Have you seen the movie Tomorrowland? There’s a scene in the movie where a character reminds her father of something he’s said to her all her life.
There are two wolves who are always fighting.
One is darkness and despair.
The other is light and hope.
The question is: which wolf wins?
The one you feed.
It’s been a good long while since I watched this movie with my family, but that scene stuck with me, and in particular, that quote.
I remember not long after having seen the movie, driving down the road. We were going to be in the car for a while and I was the one driving. Driving means that I can’t, of course, read. (I don’t do audio books. I can’t listen nearly as fast as I can read and most of the voices used to narrate books get on my nerves immensely.) As I was driving, weird person that I am, I was trying to decide what I was going to think about while I was driving to keep my mind occupied. As a reader, it’s really easy sometimes for me to get caught up in a fictional world and daydream about that world. And often, when I drive, that’s what I end up doing. This particular day, though, I felt a prompting from the Holy Spirit to turn my thoughts to worshiping God through the song that was playing on the radio. It made me stop and think. How often do I sit and meditate on things that are not feeding the Holy Spirit that lives inside me, but are instead feeding my flesh? Things that serve no purpose in moving me closer to God. Things that, if dwelt on long enough or in the wrong way, even have the potential to take me down a path to a thought process that is contrary to the will of God. (Quick side note: I am not saying that all daydreaming is flesh feeding, just that, in this particular instance, for me, it would have been.)
In that moment, I was reminded of the quote from Tomorrowland, and it made me think, “What am I feeding in my life? Am I feeding the flesh or am I feeding the Holy Spirit by the thoughts I allow myself to dwell on, the places I allow my mind to go?”
Honestly, there are times when I want to feed my flesh. It’s something that we all struggle with because, even after we become Christians, we still have the flesh to contend with. But when I feed my flesh by dwelling on things that my flesh wants to dwell on, I end up not feeling well spiritually, not being truly content and satisfied by what I’ve dwelt on. When I feed the Holy Spirit though? That’s when I find joy that reaches down deep to my depths. That’s when I find that peace that passes all understanding.
It makes a difference what we feed in our lives. This is an area that I’ve learned I have to be on guard in, that I have to be intentional in. I can’t walk around in a fog, unaware, inactive in being careful in what I allow my mind to dwell on.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, NASB
I have to be active in taking thoughts captive. I have to be active in discerning where the thoughts entering my mind are coming from and sending them right back out if they are not in line with the Word of God. As a Christian, I have the gift of the Holy Spirit living inside of me, there to guide me. I can ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit and can choose to feed my flesh or I can choose to listen to the promptings of Holy Spirit and heed them.
Every day, we have the ability to live supernaturally by the power of the Holy Spirit, in triumph over the enemy. But the enemy doesn’t want us to realize that, through Jesus, we have power over him. Because when we let the Holy Spirit live through us, when we put our focus on Him, He lives through us and defeats the enemy. When we really realize the power Jesus has, the enemy loses his power over us. The enemy knows that and he wants us to keep believing lies that keep us powerless, that keep us slaves to him and to fear.
We can have unexplainable peace by continually taking our thoughts and turning them to Him. By turning the lies, the fear, the doubt, the worry that the enemy tries to throw at us away and intentionally focusing on God and His goodness and remembering HE has power over the enemy.
The enemy wants us to think that we can’t—that we can’t take our thoughts captive, that we can’t change, that we can’t overcome. He wants us to believe we are powerless against him. But we are not. We have the power of the Holy Spirit and we have instructions from God (His Word) that we can live out in this physical realm, that help us take back what the enemy has tried to steal.
The enemy wants us to believe that God won’t speak to us. He wants us to doubt that God will come through for us so we won’t take the actions we need to, so that we won’t follow the instructions of God’s Word to take our thoughts captive. Surprise, surprise—God’s Word really is full of great and wonderful instructions! The enemy doesn’t want us to believe the truth of it, that the things God says will work, will work. The enemy loves for us to view God’s Word as just a nice book to read so we don’t actually put into action what it says, what God knows works.
The enemy wants to keep us paralyzed, to keep us from reaching out, from believing the truth of God’s Word, to prevent us from seeing the depths of His love for us. What the enemy wants to use to distort our view of the Father and keep us from trusting Him, God wants to use to show us HIMSELF more clearly and to cause changes that take place in us for our good, that draw us closer to Him. He IS a good Father, He IS trustworthy, He IS faithful, He DOES love us, He DOES care deeply for us, He DOES have the best in mind for us.
Those are truths we have to choose to believe when the enemy wants us to believe otherwise. In choosing to believe the truth of God’s Word in the midst of being bombarded with lies from the enemy, from this world, there’s a growth that happens. There’s even a joy that comes in believing the truth and in dwelling on that truth and not the lies. A joy that comes in trusting Him a little more each time we struggle, in crying out to Him and seeing Him come through, in trusting Him to do so.
What are you feeding in your life, in your heart, in your mind? Darkness and despair or light and hope? The flesh or the Holy Spirit? The lies of the enemy or the truth of God?