“You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”Genesis 4:7 (NLT)
The struggle between good and evil is as old as mankind himself. From the moment that sin entered the world there has been the conflict between the spirit and the flesh. Before the Fall, the flesh was in subjection to the spirit. But everything changed when sin corrupted the human family.
Now Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden so that they could not eat of the tree of life and live forever in their sinful state.
In time, Eve gave birth to Cain and then to Abel. Abel became a shepherd and Cain a farmer. At harvest time, both men brought gifts to the LORD. Cain brought some of his crops, and Abel brought the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock.
“The LORD accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.”Genesis 4:4–5 (NLT)
Why did God accept Abel’s offering but not Cain’s? Was God showing favoritism? No, because He is just. Evidently, there was more going on behind the scenes. Cain was seeking God on his own terms while Abel was seeking God on God’s terms. The LORD still loved Cain because He encouraged him to do what was right to be accepted.
Likewise, we may not understand why we are struggling when someone else is loving life. Others seem to have it so easy, but it seems like all things are against us. We become angry, envious or resentful. But rather than struggling to do it our way, have we tried surrendering to do it God’s way? God shows no favoritism; He honors faith and obedience wherever He finds it. God told Cain, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
Sin was at the door of Cain’s heart ready to pounce on him like a lion. Cain had to choose whether to master sin, or let sin master him. It’s the same choice we face every day.
I wonder what would happen if we really saw sin not as a friend to entertain but as a hungry lion that wanted to devour us? There is only one way to master sin so that it does not master us. We must be strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.”Romans 6:14 (NLT)
By faith in Jesus Christ, we have been given the greatest freedom of all: the freedom not to sin. We have the freedom to say “No” to our flesh and to say “Yes” to the Spirit. If we do, then God will accept us, and sin will not have power over us. If we don’t, then sin will take us down.
You can turn your struggle into surrender. You can be ruled by sin, or you can rule over it. It’s your choice.
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