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A0328_Which Wolf Are You Feeding

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Date:      19th August 2007                                                                  (Sunday AM)                                                                       Ref: A0328

Place:     Kambah P.S.

Title: Which Wolf Are You Feeding?

Text:        & Gal 5:16-26

Illust:     An old Cherokee Indian chief supposedly told this story to his grandson:

"A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible battle – between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, pride, envy, lust, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, lies and cruelty.

"The other wolf stands for honesty, kindness, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, friendship, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

"This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too," he added.

The grandson reflected on these words for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old chief simply replied, "The one you feed."

I.                   Two Wolves

A.               Flesh

i.                 What is mean’t by this term the flesh? Truth that our text brings out is that we have a fleshly, a carnal nature, that is the nature within us that wants to do what everyone else is doing. To party, have fun, to be lazy, to eat too much, to drink too much

ii.               Reading about our first Prime Minister – Edmund Barton commonly known in the media as ‘Tosspot Toby’, a rather portly man of whom it was said while he was in state politics: “Unfortunately for my Attorney General he dearly loves his knife and fork, and the liquids which a good dinner supplies”

      The carnal man or woman, your appetites, desires are not necessarily sinful, but the problem is the tendency of the flesh, the old nature is always downward.  ~ What are the outflows of carnality,

         Galatians 5:19-20 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, (NLT)

iii.             Your attitudes, your inner thought life, your actions, impure thoughts and actions, placing your own pleasure your own, plans & purposes over God’s will for your life – idolatry; jealousy, anger – What you watched on the TV, what you allowed your eyes to linger on.

         1 Corinthians 3:3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? (NKJV)

B.               Spirit

i.                 Then there is the Spirit. Jesus makes it clear that when we are saved, in fact it is what it means to be saved, it is a precondition that we are born again.

         John 3:3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (NLT)

ii.               Being born again, is by the Spirit of God, it is through the renewing and transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

         John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (NKJV)

iii.             Salvation is not a change of heart — though this expression is often used it is not scriptural. The New Birth is not the changing of something in you or the removal of something from you. No it is the communication of something to you—something which you didn’t previously possess.

      The New Birth is literally the impartation of the Divine Nature to the heart and life of the sinner, which makes him a new creation. It is brought to pass through a personal union with Jesus Christ. [1]

         1 John 5:12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (NKJV)

         2 Peter 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, (NKJV)

       When you were born the first time you received from your parents their nature; when you were born the second time you received from God His Nature.

       Myer Pearlman sums it up this way: “One of the most comprehensive definitions of a Christian is that he is a man in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. His body is a temple of the Holy Ghost, in virtue of which experience he is sanctified as the Tabernacle was consecrated by Jehovah’s indwelling.”9[2]

C.               War

i.                 So now you have 2 natures, your old nature, the fleshly carnal you and God’s nature the Holy Spirit who dwells within you. Make no mistake they are at war with one another. God never violates your will, even when the Holy Spirit is within you & you are saved, your old nature still wants to have a say as to how you act.

ii.               Paul uses very strong language to describe this to the Galatian believers;  & vs.17 ~
A conflict going on. Important you understand that this is normal, it’s life.

      Many times people get saved & then fall away days or weeks later because an old temptation arises & they succumb and immediately they feel condemned & defeated, this doesn’t work. No there is a battle. The flesh doesn’t just give up & go away no it always rears its ugly head wanting to dominate.

iii.             The real question this AM is whether you will live according to the old nature, or the new that has been given to you in Jesus. – Which wolf wins depends on which one you feed

II.                 Feeding the Wolves

A.               Super Size Me

i.                 Every day you have choices, decisions to make. If we eat junk food every day, we will be overweight

      In 2004 the documentary Super Size Me was released: It follows a 30-day time period (February 2003) during which Morgan Spurlock subsists exclusively on McDonald's fast food and stops exercising. The film documents this lifestyle's drastic effects on Spurlock's physical and psychological well-being. During the filming, Spurlock dined at McDonald's restaurants three times per day, sampling every item on the chain's menu at least once. He consumed an average of 5,000 calories (the equivalent of 9.26 Big Macs) per day during the experiment. Before launching this experiment, Spurlock, age 32 at the time the movie was filmed in 2003, ate a varied diet but always ate vegan evening meals to appease his girlfriend (she is a vegan chef), was healthy and slim, and stood 6 feet 2 inches tall with a body weight of 84.1 kg. After thirty days, he gained 11.1 kg, a 13% body mass increase; He also experienced mood swings, and liver damage. It took Spurlock fourteen months to lose the weight he gained.

ii.               In the same way, if you feed the flesh, then a carnal fleshly lifestyle will be produced. How do you feed the flesh:

      What do you see, magazines, billboards, shop front advertising: All advertising is designed to appeal to the flesh to stir up lust, create desire, desire to look a certain way, to have (covetousness) to be something your not.

      What do you watch on TV, @ the movies, Not just what is on the screen, what is the dialogue, what blasphemy / swearing is coming out of the speakers & entering your ears

      What are you reading, novels, magazines, articles, gossip rags

      New Idea: “Fergie tells all - I want an Aussie man.” / “Katie tells Tom - I'm the boss” or Famous: Britney's new shock claim - 'Kevin's sleeping with my mother'

      What do you think about?  What thoughts are you playing over in your mind, impure thoughts, covetous thoughts, thoughts of bitterness, jealousy, anger, resentment. Allowing them to play over & over.

iii.             All feeding the wolf of the flesh. – You will SuperSize the flesh, you can add an awful lot of flesh to your life in a very short time & just like Spurlock physically had mood swings and damage, spiritually you are causing real damage and will take longer to remove than it took to put on.

B.               A Healthy Diet.

i.                 If you are going to develop a healthy spirituality, you need to starve the flesh, remember not a game, this is a war. In fact Paul puts it bluntly: - & vs.24 ~  And you need to pursue & develop a spiritual appetite. This is a common theme in Paul’s writing.

         Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (NKJV)

         Ephesians 5:18-19 18 be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, (NKJV)

ii.               Be feeding your desire for the things of the Spirit:

iii.             What you read, what you listen to, what you meditate on.

      The Bible – How much are you reading

      Christian books, we have no shortage of good Christian books (and some not so good) & you need to be discerning to test what you read against the Word of God, but still there is a lot that is healthy that is helpful – Whenever the Newsletter comes out invariably has recommended reading lists.

      What you listen to: Christian music, much that is uplifting in both words & music

      Being in Church, hearing the preaching of the Word of God.  – Conference CD’s

      Being in prayer, you developing your relationship with God, through personal prayer. ~ Praying in Tongues - & 1 Cor 14:4.

III.              A Continual Surrender

A.               Walk & Be Led

i.                 It’s not about making resolutions, these don’t work, just ask yourself how many New Years resolutions you have kept. – No it’s about starving the flesh & feeding the Spirit and then following the exhortation of Paul:

ii.               Firstly & vs.16 / vs.25 ~ “Walk in the Spirit.” Step by step, day by day walking with God. This is not some emotional experience detached from everyday life, its what it means to daily feed on the Word of God, to pray & to obey.  It is speaking about having a relationship with God.

iii.             Secondly the call is to: & vs.18. “led by the Spirit” In order to be led, you need to voluntarily subject yourself to the one doing the leading. In this case the Spirit.  A sensitivity & submissive heart to hear what that inner prompting and to obey

B.               Outlfow

i.                 Crucify the wolf of the flesh, don’t feed it, and instead walk in the Spirit, be led by the Spirit and you will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit & vs.22-23: - Warren Wiersbe writes:

      What a contrast between works and fruit! Fruit is the result of a living union; a machine may produce works, but it can never produce fruit. [3]

ii.               You can’t positive speak for yourself; joy, love, peace, self control etc, these are fruit, they are the result of your relationship with Jesus Christ through the Spirit.

iii.             This AM which wolf will win, the one you feed.

IV.             Altar Call


[1]Duffield, G. P., & Van Cleave, N. M. (1983). Foundations of Pentecostal theology (229). Los Angeles, Calif.: L.I.F.E. Bible College.

9 Pearlman, 307.

[2]Duffield, G. P., & Van Cleave, N. M. (1983). Foundations of Pentecostal theology (277). Los Angeles, Calif.: L.I.F.E. Bible College.

[3]Wiersbe, W. W. (1997, c1992). Wiersbe's expository outlines on the New Testament (372). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

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