You Wanna Make a Bet?

“…For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:11-13

Several years back, a new resource was published titled, “Every Man A Warrior.” And a good friend of mine became the COO of the ministry. And as the author of the material was writing the study, John and I would get a rough draft copy of each chapter, and study through it and then give our feedback. There are 26 chapters. This study is now published in over 26 countries, and has been translated in numerous languages. John and I had a blast being a part of helping get this material into the hands of men in Nebraska.

EMAW is a 3 book study and is designed to “help men succeed in life.” Book 1 helps a man learn how to walk with God through learning how to have a quiet time in God’s Word, among other topics.

A chapter in one of the books tells a story about 2 dogs. The owner of these dogs makes them fight and allows people to bet on which dog will win the fight. Each time the dogs fight, the owner wins the bet, he never lost a bet. Someone asked the owner, “How are you so lucky?” The owner replied, “It’s not luck, I starve one dog, and feed the other.” So, the dog who is fed wins every time.

It’s a great analogy that explains the daily battle we face living in the flesh or in the Spirit.

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:11-13 NIV

I have spent countless hours studying the book of Romans, especially Romans 6-8. I’ve felt led to do this because many men I spend time with struggle with their position in Christ as a forgiven person who still has the ability to sin. So, I dug into the scriptures to try and get to the bottom this conundrum. And I think I have a grasp on it. I think.

Romans 6 builds the case that we have died and died to sin. We were baptized into Christ Jesus and were baptized into His death.

We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” Romans 6:2-3 NIV

When we are saved and born again, our old self, or our Flesh, is crucified with Jesus, so that our fleshy body that is ruled by sin, might be done away with. So, we shouldn’t live our lives as slaves to sin any longer. Why? Because when our old self, our sinful side, is done away with through baptism, that side of us is dead, and that death sets us free from sin!

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” Romans 6:6-7 NIV

The verses continue saying, in the same way, or in the same argument, or looking at the case I’m building here guys, count yourselves dead to sin! But alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Count yourself dead to sin! Or I like to say, count yourself dead to the consequence of sin, which is hell. There are other consequences to a sinful lifestyle, but a huge consequence of dying without a savior, is an eternity in hell.

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” Romans 6:11-12 NIV

Finally, the verse says, we are alive in Christ, so, don’t let sin win! Or don’t let the dog of sin win the fight, starve your flesh!

Life Vs. Death

It begs the question, how do we starve the flesh? Great question.

Which one do you want? Do you want to live your life in a way that brings death, or in a way that brings life, and life to the full? I choose life.

So, with all that said, there are a few things we can do, that will ensure we starve this dog of the flesh but feed the dog of the Spirit.

First, spend daily time with God. Some call this a quiet time. Read your Bible every day. Life will come from the stream of life through God when we spend time with Him. The Bible also calls this walking in and through the Spirit.

Second, fellowship with likeminded people. Find a band of brothers to do life with. Build this deep life giving fellowship with 3-4 men and give life to each other.

Third, find ways to feed the Holy Spirit in your soul! Worship, listen to praise and worship music. It lifts and encourages our hearts as we walk with Christ throughout the day. Another great way to bring life to the Spirit is to schedule adventures throughout the year. Whatever that looks like for you. Hunting trips, or retreats, anything that gets you time away from your busy schedule and allows you to refuel your eternal perspective in life as a Christian.

Finally, do everything you can to successfully train the dog of the Spirit. Know beyond the shadow of a doubt which dog will win the fight. Because, I’ll make you a bet. The dog you feed, will be the dog who wins.


1 thought on “You Wanna Make a Bet?”

Comments are closed.