For Christians, the words, “walking in the flesh” is usually synonymous for living in sin. The word “flesh” represents the carnal nature that each human being must deal with as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve. Contrary to the negative context of walking in the flesh, the Bible gives Christ-followers two good examples of when “walking in the flesh” is a good thing.
In order to understand walking in the flesh in the right sense, we must begin by defining “flesh”. Simply, “flesh” represents our strength, our energy and our emotion. Consider the carnal concept of flesh. When we sin, it involves either our strength or our energy or our emotion. Flesh is the totality of who we are as a creation of God. This totality of creation can either glorify God or seek its own glory. When our flesh seeks God’s glory, we are walking in the flesh the right way.
How to walk in the flesh
Scripture provides two good examples of how to walk in the flesh for the glory of God. Psalm 84:2 states, “My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” (NIV) In this sense, our flesh cries out for God. Rather than being in rebellion toward God, Christ-followers should be seeking God to the point of pouring out our strength, energy and emotion to glorify Him. Also consider Psalm 119:120, “My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws.” (NIV) Do we fear God with our strength, energy and emotion or do we reserve these things of the flesh for ourselves?
Choosing which way to walk
Walking through life means we choose to walk in the flesh one way or another. Everyone has a choice on which way to walk. Walking in the flesh in the right way means we have God as the center of our focus and attention. It means that our activities are God-focused and our emotions are God-centered. When we walk in the flesh with our attention on God we can walk rightly and in a manner that glorifies the Creator of all flesh.