You have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds. In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you (Colossians 3:9-10).
A Native-American Christian went to a missionary for counsel. He was very much troubled by the spiritual conflict going on within his heart. He wanted to do what God wanted him to do, but he was frequently disobeying God. He found that he was prone to do evil things, even as he did before he became a Christian.
The native described this conflict within himself as a dogfight. He said to the missionary, "It is as though I have a black dog and a white dog inside me fighting each other constantly." The black dog, he explained, represented evil and the white dog represented good.
The missionary asked him, "Which dog wins the fight within you?"
After several moments of silence, the native said, "The dog that wins is the one I feed and the dog that loses is the one I starve."
A person can either feed or starve the carnal nature or the spiritual nature. One will win and one will lose. Man has a free will; he is a free moral agent. As such, he can decide, even as a Spirit-filled Christian, whether he will obey the dictate of the flesh or the leading of the Spirit. Whether he lives a consistent, Spirit-filled life is determined by the frequency with which he says "yes" to the leading of the Spirit and "no" to the temptations of the flesh.
For the Christian, the old sin nature, if not properly dealt with, can become a major hindrance to living supernaturally. A Christian who, for any variety of reasons, does not properly deal with his old sin nature is said to be living in a state of carnality, or worldliness.
Such a carnal Christian is usually a miserable person -- even more miserable than the nonbeliever.
Some or all of the following traits may characterize the carnal Christian: ignorance of spiritual heritage, unbelief, disobedience, loss of love for God and for others, poor prayer life, no desire for Bible study, legalistic attitude, impure thoughts, jealousy, guilt, worry, discouragement, critical spirit, frustration, and aimlessness.
The way to overcome these carnal traits is to be filled -- continually controlled by -- the Holy Spirit.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
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