A while back I had found what I thought was a great illustration of sin vs. righteousness. A Cherokee elder was teaching his children about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to them. “It is a terrible fight and it is 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 – and inside every other person, too.” The grandchildren thought about it and after a minute one of them asked, “Which wolf will win?” The elder simply replied, “The one you feed.” “The one you feed.”
Now I thought that illustration was pretty good; and so I shared it with a dear mentor and friend of mine who so graciously said to me something I will never forget; he said, “Yes, but the black wolf has to die.” And what he meant was that it is not enough just to try to keep the sinful nature in you weak. No, what he was saying was, “Christ must be allowed to kill that black wolf.” It cannot remain in you anymore. Your sinful nature has to die; and until then you will never be truly free. And I have always appreciated that comment. Why? Because many Christians so often times live in spiritual turmoil, wrestling with two natures inside of them. They know the good they ought to do, yet find themselves continually unable to do it. This is because even though they may have been forgiven for their sin by the blood of Jesus, they have never allowed Christ to do that inner work of cleansing that deals with the very power of sin itself. If we ever want to be made truly free, we must allow Christ to do that second work in us. As Christ Himself was crucified, so also God calls for us to crucify all sin in our hearts.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:24-25 NIV)
Now the second part of that verse is remarkable, because inherent in the command to keep in step with the Spirit is the implication that we can do so. If we abide in Christ, we can experience that freedom from the tyranny of the black wolf. We can keep in step with the Spirit. But we have to come to the point where we say, “Jesus I need to put off the old and put on the new. I don’t want to live under the power of sin any longer; I want you to crucify sin in me, fill me with your Spirit, and set me free to live a life that is truly free in you.”
When we come to this point of full surrender, He will raise our hearts to new life. We will shed our filthy rags and He will clothe us with His own righteousness; and the abiding presence of His Spirit will renew us daily in His image. Thanks be to God for this freedom made available to us in Christ through the person of the Holy Spirit!
Pastor Cameron Ury
Senior Pastor and Teacher at Renton Park Chapel
16760 128th Ave. SE
Renton WA 98058
Rev. Cameron Ury graduated from Asbury University in 2007 with a B.A. in Bible and Theology. From there he continued his studies at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, MS. It was there that he met his wife Tanya, who graduated from WBS with her M.A. and M.Div. degrees. Cameron and Tanya got married in 2009. Cameron then graduated with his M.Div. degree with a pastoral concentration in 2011.
After shepherding churches in both Mississippi and Ohio, they joined the ministry team at Renton Park Chapel in January of 2018, where Cameron serves as Senior Pastor and Teacher.
Cameron is also the founder and host of Lechem Panim, a weekly radio show that airs on KGNW 820AM "The Word Seattle". The ministry of Lechem Panim is centered around leading people into the life-giving presence of God in and through Bible study, prayer, and active discipleship with the aim of ministering to a world that is in desperate need of the healing touch of Jesus Christ.