To “live in the Spirit” is a state of being in which we have died to our self life and have yielded the totality of all that we are and have to Jesus so He can live His life through us as a witness.  Paul tells us,  “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”  (Galatians 5:25) Wow do you get that?  Does this verse means we can live in the Spirit, but not walk in the Spirit?  The truth of this verse is conditional on the word “if.”  Earlier in Galatians Paul told us,  “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me….  (Galatians 2:20) The  “I live; yet not I” comes with the same condition to “live in the Spirit.” This condition requires us to live on a high plain of integrity, commitment, and Godly character in order to maintain the necessary spiritual sensitivity that will make this possible. To “walk in the Spirit” is to live one step at a time, with every aspect of our life experience being lived in total yieldedness and willing obedience to the will and purpose of our LORD. As we walk with the poise of our spirit upward toward the LORD His abiding presence and peace will confirm that we are walking in the center (in the Spirit) of His will. We are both living and walking in the Spirit.  Now this is God’s intention for us to live and walk in the Spirit. Sadly in my life sometimes I see myself in the now of walking and living in the Spirit and at other times I see myself  miserably failing God. Oh how I hate myself. Oh how I hate the variance in  me and  I know myself will destroy me if I allow it to.  It is not the devil or some demonic minion I should fear, but myself and what it wants.  If we could ever get over our self and the lust therein as James says, wow could we ever serve God in the way He has planned and purposed for our lives. You know one of the greatest gifts God can help us develop is not our ability to minister the Gospel, lay hands on people for a miracle, speak in tongues, or even greater service to the Brethren, but the greatest gift God can help us with is a Godly character. I am convinced not too many Christians value character oh no we would rather have all of the ministry bells and whistles in God. The ones the apostate church of today says we need to have moving in our lives and ministry so we can get all of those blessings. Oddly enough I never hear the folks on Christian (I use that term loosely) TV networks like:  TBN, Daystar, Son Life, and the rest mention the importance of Godly character.  I wonder why?  After all what comes out our mouth is what is in our heart and whatsoever is in our heart is important to us. This ability to “live” in the Spirit in which His will is being accomplished in us requires that we have a basic understanding of the laws that govern a Spirit led life.  How can we walk and live in the Spirit if we do not know the Spirit or how He operates.  I am sadly convinced the Holy Spirit, in the typical church of today in the western world,  is of little to no affect in the lives of most the people.  And that is because the focus of most Christians today have an external focus on the outcomes in God.  They serve looking for their reward from God instead of just serving God for His need and sake. Bless me, bless me, bless me!  What would we do if God stops blessing us?  Do we do service for blessings or to be a blessing?  The answer to that question in found in our heart condition, in our motives, in our character, and in our understanding of God’s spiritual laws.  Why most Christians miss them is because these spiritual laws do not deal with the externals, but primarily with our heart – that which underlies all that we say or do and believe it or not these spiritual laws hinge on not our spiritual ability, but on our Godly character.  It is our Godly character that is developed in us not our spiritual ability and my friend to walk with the LORD (as He wants us to walk) there is a cost we will pay for a Godly character like His.  It is not exacted in dollars and cents or even service, but in moments of God’s dealings and judgments in our lives.  In  moments when God can get our attention and show us our heart condition in given situations and circumstances.  Now we cannot add to our spiritual ability oh no.  God gives us His ability as salvation is a gift so too is our spiritual ability. I wonder why we think we can get stronger in the things of God?  Do we exercise our spiritual gifts in service and grow them like muscles?  Do we pray and speak in tongues and our spiritual gifts will increase?  No this is wrong teaching. They are gifts given to us by God as we qualify and are approved for them. He controls the gifts we are just partakers of His goodness as the instrument He desires to flow through, but the difference between two people is the commitment and desire, the approving or qualifying of an individual by the dealings and judgments of God.  It is not we can grow our spiritual abilities, but through our dedication and commitment to God and the work He has done in our lives He can now trust us with more of His goods to be used in touching lives. This involves dedication and the sacrificial giving of ourselves.  These are the marks of our having the measure of spiritual maturity that will enable us to function in the realms of the Spirit.  Our own thoughts and ways must be set aside in order to follow Him.  The natural man cannot come this way for he cannot discern God’s presence to bring us into this higher realm.  This is a function of the Spirit and not of the mind. The natural man receives not the things of God because they are Spiritually discerned. The natural man (even carnal Christians)  makes his approach to God with their goodness, their emotions, and their intellect, but not so with the Spiritual man.  He makes His approach on the goodness of God out from a humble and contrite spirit.  One who has a servant’s heart and does not mind the back seat of a car.  One who does not stand by when work is to be done or wants to be exalted in the midst of a group of people. I have known some folks who consider themselves above other people based on their (preconceived)  walk with the LORD.  In their own eyes they see themselves (and others less) with having a deep revelation of God and all around their circle of friends there is an unspoken homage one must submit to or you will be shunned from the circle. If you ever speak up and challenge this arrangement then you are set aside and Scripture is twisted as to set an example telling others to turn their backs on people. The basis of this judgment and action is not from God’s word, but from the self appointed authority of the “deep one” and the self appointed control and manipulation they wield.  And it is all based on the unqualified perception of one’s revelation (and to be honest usually a forceful  personality) of God. Well here is a news flash, revelation never trumps Godly character.  Relationship in God must not be based on revelation.  Sadly we size each other up according to our abilities in God and even the revelation we possess and somehow value these as to being something we want to be connected with in a relationship.  Oh this person is deep in God and if I know him and if I can work with him, maybe just maybe some of his depth in God will rub off on me.  Even worse the whole servant master thinking  can come into view and distort the relationship. To have a real relationship there must be pretenses.  Each must be valued based not on their understanding of God, but on a common and honest friendship that goes both ways.  When one person thinks they are greater than another the relationship is doomed.  Oh it may continue for years, but there will come a time (God will see to it) when the perceived lesser sees though the camel cookies (had enough crap) and says wait a minute you put your pants on one leg at a time just like me. Jesus never valued one disciple over another.  It was the perceived bias of the disciples that exalted one disciple over the other.  Paul was not greater than Peter and both of them were no greater than Thomas, Matthew, or John. Revelation is not dependant on the favor of God, but on our willingness to be dealt with by God.  The more we submit to God the more of a commitment we will make to God.  What is cost for Godly character you would ask?  The cost of Godly character is the death of our self life and all of those thing we hold near and dear to our heart.  Anything less only yields a life of great promise, but still a life that has come short of God’s glory.