06 January 2008
There are two natures inside of all of us. One is pulling us toward SIN and SELF and is called our “flesh” or “sin nature” in The New Testament. And the other one is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit after we come into a relationship with Jesus Christ ... and in The New Testament it's called our “spirit” ... and it is pulling us toward HOLINESS and THE THINGS OF GOD.
There’s a famous old Cherokee story that illustrates this reality in a way we can all understand. Here’s how one woman wrote this story down …
When I was growing up in Oklahoma, one of my
closest friends, a girl named Billie, attended a
Cherokee Baptist Church.
Occasionally Billie and her family would take me
to church with them on Sunday mornings. The
services were in the Cherokee language, which I
didn’t understand, but Bible studies and Sunday
school classes were taught in English.
I remember being very impressed by a simple
parable told by the Sunday school teacher, an
elderly Cherokee man.
In the parable a young Cherokee man is brought
before the tribal elders, who are concerned about
his aggressive tendencies. One of the elders takes
the young man aside and tells him that his anger
is understandable, since all humans have two wolves
One wolf is good and peaceable, and the other is evil
and angry. And since one wolf will never completely
destroy the other one, they’re in constant battle
with one another.
The young man asks the elder “But in the end, which
wolf will win?”
And the elder replied, “That’s simple. The one you
feed the most.”
Our SIN NATURE and our SPIRIT – two wolves inside of us. Our SPIRIT is good and peaceable … and our SIN NATURE is evil and angry. Our SPIRIT is pulling us toward the things of God. And our SIN NATURE is pulling us toward the things of the world. And at the end of our lives, AND day-by-day, the wolf that will win the battle is the one we feed the most.
Focus on the things of this world, let the values of our culture shape your thinking, your priorities, your relationships, and your view of yourself and others … and you’ll be feeding the “SIN NATURE” wolf. And you’ll find yourself drifting further and further away from God, further and further away from people who are pursuing God, and further and further away from the values of the Kingdom of God.
But focus on the things of God, get into God’s WORD, spend time with people whose hearts and minds are heading in the same direction, pursue Christian spiritual disciplines, and you’ll be feeding your “SPIRIT” … and you’ll find your doubts, not just fading away, but being worked through with and much of the time resolved.
Because as we take on the character of Jesus Christ, God brings clarity, focus, and resolve … and the “measure of faith” Paul talks about in ROMANS 12:3 … that all followers of Jesus Christ are given by God when they first come into relationship with Him, will begin to grow, deepen, mature and take root in our hearts and minds.
There are two wolves inside of every one of us. Two natures competing for our attention and our allegiance. Which wolf will win this epic struggle? It's simple. The one we feed the most. Godspeed.