To answer this question, we must understand what it means to “Walk in the Spirit”.
We can live in the Spirit but this does not mean we are walking in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25). Living in the Spirit comes with salvation but walking in the Spirit is active. We are moving in the direction in which the Holy Spirit is leading. When we walk in the Spirit we are not only saved but we are the sons of God (Rom. 8:14). If we are walking in the Spirit, we are able to resist the lust of the flesh (Gal. 5:16). We allow the Spirit of God within us to have dominion over our soul (mind, will and emotions). The Holy Spirit knows the mind of God and therefore knows the beginning from the end and will steer us away from danger (John 7:1). The Holy Spirit keeps our feet from falling and causes us to walk upright before God (Ps. 56:13).
You can choose to walk in accordance with your own counsels (Ps. 81:12), the counsels of others (Ps. 1:1) or in the counsel of the Holy Spirit (Prov. 3:5). God doesn’t force us. He will allow us to continue to walk in our own counsels if we want to stubbornly disobey His commands (Ps. 81:12). Of course, that comes with consequences. God will judge us for walking according to our own ways and according to our own sight (Eccl. 11:9). When we don’t walk in the Spirit we are open to God’s fury (Ezek. 20:13). It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God (Heb. 10:31). We will walk in the Spirit not because we are forced to do so but because of our reverence and fear of the Living God (2 Chron. 6:31). It’s always our choice.
We must be careful who we choose to walk with as they can take us off track and begin leading us in their understanding (2 Cor. 12:18). Always be discerning of who and what is leading others before deciding to come into agreement with them (Amos 3:8). Walking in the Spirit is evidenced by the fruit of God’s Spirit being manifested in our lives and the lives of others. By their fruit you shall know them (Mt. 7:20). People walking in the Spirit will display love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faith and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 5:2). There are false spirits that lead into error (Micah 2:11). This is why we must test prophecies and words spoken in the name of the Lord as this can open us to deception (1 John 4:1). When we walk in the Spirit we have discernment of like and unlike spirits. We are walking in truth so we can spot lying and deception.
Walking in the Spirit involves walking in accordance with God’s laws and obeying His judgments – trusting in His determination of what is good and bad for us and doing what is good. To be able to do this we must have the Spirit of God within us. It cannot be done in our own strength (Ezek. 36:27). When we do not walk in the Spirit in obedience with God’s judgments we are pulled into idolatry (Ezek. 20:16). Justice is also far removed from us and we walk in darkness (having no clue where we are going; heading for destruction) (Isa. 59:9). The Lord gives us over to our own stubbornness and when we choose to do our own thing our own way it will lead to torment (Isa. 50:11). However, as we obey God’s statutes and commandments that are all God-breathed we shall have prosperity in all that we do and wherever we turn (1 Kings 2:3).
To walk in the Spirit means to walk in God’s truth. To agree with the Spirit of God and know if we are being led by the right Spirit we must know the truth of God’s Word for ourselves (Ps. 86:11). Allow the Lord Himself to teach us. The Spirit brings revelation of the truth as we read God’s Word. We need to develop ears that are sensitive to the voice of the Spirit if we are to remain in agreement with where he is leading us (Isa. 30:21). He leads by a still small voice. We must train our spiritual ears to hear. As we are led by the Spirit and walk in the Spirit our souls will be at rest (peace) (Jer. 6:16).
Walking in the Spirit is walking in newness of life. This has been made possible by Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection (Rom. 6:4). Walking in the Spirit leads to life (Ezek. 33:15). Walking in the Spirit means following Jesus’ example and bringing light to the world (John 8:12).
God delights in those who are walking in accordance with the leading of His Spirit (Ps. 37:23). It is God ordering our steps. We will live and multiply and the blessings of God shall abound (Deut. 30:16).