Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC 

Galatians 5:16-26
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Recently I heard an article online that talked about the unwritten history of where the term “jaywalking” came from. Ravi Mangla writes,

“‘Jaywalking’. The word seems better suited to a dance craze than criminal infraction. The jitterbug, the lindy hop, the jaywalk. Some trace the origins of the term to Syracuse, New York; others to Kansas City (home briefly to a bar called Jaywalkers). One of the earliest references to the practice is in an article in the Chicago Tribune: ‘chauffeurs assert with some bitterness that their ‘joy riding’ would harm nobody if there were not so much jay walking’ (April 7, 1909). The quote reflects a mind-set of entitlement among the motorist class, a readiness to allocate blame to the lowest tier of traveler. In early America ‘jay’ was a pejorative used to denote a rube or rustic, someone unacquainted with the niceties of urban refinement. To be called a jay was to have called into question your very sense of belonging, your right to exist within the city proper.”


It seems as though “jaywalking” was a real insult back in those days. Today, it just speaks of somebody who doesn’t want to wait for the traffic light to change. Jaywalking may be a negative term to some, but the Bible talks about another form of j-walking that is not only positive but required for the child of God. J-walking as in Jesus walking that is. 

Paul writes in Galatians chapter 5 that we are to walk by the Spirit so that we don’t fulfill the desires of the flesh. Walking by the Spirit is simply walking like Jesus. It’s living totally dependent on the Holy Spirit in prayer and attention in such a way that the characteristics of Christ come out. Hence, Paul goes on to share with us those famous traits of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. What he is saying here is when we depend on the Holy Spirit and walk by the Spirit of God, the fruit of Christ-like behavior comes out. Understanding what it means to walk by the Spirit then is as much about the outcome as it is the process. Walking by the Spirit means listening to God, remembering His promises and commands, and choosing to take a deep breath and then do the right thing. That’s J-walking, walking like Jesus. 

Today, do a little J-walking. I’m not talking about committing a petty crime, but I am talking about committing a crime against our flesh. Scripture says to crucify the flesh, kill it so that it doesn’t control your life, and come alive to the Spirit of God. Walk by the Spirit. Pray. Read and meditate on the Word. When that hard situation comes up or that hard to deal with person walks by, just take a deep breath. Remember the Lord and His Word. Then J-walk, walk across the street of life and let the fruit of God’s Spirit show. 

Oh Father, forgive me for walking in the flesh. Help me die to myself and come alive to Your will. Holy Spirit I need You. Fill me and control my every thought, word, and deed today. Help me to treat others the way You treat them and to look at the circumstances of life with eyes of faith. In Jesus name, amen. 

Luke 9:23
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”