After the Spirit or After the Flesh: According to the Apostle Paul in Romans 8, there are two different ways of walking out your life. One is to walk “kata sarka” meaning “according to the flesh.” The other is to walk “kata pneuma,” meaning “according to the Spirit,” or “after the Spirit.”
For the believer, the question is, what is the tendency or the general principle of his or her walk? Is it to walk after the flesh, in the manner and lifestyle of the old, unregenerate creature? Or is it to follow the dictates of the Holy Spirit; to walk as the New Creature?
Romans 8:9 states, “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
You are in the Spirit so Walk in the Spirit: Paul is saying that when you are born again of the Spirit, you are not in that realm of the flesh anymore, you are in the realm of the Spirit! Therefore, he urges the believer to “walk after the Spirit.”
Seeing that as new creature in Christ, you have been translated into the spiritual realm of the Kingdom, and are no longer in the fallen realm, it is unacceptable that you would still be walking as if you were in that fallen state.
Those who walk after the Spirit are governed by the Holy Spirit, and they mind the things of the Spirit. In other words, they focus on the things of the Spirit, in their attitude, mindset, way of thinking and making decisions.
In Romans 8:5-9, Paul writes that the mind of the flesh leads to death, whereas the mind of the spirit is life and peace. He even states that if you live after the flesh, you will die. This is because walking “after the flesh” will produce the symptoms of death in your life, including oppression, depression, fear, sickness, and anxiety.
The Choice is Yours: Clearly, Paul presents two choices in Romans 8. Walking after the Spirit leads to life, peace, success and the manifested presence of God in your life. Walking after the flesh leads to unrest, loss and disaster.
Take an inventory of your life: Ask yourself, “Am I making my decisions and choices “kata sarka” (after the flesh) or “kata pneuma” (after the Spirit)? Remember this: whatever does not come from consulting and waiting upon the Lord; from dependence upon the Holy Spirit, is unquestionably of the flesh.