Summary: What's wrong with me? I want to serve God, but, instead, I sin! I want to Live in the Spirit, but, instead, I'm still living in The Power of my Flesh! Maybe it's because i have Two Dogs living inside of me! The story of the two dogs. (Our Two Natures)
Shortly after I first became a Christian, I was told of this
story of The Two Dogs, and it made a lot of sense. It helped
me to understand why I was, the way that I was, and it helped
me to understand what I needed to do, to be better than I had been.
Every believer has a Dual Nature. First, we are born with one
(because of being born as a descendent of Adam), and Second,
we have a New Nature, that God has given to us because we first
believe in Jesus.
"We have been given great and precious promises, that by them
we might be partakers of The Divine Nature, having escaped the
corruption that is in the world.." (II Peter 1:4)
The story of the two dogs goes like this: An old Indian Chief,
of an American Indian tribe, had just come to a new faith in Jesus,
because of the regular visits to his tribe by an early American preacher.
As the preacher continued to make his visits to the tribe, he
continued to instruct the Chief in the workings of his new faith.
One day, as the preacher came to visit, he asked the new Believer,
"Well, Chief, how's it going?"
The Chief replied,.. "... Two Dogs inside, a Small Dog & a Big Dog,
always fighting." So, the preacher asked, "Well, which dog is winning?"
To which the Chief replied,.. "The one that I feed."
If you have two dogs, and you feed one, and neglect the other, the
dog that you feed will be stronger than the one that you neglect.
It's the same with our 2 natures. The stronger one will be the one
that you feed. If you are always feeding the Small Dog, that's the
one that will always win. If you feed the Big Dog, than THAT
one will win most of the time! (The small dog is our New Nature,
the Big Dog is our Old Nature.)
It's up to us, as to which “dog” we will feed. If you are always
feeding the OLD nature, it will continue to be a problem. If you
start feeding the NEW nature, it will grow much stronger, while
the OLD nature gets weaker!
The Bible says much of this battle between our two natures
(our two dogs, inside) usually referring to them as:
(1) our "flesh"... and (2) our "spirit."
"There is No Condemnation now to them which are in Christ Jesus,
who walk (live) NOT (controlled) by (the power of) the flesh but
(controlled) by (the power of) the Spirit." (Romans 8:1)
".. those of us who walk NOT after the flesh but after the Spirit."
"For they that are after the flesh (listen to the desires of the flesh,
pay attention to the cravings of the flesh) mind the things of the flesh.
They that are after the Spirit, (listen to the desires of the Spirit,
pay attention to the cravings of the Spirit) and mind the things
of the Spirit." (Romans 8:5)
"For to be carnally (fleshly) minded is death, but to be spiritually
minded is life and peace." (Romans 8:6)
"For if you live after the flesh, you will die. But, if you THROUGH
THE (power of the) SPIRIT "put to death" (set aside, neglect) the
deeds of the body, you will live." (Romans 8:13)
"Walk in the Spirit (live under the control of the Spirit, give in to
the direction of the Spirit) and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh."
"The desires of the flesh are opposed to the desires of the Spirit, and
the desires of the Spirit are opposed to the desires of the flesh, for these
are contrary to one another, so you are hindered from doing what you
desire to do." (Galatians 5:17)
"He that says he abides in Christ ought himself also so to walk,
even as He walked." (I John 2:6)
AND: God wants to work in us, and through us, to perform
His will, in us and through us. "For it is God who works in you,
both to WILL and to DO of His good pleasure." (Phil. 2:13)
My OLD nature doesn't want to do what God wants me to do.
My flesh wants to be served. It doesn't want to be controlled.
It wants to be IN CONTROL.
It's ONE or the OTHER. One will be IN control and One will
BE controlled! It's your choice. Let the flesh be in control,
or, instead, allow God's Spirit to be in control.
How do I do this? Simple, The Old Dog, the Old Nature, with
it's desires and lusts, must die. Just as Saul had to die, before
David could rule. Just as Goliath (the flesh) had to die, before