What does it take to walk in the Spirit?  I have a favorite plaque on my desk with the words: Walk in the Spirit. The minute I saw it at one of my favorite stores, Mardel, I knew I had to have it.

For a long time now I’ve had an issue revolving around the physical capability of walking without pain for any extended period of time.  I thought I had figured out how to fix the problem of bone-on-bone pain in my knees by having double knee replacement surgery.

That happened in August of 2010.  It was not an immediate cure though my surgeon told me that in six months I would be walking without pain.  That didn’t happen.

As with most things in my life, I learned after the beginning of the “cure”, it still takes a lot of hard work to make progress.  After 19 months of physical therapy, fitness training, and for the last 10 months daily exercise and an entire change of diet including emphasizing lean protein after exercise, I’m seeing some progress.

As the muscles around my knee and in my quads and hamstrings get stronger, I can walk better.  In reality I’m in strength training for the physical act of walking.

The same is true of learning to walk in the Spirit, as Paul mentions in Galatians 5:16, 25.  It takes a lot of training.  I think it’s interesting that we want an immediate solution to this type of spiritual issue. We want to be a spiritual giant instantly. We want it all.

We want a quick fix. Maybe going to a Christian conference will help or buying a book  or going to church every once in awhile. Once we do that, we don’t apply a thing we heard, the book is just sitting on the shelf unopened and we slept through the sermon.

Yet going to a conference, buying (and reading) a Christian book and going to church are all good.  Unfortunately they are not the be-all, end-all to learning to walk in the Spirit.

To live in touch with the Divine Spirit of God as we go through our lives takes one thing and one thing only–a commitment to daily, minute-by-minute understanding about what it means to be completely in love with the Heavenly Father.

It takes a lot of practice, a lot of spiritual exercise, a lot of desire to really be in the zone of walking in the Spirit. It takes doing some things that don’t come easy but are necessary to build the spiritual muscle and strength it takes to walk in the Spirit. Don’t let a word as simple as “walk” fool you.

If we desire to walk in the Spirit we will be spending time in His word.  We will be communicating with Him.  We will be listening to Him. We will be spending time with Him every day, not just once in great while. That’s what we do with those we love.

When we desire the presence of Him as the object of our love, we can’t help but walk in the Spirit.  He oozes out of every pore of our being.

I love the sign on my desk because it reminds me daily that just as it takes training and exercise to strengthen me physically, it takes commitment, communication and love for an almighty God to strengthen me spiritually.

What does it mean to you to walk in the Spirit?  What challenges do you have in this area?

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.