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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

The Wanderer

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 
Romans 8:5

 This morning as I stepped outside, there was a dog wandering around our driveway. He was a friendly dog, clearly not afraid of people as he walked right in our garage. I noticed he had on a collar, and I called the number on his tag to inform the owners that their dog had been visiting us.  

 The owner came right over to retrieve her dog. She said that the dog was new to them. He had been sleeping on their porch for two weeks before they decided to keep him.

 She had tried to find the dog’s previous owner to no avail. She posted pictures of him and looked at ads to see if someone was missing the dog. She did find a picture of the dog, but it was also someone posting about a found dog, not a lost dog. In our conversation she mentioned that this dog just might be a wanderer.

I started thinking about the hymn, “Come Thou Fount.” One of the verses says, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.”

 Why are our hearts prone to wander? Even though we have the Spirit dwelling in us, we still allow our sinful nature to take control. It is easy for us to focus on self, not others. It is easy to slip into complacency and sin. Even Paul is frustrated with himself in Romans 7:18-19, I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do –this I keep on doing.

So what do we do? Just like in that old hymn, hand over your heart to the Lord because the mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6

 It’s harder for your sinful nature to take over when you focus on the things of the Lord. Stop thinking about self and think on this – Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Philippians 4:8


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