(Scripture references from NIV)
In Genesis 4 we read the story about Adam and Eve’s children – Cain, the first-born and Abel, the second son. Verses 2b-7 it says: “Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but with Cain and his offering He did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.’”
Cain – what a sad example he is. First he does not bring the appropriate offering to the Lord. But when he saw that the Lord was displeased he was upset and angry. In verse 7 we see God confronting him wanting to know why he is angry. Instead of moving forward and heeding God’s words, he gave in to the evil crouching at his door and did the unthinkable – he killed his own brother. When questioned by God about the whereabouts of his brother, he lied again to the all-knowing God about it. (Verse 9b – “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” That is a pretty cocky comment to be spouting to God in my opinion!)
Although it seems that God forgave him for his sins, He did not remove the consequences – his career as a farmer was over. But his loving God still committed to protecting his life.
Like Cain, we are all fallible, we are weak, and we give in to temptation and sin. Like Cain, there are times when we sin that we do not want to admit our sin and possibly blame it on someone else or move on to even larger sins. It is easy to get sucked into a life of compromising our standards and beliefs. If we are not very careful, we can get pulled into doing what may have previously been unthinkable for us. That “smaller” sin crouched at our door until we opened it up wide and stepped over the line.
How can we prevent ourselves from compromising our lives and falling into sin and shame? I believe that we have to do several things that can result in a P.O.W.E.R. that will help us to master our sin.
Prayer – We need to have a good, steady PRAYER life – daily asking God to guide our thoughts and steps, asking for His protection.
Open minded – We need to study His Word with an OPEN MIND, staying alert to what is written as our perfect guide for life. If we do not study our map for life, how will we know when we are stepping outside our boundary of protection and taking the road to destruction?
Warnings – We need to be aware of the promptings in our heart and mind that are WARNINGS for us when we are pushing things too far. If we just rationalize and ignore the warnings we cannot master anything good.
Eager – We need to be EAGER and willing to admit when we do something wrong. Confession is good for the soul and our loving God always stands ready to forgive us.
Recognize – We need to RECOGNIZE that even with forgiveness there will be consequences to pay. But God will even help us deal with those consequences if we will only lean on Him. He is our strength.
God is the ultimate POWER and with His help we can begin to master sin in our lives. (2 Chronicles 32:7-8 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.”)
Written by Karran Martin – February 26, 2019