This little parable might help. I got it from this website:
The Parable of The Dog and The Dove
Let me tell you a little story that you’ll never forget. Once upon a time there was a man who lived in a house all alone. He brought a stray puppy home with him one day to keep for company. The puppy grew and became big and mean.
Then one day a dove perched on the sill of his upstairs window and he fed it. The dove became friendly and the man brought it inside to keep as a pet also. But the dog resented the presence of the dove and barked and leaped with jealous fury.
The man tried to keep the dove away from the dog but the dog kept barking at the dove every time he sensed its presence.
Finally, the man decided to get rid of the dog and keep the dove. But he couldn’t get the dog to leave the house.
He tried everything . . . even bribing it out the door with morsels of Meat . . . but nothing worked.
He even tried force, but the dog growled and snapped at him.
Finally, he decided to go to the professionals. He told the veterinarian his story and then asked him what to do. The professional said, “It’s simple . . . get rid of the dove!”
The man returned to his house disappointed. As he placed the key in the lock of the front door, he heard a terrible commotion . . . the dog was yipping and barking. He quickly unlocked the door and ran into the house.
In the middle of the living room the dog was standing over the body of the dove! Feathers were everywhere! The wings of the dove were spread pitifully and there was blood.
The man leaped across the room kicking the dog in the side with all his might. The dog went rolling and howling, scrambling for shelter under the table.
Tenderly the man picked the dove up from the floor. Its body was limp but he saw it was still breathing.
Carefully folding its wings he took it to the kitchen and began to care for it.
He then took the dove to another room and set food and water by it, closed the door and returned to the living room.
He looked into the eyes of the dog glaring from under the table and said, “I’ll get rid of you if it’s the last thing I do!” He began to shout at the dog . . . “I’ve kept you and fed you . . . “ There was a sudden and long silence as the man stood staring at the dog. He froze with thought. Turning and staring out of the window, he snapped his finger loudly and said, “of course, why didn’t I think of that before?”
He turned to the dog and said to the dog in a low tone filled with glee, “Your days are numbered”.
In a burst of action that scared the dog causing him to jump backward, the man literally ran to the kitchen and opened wide the doors of the cupboards. He gathered all the dog food he could find in the cupboards and then went to the corner of the kitchen floor where the dog’s dishes were, scooped them up, and threw it all in the trash.
He then went back to care for the dove.
After checking the dove he returned to the living room and stretched out in his easy chair to relax. He glared right at the dog, and said, “Now I am the master! You depend on me to feed you . . . and I have stopped!”
The dog became hungry late that night and went to the kitchen and sniffed where his dishes had been.
There was no food for him.
That night the man slept very well and the next morning he awoke with new peace in his heart. It seemed the sun was shining brighter than ever before.
He heard the dog whining for food in the kitchen but paid no attention to him. and went about doing some cleaning and fixing his breakfast.
The dog whimpered and paced the floor licking his chops as the man ate his breakfast. It took some self control but the man refused to give the dog a crumb. When he finished eating, he went in and fed the dove.
Day by day he noticed the dove was getting stronger . . . but the dog was getting weaker.
While he lost all concern for the dog, his care for the dove was meticulous!
Have you started seeing yourself yet?
Each day he fed the dove and starved the dog. Each day the dove became stronger and the dog became weaker.
Finally . . . the day came.
He walked over where the dog was lying on the floor, grabbed him by the collar and drug him across the room, over the threshold and out into the yard.
He returned to the house and fed the dove.
Today, the dove is well and flying around the house again.
The dog? Oh, he’s adjusted to his life outside quite well.
The dog you see, is the flesh nature in me.
The dove, as you may know, is the Spirit that has come to dwell in me.
For you see . . . In every “me” there are two natures, the Spirit nature and the flesh nature.
Here is a spiritual secret that can bring much longed-for change to your life . . . if you have the courage to face the changes reality often demands.
First, as Christian disciples, we must know something about ourselves which Jesus and the disciples taught us. Each of us possesses two life natures – there are two of me, the Flesh and the Spirit.
A nature is something that has distinguishing characteristics. It has a personality all its own when compared with other things. We have two distinguishable natures within each of us.
Paul put it this way; So, then, with the mind I myself (one nature) serve the law of God; but with the flesh (another nature the law of sin. Romans7:25
There are also two minds; the carnal mind and the spiritual mind. Romans 8:6
Two different sets of desires. Romans 8:4
And these oppose each other! Galatians 5:17
The opposing minds or natures are positive and negative in a moral sense.
The negative nature is the nature of the flesh and
The positive nature is the nature of the Spirit.
These are as different from each other as clay and steel . . . as a DOG AND A DOVE.
This is a universal fact with which every man living experiences. Man, within himself, is trying to go two directions morally at the same time!
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would (want to). Galatians 5:17.
It was this negative fleshy dog nature in man that hounded Jesus to Calvary and then watched Him die!
For dogs have compassed Me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed Me: they pierced My hands and my feet. Psalms 22:16.
It’s a Fact:
The appetites of unregenerate man, or of the human body, and dog are basically the same. Here Are The Three Flesh Appetites.
They are also called sense pleasures.
(1) The sex sense pleasure,
(2) The hunger sense pleasure and
(3) The greed sense pleasure.
Most of man’s behavior is influenced by these flesh appetites which are in the worldly environment.
When these appetites of the flesh nature are favored and gratified, in the worldly pleasures, you are feeding the Flesh nature and making it stronger.
By this we conclude that the carnal or fleshy, dog-like nature has affinity with the world environment that attracts the flesh. I John 2:15-17; 4:5
The dog nature, that is, the sinful carnal nature receives its strength from the world.But . . .the spiritual nature of man is attracted to the holiness of God. Matthew 4:8; John 17:16; Titus 2:12; James 1:14, 27; 4:4; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 2:15-17; 4:5.)
Sin in the flesh has broken the human spirit’s communion with God. So, the spirit of man languishes inside an appetite-controlled body.
These selfish and corrupted appetites of the flesh are everywhere exerting their influence!
You see them everywhere you look – In literature, the arts, advertising, music, television and on your personal computer. He is in the entertainment world, in politics and business, reaching out appealing to the appetites of the flesh to indulge. Lust for gold, food and erotica keeps driving man toward hell and hounds him to the grave.
But God has burst upon the scenes of human history to give us a chance to escape the life of the dog and become like God!When man seeks God and associates with God through His Son Jesus Christ . . . .he becomes like Him, like a son of God.
For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son. Romans 8:29
This should be man’s highest goal in life – to become like God! This is the will of God for every redeemed person once they become saved.
Every man is born between God in Heaven and the devil; Between a man and an animal; Between a dog nature and a dove nature.
If man fails to reach for that “prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” he reverts to his appetites to find pleasure and never with peace. Without God, man at his very best, is just a very intelligent animal.
The Christian overcomes temptation by being in moral, emotional and mental fellowship with God! it’s the only way God makes happiness available to us – through goodness, His goodness. For man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
We were designed in the creation in His likeness so we can have things in common with our Maker. For life to be meaningful and have fulfillment we must live and function for the purpose we were created. We must think upon and communicate with God intelligently. Since this demands a rational capacity, animals can’t do this. We conclude, then, that the soul of man is his rational self.
When man forgets God and others and thinks only of himself and seeks to indulge in all sorts of sense pleasure activity, that man is considered sensual and has animalistic tendencies. No, there’s just not much difference between the carnal man and a dog.
The dog nature is given to the impulse of appetite . . .See him running along with his nose to the ground . . . scavenging . . .Gobbling up morsels of he knows not what . . .Eating that which belongs to others . . .Casting his waste and filth in beautiful places.He mates shamelessly in the open.He selfishly protects food he himself will not eat.He is vicious toward any who approach his domain. No wonder they call bad men dogs!
The Word Exposes the Dog Nature!:
The Bible calls this dog-like nature in us “carnal.”
Paul called it the law of sin. Romans 7:23
He also called it the “body of death”. Romans 7:24
The “carnal mind”. Romans 8:7
The “deeds of the body”. Romans 8:13
The “lust of the flesh”. I John 2:16
The “flesh with the affections and lusts”. Galatians 5:24
The “old man with his deeds”. Colossians 3:9
The word “carnal” literally means meat or flesh.
The word “lust” means to crave wrongly. It is the “dog” nature in us that amounts to sin in the flesh.
Lust can only occur through the appetites of the flesh nature.
Lust is appetite out of control!
And so, we come to another conclusion; That if the appetites can be brought under control we have the cause of sin conquered!The
Bible makes the connection between appetites and sin very plain. Let’s make a simple observation in Galatians 5:19-21 and see that the “works of the flesh” are divided into the three categories of the appetites.
SEX: Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, lasciviousness, uncleanness.
GREED: Hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, sedition, heresies, envying, murders, idolatry, witchcraft.
HUNGER: Drunkenness, revealing and such: “banqueting and revealing” I Peter 4:3
Note! All of these “works of the flesh” can be classified under one or more of the three appetites of the flesh.
Let me repeat, that it is impossible to sin except through the appetites. This is very important Biblical fact.
What a pity! God created the appetites in us for our good. Like everything man touches, we have twisted them into selfish perversions.
The Appetites Are Good!
When the Spirit of Christ enters our life at the time of salvation, He does not cancel or destroy the appetites. He teaches us to bring them under the control of the Holy Spirit and use them properly. They once more become the meaningful servants God intended them to be. When Christ comes within He brings His dignity and returns honor to the body.
If lust is appetite with no control, then holiness is appetite under Spirit control!
Bring Flesh Under Spirit’s Dominion
A person “in their sins” is a person under bondage to the appetites, whether you profess to be a Christian or not. Six of the ten commandments are restrictions against the appetites. The Bible contains SPIRIT KNOWLEDGE for us in the form of instruction “that the man of God may be perfect”. 2 Timothy 3:17 When the Christian allows the Spirit and the Word to teach him the control of appetites this is called “moderation”. Philippians 4:5
But how can this powerful appetite nature be overpowered by the Spirit abiding in me?
Christian, the appetites are more of a problem to us than Satan himself! Once appetite power is controlled, Satan and the world influence become a mere spiritual “mop-up operation”. Yes sir! The big problem we have with sin is right under our noses – in our flesh! Don’t look for it in other places. But I see another law in my members bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Romans 7:23 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: Romans 8:3. This is where Christ directed His strike! At “sin in the flesh”…or the appetites!
The Other Nature? We said there were two natures. We have talked about the “dog” nature . . . now let’s talk about the dove nature.
The scripture does not put the guilt upon our spirits as is does upon the flesh. Sin is always referred to as being in the flesh but never is such blame put on the spirit.
The scripture does not speak of such as things as “sin in the spirit” but it does, in many passages speak of the sins of the flesh – the works of the flesh.
From this we understand that our spirits are affected and degraded by their close association with the sinful flesh nature but not depraved in the sense that the flesh is depraved. We venture to say that while man’s flesh is depraved, his spirit is deprived.
The disobedience of the flesh destroyed man’s fellowship with God.
In the first Adam man’s spirit was imprisoned inside sinful flesh, became the prisoner of the carnal nature . . . . . . until the Last Adam appeared! That was when God started the new creation, the regeneration! The first Adam turned my paradise into thistles and blood, sweat and tears. The second and last Adam turned my tears and pains back into paradise! The first Adam took me out of paradise but the second and Last Adam put paradise inside of me.
Life begins all new when we see God’s great plan of redeeming love reaching out to us from Calvary.
It’s irresistible! We just can’t ignore it. We fall in repentance. Then comes the Spirit of Christ crashing through the bulwarks of Satan, invading me with His regenerating forgiveness! For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13 Now the presence of His Spirit with my spirit links me up with heaven!
Before my repentance at the cross, my indulging flesh life had its strength and affinities in the world system. But now my spirit will gain its wishes of control and strength through my new connection with the Kingdom system! Now He joins me in my battle against “the old man”. I must crucify him and “mortify” him by choice . . . by many right choices.
But wait a minute!
The battle still rages! Satan still attacks, the flesh still rises! It seems there is an escalation of the spiritual battle within since I was born again in the Spirit. What is happening to me ? I thought the battle would die down after I had such peace at the altar of repentance !!
You see, before you were a Christian you had one sinful nature in control which was agreeable with the world value system.Your spirit was a prisoner of that strong and prevailing flesh nature.But now the Spirit of Christ has come and joined my human spirit, giving me a strong spiritual nature to do battle with that opposing sin nature which is also strong. Now I have two strong natures grappling for the reins of my life. I have a flesh nature, and I have a newborn Spirit nature within me. I have a dog nature and a dove nature.
The battle of Romans, chapter seven, is on!
In my mind I know the right thing to do and want to do it, but appetites are still winning some of the battles.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Romans 7:19
On the struggle goes . . .
To go to the big party with my friends, or go to church, when there should be no questions.And then there are the matters of my associations. To load my plate again? I really need to lose 40 pounds! or stop because I know I’ve had enough. To wear provocative, sensual fashion . . . or be modest as the Word and the Spirit teaches me? To stare at a pornography poster in the shop or look away? To let my imagination dwell on erotic things, or quote the Scripture and put my thoughts on things that are pure and turn my eyes to the non-biological things, accepting the discipline of Spirit-knowledge?
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:4
Should I tell the guy off . . . or humble my spirit and leave it with God? I keep the struggle up but never seem to make gains in the number of battles I win. I must ask myself – Is the spiritual life of the over comer real or the pipe dream of an idealist? I cry out with Paul . . . “who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Romans 7:24
Read closely now and get ready for a taste of victory!
Here come the answers to this dilemma!
We each have two natures or, two difference lives, actually. For any form of life to continue living it must be fed! It’s really quite simple. You have a carnal life, and you have a spiritual life. You feed the life you want to live and starve the life you want to die!
It’s at this very point we create our own spiritual struggles and defeats. We try and live for God while we feed both of these forms of life! The flesh and the Spirit. This is what creates the struggle and makes life almost unbearable! But if the spiritual nature was strong And the flesh nature weak . . . that would be certain victory!!
Jesus Christ made this possible!
The Bible holds the secret again . . .
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. Romans 13:14
The real question is this . . .Which life do I want to be weak? The flesh, of course! Well then, if you don’t want the carnal life to be strong . . . stop feeding it!
Let’s consult spirit-knowledge. If you want something to live you feed it. If you want something to die, you starve it. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5 The key word in this scripture is the word, “mind”. This word in the Greek is PHRONEO. It means to provide for, or be concerned with. You have a flesh life and you have a Spirit life. You give “attention” to the nature you want to win and be sure not to provide for the nature you want to die!
Here is the principle again . . .Mortify (put them to death!) therefore your members which are upon the earth . . . Colossians 3:5 And again, Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Romans 12:9 It is a matter of exposing the spirit nature to pure and excellent things that strengthen it!. If you are truly born of the Spirit, then you will be concerned with providing for the Spirit-life.
Your diet determines your destiny!
By the way, doves don’t eat garbage and dogs don’t prefer peanuts. Each nature has its own source of nourishment. Let this Bible secret work for you! Feed the Spirit life. Seek out Spirit food. Feast on spiritual things. Choose your spiritual friends carefully. Control that close inner circle of friends. These are the people you will admire and imitate. While you feed the Spirit life, starve the indulgent demands of flesh appetites. Deny them when they whine and plead to indulge! It won’t be long till the life you feed is stronger than the life you starve.
It may mean you’ll have to make some big changes. In friendships . . .in the kind of literature that you read . . . in pastimes . . .it’s going to mean some big plans spoiled and provocative, immodest clothes thrown out and other carnal and egotistical items dropped forever from the list of personal possessions. It’s going to mean a whole new and glorious discipline!
Now, Get Rid of the Dog Food!
When you care for something it takes time, money, and attention. You’re the master of the house! Go to the pantries and get rid of the dog food! Start searching the cupboards and pantries right now. In your prayers, ask the Holy Spirit to direct you in putting away anything and everything the lower nature feeds on or is strengthened by. Ask Him for discerning powers for what is pure and clean and for ultimate good that you may prove your love to Him. Philippians 1:19-10 Start with your associations. Check the pantry marked “entertainment”. Are you sure the little innocent things you protect with claims of being small and innocent, aren’t feeding that dog nature? what about your pastimes? And pleasures? Your language? Your thought life? Has materialism and luxury unconsciously blinded you to the difference between essentials and non-essentials? What about the music you listen to and tapes and albums you possess? Are they dog food or the whole-grain cereals of the heavenly dove? Television? Magazines? Does it feed the dog or the dove? Don’t get sentimental now and start feeling sorry for the dog!
For as much then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same mind: For he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin…that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. I Peter 4:1-2
Could it be you have the discovered the “law of life in Christ Jesus”?
Humans with “dog-like” natures, will not be welcome in Heaven. When the redeemed are finally gathered in the city of God and the coronation anthems are bouncing off the stars the “dogs” will be yipping outside to get in. Luke 13:24-25
“Blessed are they that do His commandments that they may enter in through the gates into the city for without are dogs Revelation 22:14-15
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