Skin Walker             Jn 3: 1-8

The American Indians have tales of wolves and people who become wolves. Shape shifters or skinwalkers they are called ‘yes naaldlooshii’. Many cultures have within them, the mythology and folklore of people who exist in two forms. From the norse legends of Odin and Loki to the English tale of Dr Jeckle and Mister Hyde. The idea that an inner nature can change our outer appearance or that we become the beast within, is not new. Marvel has the incredible Hulk as its shape shifter, superstar and the werewolves of Twilight are equally infamous.

But what does this say to us about reality, not fantasy. The bible clearly talks of two natures: our old self (before salvation) and our new self (after salvation). Indeed Jesus himself famously explains this to Nicodemus in terms of being Born Again, Born from Above. Jn 3: 1-8. However we die to self and are born again. We die to Flesh / Adam and are born renewed in Jesus / God / Spirit. Yet like the skinwalker, we still exist in two worlds. There are old natures, desires and forces at play here. I find the Indian parable, of the two wolves is a great illustration for us here.

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,”  he said. “It is a terrible fight and it’s between two wolves. One is evil- he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.” He continued. “The other is good- he is joy, peace, love, hope serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The same fight is going on inside you- inside every person, too.”

The Grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which one will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed”.

The bible talks about it in terms of slavery and presenting yourselves for service to a particular master. Rom 6: 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions.
13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

You see these two natures will always exist in tension within us. We must not think of our role as a passive middle ground, with the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. There are only two masters here Sin and Death or Jesus and life. the old or the new. Satan doesn’t convince me to do the things I shouldn’t, I do them willingly. I am my own worst enemy or at least my old self is…

Paul issues this cry for all humanity in Rom 7: 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Jesus can and Jesus has… Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

We are free but the devastation and injuries of war plague us. This is why we must present ourselves to God. Seek after his rule and reign in and over our lives. Praying as the Tax gather did, Lord have mercy on me a sinner. You see when we think we are something or someone we are presenting ourselves to sin, our old nature, our pride.

* Which one will Win….  the one you feed?
* Which one will grow and bear fruit in our lives,  the one you present yourselves to?

Romans 12: 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

But with Christ, we have access in a one-to-one relationship, for, as in the Old Testament, it was more one of worship and awe, a vertical relationship. The New Testament, on the other hand, we look across at a Jesus who looks familiar, horizontal. The combination is what makes the Cross. — Bono U2

“Which one will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed”.