During high school a buddy and I decided to skip school one day. We lived in the country near a small hamlet called Azalia. We rode a bus to a nearby town where we switched to a bus that would take us on to the high school in Columbus, Indiana. The direct trip was around ten miles. In order to keep suspicion down we had planned to go to school as normal only when we arrived at the high school we would simply not go in. Instead we headed down the street, found a pay phone and called in sick. After that we were home free, or so we thought.
Neither of us had any money except for enough change to buy a snack and a soft drink so we saved that for later on. We would walk through Columbus and all the way to Elizabethtown (that’s where we changed buses) and wait until time to catch the bus home. No one would know, again, that’s what we thought.
I’ve got to say that by the time we reached Elizabethtown my feet were killing me. We got there too early and had to wait about two hours for the bus and when it arrived I had already decided that this skipping school stuff was for the birds. I never planned to do it again, at least not the way we had done it that day.
When we arrived home we found out what the “or so we thought” meant. After calling in sick the school had called back home to make sure our sickness was legitimate. To make a long story short we didn’t get away with it and were dutifully punished once we got home, as if my aching feet weren’t punishment enough! Walking is an extremely good exercise but folks too much is just too much!
We’d be surprised at how far we walk each day even if we never leave the confines of our homes. A study reveals that on the average men walk about two and a half miles per day while women walk around two miles per day. That’s not including walking to lose weight or to exercise. This is just the average distance incorporated in our daily routines.
We are also on a spiritual walk. When we come to Christ accepting Him as our personal Savior we embark on the journey of a lifetime. Paul wrote in Galatians 5:24-25, “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” That can sound a bit confusing can’t it? Is there a difference between living in the Spirit and walking in the Spirit? The answer is, yes there is. When we come to Christ He, by way of the Holy Spirit, literally comes into our lives. His Spirit quickens or makes alive our own spirits. We are, in a way, given a sixth sense: That of the guidance of the Spirit of God. That’s living in the Spirit. He will whisper in our hearts warning us when we are about to sin, or do something that may bring us harm. He will urge us to do the right thing. As we read the Bible He will teach us what we need to know to live a spiritual life.
However, the difference comes in the walk. We are all on a spiritual journey whether we have come to Christ or not. That journey may take us to different places but in the end we will all wind up facing God. Those of us who have come to Christ will be rewarded while those who have chosen different paths will be punished. But that isn’t the walk I’m referring to.
Walking in the Spirit kicks in when we are obedient to the guidance given us by the Holy Spirit. You see, He speaks to us from within. He warns us of things that will bring us harm. He reveals the Word of God to help us on our journey. But we’ve got control of the feet. We chose to follow or reject His direction. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we aren’t saved, but it can mean that we have chosen to ignore the leading of the Spirit and go our own way. He won’t stop us. But man, are we better off if we chose to follow His lead.
That’s the difference in living in the Spirit and walking in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit is good exercise for the soul and it might just save us a whole lot of trouble in the long run. So choose to walk the life today. It might just save some very achy feet.
The author of this article, Jerry D. Ousley, is also the author of five books: Soul Challenge, Soul Journey, Ordeal, The Spirit Bread Daily Devotional, and his first novel, The Shoe Tree . Listen to the daily broadcast Spirit Bread. Find out more by visiting www.spiritbread.com or email him at
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