Galatians 5:16-17 (NLV)
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.
There’s a story about an old Native American chief who came to know Jesus as His Lord and Savior through a missionary that was working with his tribe. The missionary had been gone for a while and when he got back he went to visit his old friend. He asked the chief how he was doing in his walk with Jesus.
The chief answered, “It’s like I have two dogs fighting within me – a black dog and a white dog!”
The missionary replied, “Which one is winning?”
“The one I feed the most!” replied the chief.
Did you know that you have a war going on inside of you? I don’t know about you but I’m fully aware of this struggle with my old sinful selfish desires and the Holy Spirit. I want to do what is right but find myself doing exactly the opposite! How do we break this cycle of rollercoaster living?
Let’s go back to what the chief said and let me ask you, which dog are you feeding?
Are you feeding your black dog envy, discouragement and despair, disillusionment with God, doubt, and anger? Do you spend too much time in front of the television devouring its values? Do you have relationships that cause you to focus on the negative and turn your heart away from God? What are you feeding your black dog? How big is your black dog? Does he need to go on a diet?
Or are you feeding your white dog peace, joy and delight in God, encouragement, love and trust? Do you spend time in God’s Word getting to know your Savior, reading His promises and developing an intimate friendship with Him? Do you have relationships that propel you to a deeper walk with Christ? Do they encourage and challenge you?
What are you feasting on?
Living each day in the power of the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to guide and direct our lives will break the cycle of rollercoaster living and allow us to live in freedom. But it’s a choice – sometimes that choice is easy and sometimes it’s HARD because our selfish desires clamor for attention and they don’t like to be left out or starved to death.
Remember, we can only feed one dog at a time. What dog are you going to choose to feed?