Sunday, as I waited in the airport for my flight home from the P31 conference, I got a text from my new friend Lisa Lewis. She had a later flight and we met up to wait together for mine. Lisa, a Life Coach, and I share an interest in Hearing and Doing the Word, in practicing Shema. While I was at SheSpeaks I met some other wonderful women that I would like to share with you, in time. My conversation with Lisa gives me a great place to start. I was telling her what it was like to meet her, and another friend, Mindy Hopman. Mindy calls herself a “completed Jew” – raised Jewish and saved by faith through the grace of Christ; she and I were finishing each others’ sentences by the last day. Mindy and I also shared an interest in Shema and the Hebrew roots of our Christian faith. BTW, I will be applying what I have learned about ancient Hebrew to modern living in my upcoming eBook – The Lesson in Holiness – please pray for me to be productive! But here I was, in a sea of 730 Christian women, confronted by two amazing women, who are writing about the same topic as I am. Intimidated? I would say so! I shared with the Lisa, the initial struggle I’d had:
- On one hand – why bother write a book? Maybe someone else can say it better?
- On the other hand – Maybe God had brought me across three time zones to meet two generous and passionate people that I could collaborate with?
I had to choose between two outlooks. So I applied this Word to my thought life: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:10, ESV), trusting that the LORD was working out His plan in my life. When I shared my thought process with Lisa, she told me the story of the two dogs. I went in search of the origin of this story – some say it is a Cherokee folktale, but this has been refuted by many others. All agree that the first instance of its appearance in print can be found in a book by Billy Graham, called The Holy Spirit: Activating God’s Power in You:
AN ESKIMO FISHERMAN came to town every Saturday afternoon. He always brought his two dogs with him. One was white and the other was black. He had taught them to fight on command. Every Saturday afternoon in the town square the people would gather and these two dogs would fight and the fisherman would take bets. On one Saturday the black dog would win; another Saturday, the white dog would win – but the fisherman always won! His friends began to ask him how he did it. He said, “I starve one and feed the other. The one I feed always wins because he is stronger (The Holy Spirit: Activating God’s Power in You, p. 92).
Paul said something very close to this: For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do (Gal 5:17, ESV). How about you? Are there two dogs wrestling within you? When you feel discouraged by life, or hounded by sin, confused by your circumstances, remember what Jesus said when He was tempted: “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matt 4:4, ESV). Feed on God’s Word – Jesus did. God offers us an alternate way of living…and He promises to do the work in us: Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Rom 12:2, NLT). Feed on God’s Word – it has the power to transform your thinking. We can rely on God – He keeps His promises: And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6, ESV). Feed on God’s Word – it reminds us of Who He is and who we are, in Him. Please leave a comment sharing this: Tell me your favorite verse that “feeds” the good dog. 😉