, and she was afraid to share with me the things with me about herself for fear I would “freak out” and not want to be her friend anymore because that’s what people had done before, because my friend is epileptic, had been recently diagnosed with schizo-effective disorder among other things and she was in the beginnings of a divorce. We went through Neil T Anderson’s 12 Steps to Freedom in Christ the very first thing. She got stuck on step 4 or 5. We prayed and prayed, talked and talked. Finally, we decided (without the Lord) that we would just keep going cuz it had some great scripture and truths in the rest of the book. The scripture was very helpful and eventually she went back to where she was stuck, and she and the Lord worked through it unbeknownst to me. Now I really don’t think it was the steps that made the difference. She and I have talked about it and we both agree it was the transforming power of the Holy Spirit through the scripture. It was also transforming for me as well. I have to admit that as her friend I got frustrated with her, impatient. . . all of the things Jeff mentioned. And then I would have to ask her forgiveness and we would be reconciled. She has done the same to me. So, I can identify with this podcast completely.

  • Hello everyone!
    Thoughts on podcast: I read Isaiah 6:4-7 last night. This is where is saw his own sin nature and it crushed him. He saw it against his Holy and Righteous God. Listening to Pastor Jeff talk about how we walk naturally (fallen) in the flesh and our independence from God, it just brought this to mind. Letting the Holy Spirit work in us, being willing and desiring that change, and even more, seeing our own sinful nature and how offensive it is to our Holy and Righteous God; our Creator, is the beginning of the knowledge of God. What did Isaiah really know about God before that moment? As counselors and as a servant of a Holy and Righteous God, it’s imperative to be immersed in His Word and for the Holy Spirit to bring that transformation within us. Naturally, we are rebellious towards God. God, through he work of the Holy Spirit wants to change our thinking, our actions, and to focus on heavenly things. Those things of God. It’s the same for those we counsel. And like us, who may take a short time to ‘get it’ and grow exponentially, or a long time, our counselees will do the same. It is painful for us and it is painful for them. It takes patience and compassion from us and full knowledge of the work of the Holy Spirit.

    We all fall short of the glory of God, (Rm 3:23).

    • I agree whole-heartedly with you, Anita. When I have walked with someone through a challenge they made be going through, I have grown as well. Whether it is with a spouse, our own children, a friend or other family member, or teaching someone else’s children (with that you get the parents too), we need to walk according to the leading, transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

  • Counselor’s acting holier than thou can be really destructive. I have known 2 couples that were seeking council before divorce, that ran into this. Both ended in divorce from marriage and church. Our brothers and sisters don’t need our flesh, but for us to walk in the Spirit with them. While letting our mighty Counselor go to work!

    • I work with a counselee that had this same attitude. It’s hard not to jump in and call it out. It’s a flesh vs Spirit at that point. I always want to go Spirit. Experience has taught me that well placed homework in the area of haughtiness, pride, or selfishness helps them see. They don’t always want to change as you and I have experienced. It’s heartbreaking. I’m sorry for those couples. It will just take longer for them. I still think of those that left too and pray for them.

    • We are all so broken! My prayer as I progress on the road as counselor is to remember my brokenness always! The only thing I have to offer is the truth of The Word and Spirit, and the encouragement of application in each persons life. Sadly, we can start to think more highly of ourselves than we should and give the impression to follow the counselor (me) instead of The Counselor (Jesus)

  • Such an interesting concept. As we just discussed the transforming work of the Spirit in the previous episode; I can’t help but think that the transforming work of the Spirit is, at least in part, reliant on the day to day walking in accordance of the Spirit. How can we expect the Spirit to do a transforming work within us if we are not dwelling in His word, participating in fellowship with other believers, and speaking with Him through prayer on a regular basis? It is not impossible. But, these avenues of connection are ones which He has provided to help us in our pursuit of sanctification.

    • Hello Timothy your right it is definitely not impossible for Him to do work of transformation without these things. As the transformation process begins before people are saved and may not know of these things yet. But they are great avenues to enrich and increase the speed of our maturity in the sanctification process. You make great points.

  • This podcast got me to reflect on the differences between justification and sanctification. That I can be deemed righteous before God IN Christ, while being made progressively holy by the power of the Holy Spirit. Again I believe this discussion is critical in biblical counselling. It’s the difference between status and condition. My flesh is not holy until I receive a glorified body and yet I can walk in greater degrees of holiness as the Spirit sanctifies. It’s critical that I and those counselled understand these truths. So that we keep walking worthy. As you say there is no sinless perfection on earth But grace is not an excuse for a mediocre walk with Jesus. Just the opposite.

    • Amen Ann-Louise! I like the way you described it as the difference between in status and condition. Also that Grace is not an excuse for a mediocre walk with Jesus.

    • Ann-Louise, well said! “As you say there is no sinless perfection on earth But grace is not an excuse for a mediocre walk with Jesus. Just the opposite.”

      Pride and selfishness can mask itself very well to look well intentioned and deserving. Such a good word!

    • So true! As I look back on my life I can pinpoint when I was walking in the Spirit and when I wasn’t. It is critical to disciple our counselees about this principle of truth as we apply it in our lives as well. Walking in the fruit of the Spirit. Otherwise, we will be as 1 Corinthians 13:1 says.

  • Walking according to the Spirit means He is in charge. It is done in His timing, in His way, with His power as we walk in obedience to Colossians 3:1 “set your sights on things above…”. There have been times in my life when I have rebelled against His timing in change, the methods He uses and the discomfort I feel; I want to have control. Isaiah 55:8 reminds me His ways and thoughts are different from mine and Psalm 31:15 “My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies”. I am convicted, repentant, surrendered and once more feel His peace.
    Jeff, I appreciated how you spoke about these things in this podcast reminding us sanctification is uncomfortable at times and is not our work, but His in and through us. Our work is to be yielded, available, prayerfully expectant with our minds set on things above. My prayer is to in humility seek His counsel continually, relying on Him in all things. It is a comfort to know even when I am not faithful, He is.

    • I agree, Yvonne! Many years ago when my sister was enmeshed with New Age, I shared with her that it was displeasing to the Lord for her to have horoscopes/astrology signs around her house. She staunchly defended her right to do so and said, “I don’t see what harm it is!” To which the wisdom of the Holy Spirit sweetly said through me, “Does it really matter if you understand or not, isn’t it better to just obey?”

      That pierced my sister’s heart and she stripped her house of everything new age/astrology and repented, began to attend church and has never been the same since, over 20 years later! Our simple obedience and agreement with God radically transforms our lives.

  • Be holy! The answer to the impossible question of how is who! “I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord” we follow the leading and work of the Holy Spirit following Christ, not the carnal mind and body.

    • So straightforward I think often we read past it trying to find how to be holy and miss exactly what you are saying it’s impossible but Jesus our Lord Savior and Deliverer only he can set us apart by His work on the cross and the Holy Spirit is it possible.

    • Nathan, it used to annoy me when a particular pastor on the radio would say it’s not possible to be holy because I saw clearly in scripture our command was to be holy! But I learned in time that what he was communicating is what you are saying, WE can’t do it, but CHRIST in us, as we love and obey him, imparts in us the ABILITY to live holy!

      • Laura one thing I use to love that one of my pastors at bible college would say is “it’s not hard to follow the Lord , it’s not hard to live a holy life … it is impossible in and of yourself we need the empowering of the Holy Spirit.”

        I will never forget that because I looked at him like he was crazy and then he hit us with the point it’s impossible for us but not with God.
        I thought you would enjoy that quote
        God bless

  • I really appreciate Jeff touching on the issue of “be holy” and fulfilling the righteous standard of the law. I am not holy and I have fallen short of God’s law. It is so wonderful to know that Christ is the perfect fulfillment of the law and He imparts His righteousness to me. It was just encouraging to hear that gospel message again. And then to ask myself when I judge others “Are you as holy as God?” it is a very humbling question and I hope to remember that so I can practice humility and gentleness and patience with others.

  • I Like how Romans 8:4 separates what is lived by the flesh is flesh, and the Spirit is Spirit. Reading further, Romans 8:6 says; For to be carnally minded is death, but spiritually minded is life and peace. Giving two categories: those who are controlled and live the sinful nature of the flesh and those who walk and seek the work transforming work of the Holy Spirit. Interesting being in the flesh takes us nowhere but death. To walk in the Spirit is never ending; we know he is right there leading and guiding us into the person God has created us to be. Once we say Yes to Jesus, we begin a journey with the Holy Spirit. We learn to recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit; the more we learn to listen and obey his ways, the more he will reveal in our journey. Ultimately His way brings love, peace, and joy into our lives, and we learn to share among others to give hope. We can see where we were and are now and where we will go as we continue this amazing transforming walk. We can also hold on to His promise as we face setbacks and difficulties, that we need to be patient as we learn, knowing that we don’t always grow as fast as we like. Jeff mentioned being patient as someone else grows because the process is slow as we walk with him changing us from within.

    • Romans 8 is a great contrast section. I do agree with you, pointing out that walking in the flesh always and only leads to death, but the Holy Spirit is always life – life from the eternally living God. Even verse 3 gives a wonderful picture of Christ, being in the flesh, put sin to death in His flesh, but because He was fully God, He Spirit overcame death and sin.

      • It is a great contrast section. The word is filled with what is of God and what is not of Him, what we should do and what we should not do. Over and over again God shows His consistency in the message He has given us, the same yesterday, today and forever.

  • I appreciated the reminder that walking according to the Spirit is a process. We live in a society that wants instant gratification. They want a solution to their problems in just a few sessions. It can become frustrating when counselees aren’t willing to stay through the process. Then I do a self check and recognize that I am going through the same process and I too can become frustrated. Jeff said we all need the same help and that is the reminder we need to always keep in mind as we counsel. In Rome when a general would ride into the city after a victorious battle a slave would ride on the chariot with him whispering in his ear, “Remember you are mortal.” We too need to remind ourselves to walk according to the Spirit.

    • I agree. Don, we live in a culture of this instant gratification that people seek, which is a part of the fleshly living to a quick fix to their lifestyle or problems. We can quickly get frustrated when those around us press into a self-life nature. I like how you say to do a self-check to seek guidance from the Spirit in the situations we all face. What a great way to model a spirit-filled life.

    • Ah yes. I always have a vivid picture in my mind when Jeff reminds me that I also am being counseled or need the same counsel that I am giving! I think too highly of myself because of the wonderful knowledge I have been blessed to learn through CCU and the Biblical Counseling Academy, I forget that others haven’t studied what I have gone out of my way to study and I need to present them with this knowledge in a gentle and compassionate way; remembering that God gave it to me because I need it.

  • Wow Jeff, this podcast #178 hits home that holiness is our calling but it is a work of the Holy Spirit! However, although it is to be accounted as a transformative inner working of the Holy Spirit, it is true that OUR work is to NOT walk according to the flesh – but to instead choose to obey the word of God -which translates to walking in the Spirit.

    There was a time in my life that I was privileged to work with many women that were seeking deliverance from addiction. As they came to know the Lord, they would often ask me the question of, “How long?” As in, how long before I see change in my life?

    With a smile on my face, I would respond, “A lot of that is up to you. How quickly will YOU yield to Holy Spirit and what He is asking you to give up or to walk in?” They always understood the simplicity of that. They knew that submission to the Lord would be what brought about any and every change they desired.

    Thank you Pastor Jeff for breaking down these amazing truths found in Romans into bite-size pieces that all of us can chew on, savor and digest!

    • I like how you mention yielding to the Holy Spirit to pay to give something up and replace it with the Spirit filling the void they try to serve with the addiction. What a wonderful ministry, you have had the opportunity to lead others to a loving relationship with Christ and to see their hunger for change.

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