THE OLD MAN (old nature) refers to that nature every person is born into the world with–a nature that instinctively sins. As a race, we received this nature at birth because the parents of all humanity, Adam and Eve, were sinners when they began to produce children. Sinners begat more sinners.
Jesus said (John 3:3-6) that we must be Born Again and thus receive a NEW NATURE which is alive unto God through faith in Jesus Christ. The new nature is spiritually alive while the old sinful nature is dead spiritually because of sin and its penalty. The old nature seeks to please its own desires while the new nature seeks to please God. It should be noted that the physical body still has the old nature present so that every Christian has a battle between these two natures going on inside them. God has given His Holy Spirit to indwell every believer so that we have help in living after the new nature in order to glorify God in this world.
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. “One is evil, which is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” “The other is good, which is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
This parable illustrates well the battle between the Spirit and the flesh. We could easily ask, “Which one are you feeding?” If we decide to feed our Spirit it will grow. If we starve our Spirit, it will not grow. At the same time, if we feed our flesh, it will grow, but if we starve our flesh, it will not grow.
How to feed your flesh: Say “Yes” to anything your sinful nature desires. For example: pornography, disrespect, fighting, getting drunk, pre-marital sex, getting high, buying anything you want, not listening, keep the gossip going, hold grudges, do anything to be accepted, get back at someone for harming you, laziness, think about yourself, etc.
How to feed your Spirit: Say “Yes” to what God desires. For example: forgive others, spend time with friends who are committed Christians, study the Bible, save your sexual intimacy for marriage, pray, worship, listen to Christian radio, fast, encourage someone, serve others, give to the poor, mentor someone, be humble, listen to gospel music, pray for others, work hard, think about others, etc.
Your flesh and your Spirit will NEVER agree… they are constantly at war with each other! We all must make decisions to choose one over the other… We must choose to FEED one and STARVE the other! The choice is yours… which one will you feed? Starve the flesh, feed the Spirit…
Galatians 5:16-18 says, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Forthe desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”