So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. Galatians 5:16-18
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). Ephesians 2:1-5
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
We begin this week’s Devotionals with a story entitled, "The Wolves Within" :
An old Grandfather, whose grandson came to him with anger at a schoolmate who had done him an injustice, said, "Let me tell you a story. I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times."
He continued, "It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way."
"But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eye and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"
The Grandfather solemnly said, "The one I feed."
What a great way to visualize our struggle. The two wolves need not represent just the gentle side and the angry side. We will let them represent our struggle with good and evil all the way down the line. Even the unbeliever feels the tension of this double pull because though they are fallen creatures they were created in the image of God. But still as described in the Ephesians passage above they remain under the control of the prince of the power of the air as “sons of disobedience” and “children of wrath.” For us as believers the tension and struggle is more full blown. We can allow the two wolves to represent the old nature (our fallenness) and the new nature (the indwelling Holy Spirit) both of which are spoken of in the Galatians passage above. I love the boy’s question in our story, “Which one wins?” and I love the Grandfather’s answer, “The one I feed.” Our Devotionals for this week are all about how we let the Holy Spirit dominate our human spirit so that in the end it is the new nature the wins.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I really do get the struggle. There are some things I know are wrong that trip me up and I feel so helpless. On the other hand I am beginning to grasp that in some areas I don’t even know yet the difference between right and wrong. Awaken me to your Spirit so that I consistently know, choose, and live what is right over that which is wrong. I know you will bring victory as you help me increasingly walk in step with your Spirit. Amen!
Posted on Mon, September 23, 2019
by Ken Hart