A great biblical truth for Christians, particularly those in ministry, is conveyed in this old story. A well-known tale, it’s been handed down over the years, even Googled … just don’t miss the point!
The two wolves within
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about life and a battle that goes on inside people.
‘My son,’ he said. ‘The battle is between two “wolves” inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.’
Pausing for effect, he then added, ‘The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.’
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his wise grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’
The wolves within
Sounds like what Paul is writing about in Galatians 5:16-26 (Mge) beginning with: ‘My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit…’
He warns against the evil wolf things such as the wise grandfather mentioned – that are really enemies of the Christian’s walk in following Jesus. Then in verses 22 – 23, the apostle highlights good points, again similar to those above, which we call the fruit of the Spirit. Paul surmises with the encouraging verse 26, ’… We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.’
Peter too focused on such good thoughts in 1 Peter 1:5-9 Mge). Verse 5 kicks them off: ‘So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given…’ and he warns in verse 9: ‘Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you…’
‘Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?’
In considering this bad wolf, we should think of a dangerous hungry animal, perhaps even recall the popular children’s warning song created by Frank Churchill for Disney’s 1933 The Three Little Pigs.
In scripture, a wolf indicates Satan and evil, false ministries and teachers (Eze. 22:27; Jer. 5:5; Hab. 1:8; Zep. 3:3; Mat. 7:15, 10:16; Luk. 10:3; Acts 20:29).
If the Disney movie song is a warning against the cunning and danger of the evil sly wolf, how much more is God’s word?
We’re God’s children (John 1: 12)! So let’s be on guard, unafraid, feel safe in his protective arms, and not be blown around or down by Satan and the winds of life!
Being on guard
We need to heed the warnings of Jesus and other Bible scribes. ‘The good wolf within’ is also hungry and Christians must feed on the good food of…
- The word of God
- Sound Bible teaching
- An active prayer life
- Regular fellowship with our church family
- The witness and counsel of experienced ‘fathers and mothers in Israel’
- Reliance on the Holy Spirit and developing his Galatians 5 fruit!
In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, Paul reminds us of an important truth: ‘You realise, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalising God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred – and you, remember, are the temple.’
With the Holy Spirit living in us, we don’t have to be afraid of deception and that old windbag, Satan! Embracing the ‘good food’ outlined above will ensure that our house won’t get blown down by every wind of false doctrine and the devil’s tricks.
Truth and deceit are the two matters that these two wolves within work on. One will strengthen and bless us; the other will eat away at us and destroy us.
Truth sets us free (John 8:32) but deceit is Satan’s work and can ruin our life, our ministry and health (John 8:35a) and relationships with others both friends and the unsaved (John13:3-35).
Remember: We particularly need to feed ourselves on scriptures such as …
1). Father God has a great plan and future worked out despite the current blackness (Jeremiah 29: 11 -14)
2). Our Lord Jesus Christ remains the same, never changing in his caring towards us (Hebrews 13:8)
3). The powerful Holy Spirit is our great ‘forever’ friend who will always be there (John 14:16 Mge).
The whole Godhead is behind us: our basic food diet here resides in…
- An active prayer life
- Regular Bible meditation
- Fellowshipping the body of Christ… worshipping God, participating in church activities
- Serving God in whatever he wishes us to involved in
- Trusting and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us in life’s journey.
(Scripture emphases ours)