“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:25,26)
Becoming a Christian is a miraculous event. The new birth delivers a new creature into the world. From the womb of the Holy Spirit a spiritual infant comes forth who has all the potential to grow up into the mirror image of Jesus Christ. But this growth is not automatic, it requires cooperation with the Spirit we have been born of.
Life in the Spirit is a state of being. Walking in the Spirit is a continuous choice. Responding to the Spirit of Christ within us, we “let” what is compatible with Him reside in us, and we don’t “let” things that are incompatible be there.
The chief rival to the throne of Christ in our heart is pride. To be “desirous of vain glory” is to care more about our dignity and reputation than the glory of Christ. We are more interested in being right than righteous. To protect ourselves we become aggressive. Instead of being a person of peace and meekness, we are a brawler, contending with others, demanding our way. Only by pride comes contention.
We are not walking in the Spirit of Him who was lowly of heart when we cater to an exalted spirit. Christ may live in us, but we are not abiding in Him when we choose to walk in a different spirit than He walked in.
The fruits of walking in the Spirit and abiding in Christ are evident. They are “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” (Gal. 5:22,23) The presence of such fruits, abounding in a heart that is sorely tried and tempted, is no less miraculous than the new birth that brought a new creature into the world.
Walk in the Spirit. Abide in the Vine. Glorify God by bringing forth much fruit.