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Saturday, March 29, 2014

God and the struggle within us

I was reminded this morning about a story that I first heard many years ago. The story originated within our Native American heritage, but it addresses what I believe are some profound spiritual truths. Although the story has appeared in many forms over the years, I will do my best to recount it from memory (I think that's appropriate as it was originally delivered orally and passed down from generation to generation in that way).

A grandfather told his grandchildren a story about two wolves struggling within them. "One wolf is kind, loving and good," he told them. "The other wolf is mean, greedy and full of hate," he continued. "These two wolves battle within each one of us," the old man explained. "Which one of them wins grandfather?" the children asked. "The one that you feed," answered the grandfather.

For me, God is the grandfather in the story. He has warned us about the battle between good and evil that rages within each and every one of us, and he has told us how to ensure that the good wins.

Moses wrote: "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live" (Deuteronomy 30:19, KJV)

Paul wrote: "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" (Romans 6:16, KJV)

Paul also described this struggle within himself: "I have discovered this principle of life - that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God's law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin." (Romans 7:21-25, NLT)

Which wolf will you feed today?

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