Saturday, May 28, 2016

Feeding Time

I love the old story of how each person has within us two different animals.  One is a wolf, who is evil and destroys.  The other is a dog, who is loving and brings life.  Both cannot live at the same time and deciding which one gets to live is solely based on which one you feed more often.

I have a similar thought regarding the life or death that occurs within churches and, like the story of the wolf and dog, it all depends on which one you feed more often.

In this case, the two "animals" are Spirit and Flesh.

When we feed the Flesh, we are seeking to please man.  This path always leads to criticism of nearly every aspect of the church's ministry.  The music is too loud, the screens are too small, the lights are not bright enough, the pastor's message is weak, we don't sing enough hymns, we don't sing songs I hear on the radio, the parking is difficult, the chairs are uncomfortable... and on and on and on...

And on...

On the contrary, when we feed the Spirit, we are seeking to please God.  This path always leads to contentment and celebration.  Criticism flies out the window because the more we seek to please God and encounter His life-transforming presence, the less we worry about, or care about, or focus on, those man-pleasing concerns.

We move from a place of moaning to majesty.

Granted, it is far easier to complain than it is to celebrate.  If it were easier to celebrate and feed the Spirit, we would have far less churches in continual uproar over petty, foolish and divisive issues. We live in a world that continuously feeds the flesh.  I'm reminded of the Richard Foster book, "Money, Sex and Power."  Those three areas still tend to be the ones who draw us in and mold us into creatures seeking to please MAN'S needs rather than God.

Ah, but that doesn't change the fact that we still must be a people who please GOD rather than please man.  We must make the difficult choice to step over that threshold and alter our paradigm to become a church goer who stops feeding the flesh (critical and complaining) and, instead, feeds the Spirit (focusing on The Father).

So, here is the difficult question: which one are you feeding?  I won't ask for a raise of hands.  But I do encourage you to take a few moments and consider strongly if you are feeding the flesh (pleasing man) or feeding the Spirit (pleasing God).

Because like the story of the wolf and dog, there ain't room for both.

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