Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mastering the Sin Which Seeks to Enslave us

And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.  -Genesis 4:6, 7 (KJV) 

The Word of God shows us how the two sons of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, brought sacrifices to God, and while the Lord accepted Abel’s sacrifice He rejected Cain’s.  Cain then went about sullen, angry, vengeful, and unable to hide his feelings.  Can you relate to this?  Few among us are capable of hiding our true feelings when we are truly upset.  We might try to go around with smiles on our faces, yet those who know us well can look at us and tell we are not feeling all right.  This was the situation with Cain; his countenance signified he was unhappy and trouble was brewing beneath the surface of his feelings. 

The Lord gave Cain a warning which we do well to heed. “Sin lieth at the door.  And unto thee shall be his desire…”  Another wording of this could be, “Sin is crouching at your door, and it desires to control you, yet you must master it.” Should we fail to gain control over our feelings, responses, and behavior we will become ruled by them.  The results will involve giving into destructive behaviors which will only create more problems in our lives.  Cain was unable to control his emotions, and he eventually rose up in a jealous rage and murdered his own brother (Genesis 4:8).  Sin is always the result of a decision to go against what God has told us to do, and often times the decision is made in the heat of the moment when we are not in full control of our emotions and responses.  To be ruled by emotion is to go against the leading of God’s Spirit. 

How often have we allowed ourselves to be guided by emotion rather than faith?  Have you ever given in to angry and vengeful feelings and later regretted the outcome of your response?  All of us have done this at one time or another.  Christ calls us to follow Him in faith and to be daily lead by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Setting aside time each day to pray and study God’s Word empowers us to be lead by the Spirit rather than our emotions.  The Bible reminds us the righteous will live by faith (Romans 1:17).  The Lord will gently guide us by His Spirit so we will not be driven by emotion and fear. 

Set aside time each day to pray and seek the Lord.  So important is our daily time with God that it merits rising earlier to seek Him.  Begin to do so in earnest.  You will be amazed at the outcome.

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