Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
What does it mean to walk according to the Spirit?
To me, walking in the Spirit is walking in fulfillment of His word. When someone offends me, but I do not take the offence, I am walking in the Spirit. When I am insulted , yet I do not care because I am dead to my own self, when I love when naturally I should not, when I should be angry, but anger quickly gives way to love and forgiveness, then I am walking in the Spirit.When I have something against a brother, or know that he has something against me and I go to that brother and reach out to him, then I am walking in the Spirit. When I agree with someone who attacks me, rather than defend myself, then I am walking in the Spirit.
When I look upon a woman, not with lust but with purity, when I would rather pluck out my eye than offend my Holy God, when all men know that my word is my bond, that I do not have to attach oaths to my word, then I am walking in the Spirit.When I am assaulted and I turn the other cheek, if I am robbed of my wallet, and I reach into my pocket and give my robber all that I have, when I can bless those who curse me, and pray for those who hate me without cause, then I am walking in the Spirit.If I can love , not only those who love me, but those who hate me, when I do a good thing for someone and I make sure no one knows about it, when I talk to my Lord all day long, whispering loving thoughts to Him, then I am walking in the Spirit.
When I fast, and no one knows about it, when I refuse to be anxious, when I make a conscious decision to do all things by prayer and supplication and thanksgiving, when I judge others by the same standard that I judge myself, then I am walking in the Spirit.When two paths open up before me, and I choose the narrow one, when I do all these things and men know me because of them, when disaster strikes my life and my response is to praise my Father in Heaven and lift up the name of Jesus, then I am walking in the Spirit.As I do all these things and a peace that is beyond understanding fills me completely, then I know that I am walking in the Spirit of the Living God and my heart literally burns within my chest. And as it burns, it gives off a light that men can see and they are drawn to Christ in me. When this happens, I know that I am walking in the Spirit!
Doctrinal correctness, theological knowledge, its all information. And without the Spirit of the Lord it is dead orthodoxy. It is illumination of the Word, and by that I mean it is the Holy Spirit working in us for His good pleasure that prompts us in a certain direction. When we respond to that prompting, then we are walking in the Spirit. All the things I mentioned above I would never do. In fact, my nature is such that I would do the exact opposite for most of the examples and be applauded by my culture. My only part in this is to yield to the inner workings of the Spirit. It must come from the inside out. If it comes from the outside in, then I will eventually cry out Oh wretched man that I am. The problem is that for long periods of time we cannot tell if a mans outward piety comes from the inside out or the outside in. Time and circumstances will of course tell the story. The man who operates and lives his life by dead orthodoxy and tries to accomplish a Christ like life from the outside in, will eventually, or sooner or later, fall to pride and then fall as he ultimately fails. If we try an accomplish the commandments of God in our own strength, then we will utterly fail in short order, or have some success and self-righteousness and then utterly fail. This can take one year, but I have also seen it take 30 years.
My part is to surrender and yield to the Spirit that is within me. I must also be able to hear that small still voice that leads and guides me. I must also be genuine in all that I do, my outward actions must be a reflection of my inner state. That right there is the difference between life and death. I must cultivate my relationship with Jesus because my ability to walk in the Spirit is directly tied to Christ in me and my relationship with Him. I must be able to come into His presence. It is only by walking in His presence, walking in the Spirit, that I can be used of Him to be light to the darkness. Experiencing His presence actually, as opposed to believing a theological truth, having a faith in information, giving a mental assent to an abstract truth is also the difference between Spiritual life and a fleshly life.