An old Native American was describing for a listener the struggles he has with the inner man. “Inside of me there are two dogs. One is good and gentle. One is mean and evil. The mean one fights with the good dog all the time.” The listener waited for the answer to the obvious question and finally asked the old man, “Which one wins?” After a moment of reflection, the old Indian said, “The one I feed the most.”
The Bible says, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please” (Galatians 5:16-17).
Each one of us has a war waging within. It is the struggle between the desire of the flesh and the leading of the Spirit. If we are honest with ourselves, it is a battle about which we give little thought most of the time. We go about our daily lives doing what we want and pursuing our personal agendas without much consideration of which is winning and which is losing.
The fact remains that with every choice we encounter, one of the combatants is going to win. And the one that wins will be the one that we feed the most. When we refuse to discipline our lives with prayer, Bible reading and church attendance, our fleshly desires will continuously do a victory dance on our intentions to live the holy life. But when we deliberately and consciously fill our lives with spiritual things (prayer, the Word of God, church attendance) and spiritual thoughts, the Holy Spirit will lead us to victory.