Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Morning Prayer

Good morning Lord. Thank You for another day. Strengthen my legs under the weight of my responsibilities so that I can carry what You have given me in a way that glorifies You.

Lord I thank You for a changing life. Not a changed life, though there has been a lot about me and around me that has changed, but changing because I know You're not through with me yet. I'm still living in this flesh, so I still have that same inner struggle that other Christians have, if they are honest. But now I can see that the win record for my spirit man is now over .500 and improving all the time, thanks be to You. I often think about that really cool illustration I heard years ago describing that inner struggle that we have; that struggle of a heart that wants to do right but lives in a body that wants to do wrong. The illustration was that it's like two dogs living inside; a good dog and a bad dog constantly fighting. The lesson was that the way you determine which dog will win is to make sure you feed the good dog and starve the bad dog. The meaning I took was that I need to read Your word, pray, be obedient, and serve You, hence feeding my good dog. As well I had to make sure I wasn't looking at, listening to, meditating on, or doing evil things so as not to feed my bad dog. Though Your word frames it as 'crucifying the flesh', I have always thought that was an effective way to get the point across.

Father, I have noticed that my bad dog has changed over the years. It used to be more like a one of those...what are those dogs called...English Mastiff I think. Really big, mean and hard to hide. Before I got saved, my sins used to be noticeable; and if I walked into a church with that big dog on a leash, I wouldn't be allowed in the choir stand, much less the pulpit. But over the years, through the power of the blood of Your sacrificed Son and the work of the Holy Spirit, I have changed...and my dog has changed. Now, its more like a lap-dog. I can carry around and it goes mostly unnoticed. It's small enough now that I can hide it. I can even dress it up with a doggie sweater and carry it like a baby, so that what is actually pride will look like self-esteem; or what is greed will look like ambition; or what is gossip looks like a prayer request.

But...I know its there. Like a lot of little dogs, it likes to bark and its got attitude. Even though I can keep him hidden from most people around me, that joker can still reek havoc and chew up the slippers in my life. And I realize that he's only able to do that because sometimes...I feed him.

Lord, I want to go to the next level for You and with You, but its hard to do with that little dog biting my ankles. Though I have changed, I know I need more changing. Show me how to feed the good dog and starve the bad one. You are worth my sacrifice, and I'm glad I was worth Yours. I love You. In Jesus name. Amen.

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