Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Don't Feed the Bears

Do Not Feed Wild Bears!
Wild bears that are fed by humans
become nuisance bears. If a bear
cannot be detoured by removing
food or other measures, the state is
often forced to destroy the bear.
Please help us keep our wild bears
alive and safe.

For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. Galatians 5:17

I can still remember the first time that I ever heard anyone mention the battle between the flesh and the spirit. Her name was Kandy and she was a career missionary in Taiwan. I had just graduated from college and was spending five weeks outside of Richmond, VA preparing to leave for China. It was a new concept and it had my mind spinning. However, I also realized that the war that waged inside me was not new nor was I the only one experiencing the confusion that it caused.

I immediately dove into the book of Romans with a desire and thirst to learn more and more about the war between the flesh and the spirit. Over the last six years, I often find myself rereading chapters five through eight. I often feel like Paul when he said, "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on..." (Philippians 3:12). I will the first to admit that I still don't understand it all, but I keep reading and each time I learn something new.

One thing that I have learned is that I am responsible for who wins the battle between the flesh and the spirit....which ever is stronger. I know it sounds simple, but it all depends on what I feed. If I feed my flesh, then it is stronger and will win. If I feed the spirit, it will be stronger and win.

I don't always succeed in making sure that my spirit is the stronger being, but my goal is not to feed the bear! Because whenI do, it becomes a nuisance and I now know that sometimes the only way for it to be "detoured" is for it to be "destroyed".

Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation-but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

Romans 8:12-16

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:24


MLM said...

Great post!

Meems said...

indeed a simple look at whether the bear will have its way or not.

i have been 'stuck' in romans 3-8 since you and i talked about it several weeks ago. it is so rich and so chocked full of life lessons. Gal 5:24 sort of tells it like it is- no grey areas!

very well-written and concise post---thanks for the warning sign!

Jane said...

I really struggle with writing this one...I didn't want it to get to big, so I am glad you found in simple and concise, Meems. You know I can be wordy! :) I am just glad that Paul ended it with the reminder that "we are more than conquerers..."

mlm- thanks