One of my teachers taught me a tale of two dogs. They were alike in every way. They asked who would win in a fight. I thought that if they were alike in every way, it would end in a tie. They told me I was correct. Then they said, “Let’s take those same two dogs and only feed one of them. If they were to fight, who would win?” Again, I thought it was pretty easy and told them the one that was fed would win. After agreeing with my assessment, they explained that there is always a fight going on inside each one of us between our flesh and our spirit. No matter how much I wanted one of them to win, it would always be the one I fed the most.
I love that the Bible didn’t cover up things or just show us the best version of people’s lives. It told us how Abraham lied about his wife being his sister. It kept the part where Moses murdered an Egyptian. It didn’t try to cover up David’s adultery like he did. It included Jesus rebuking Peter. Every one of these people are heroes in the faith to us, but they were just as human as you and I are. They wanted to serve God as much as you, and they failed Him as much as we do. What made them stand out was that they repented and learned to feed their spirit more. They knew that they needed to change who they fed when they messed up, and they did it.
In Psalms 86:11, David prayed, “Teach me, Lord, what you want me to do, and I will obey you faithfully; teach me to serve you with complete devotion” (GNT). David, like all these other heroes of faith, always went back to God to teach him in those moments of failure or need. He wanted to serve God with complete devotion. In order for us to do that, we must be willing to be taught how by God and we must feed our spirit the Word of God. We must spend time in prayer and obedience. We have to spend less time feeding our flesh, and to not dismiss the tension of the fight between the two inside of us. If you find yourself failing more times than not, take a look at how you spend your time. What are you spending your time doing? Which side is that feeding? You can always change who your feeding to change results. Ask God to teach you what He wants you to do and how He wants you to feed your spirit. He will show you.