One of my favorite scriptures is from Genesis 4, when God tells Cain after his offering wasn’t up to par,
If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.
Mastering sin. Quite an amazing statement in my opinion. But I like it. I like it because it is a testimony to the importance of overcoming sin through a careful relationship with God, from the beginning of the Biblical story to the end. Overcoming sin is a major theme in the Bible and my fear is that it isn’t talked about enough. Most of Jesus’ ministry was about helping the people understand that he came to free them from sin. The people spent most of their time ignoring their sin and focusing on the outside forces. Jesus spends a lot of time turning people inward. But what do we do most of the time? We try and look outward.
It’s painful to look in, to go through the “boxes” we’ve acquired in the houses of our hearts. We’ve become spiritual hoarders, developing attachments to things we’re never going to use and even if we do it won’t be for our benefit, only for our distraction. Clearing the clutter is important because it helps us focus. But focus is tough. It forces us to stare at and deal with the things that are in front of us. In the end, the one thing that will always before us, whether we choose to look or not, is our relationship with God and our spiritual health. An over-eater never wants to confront the over-eating, its easier to just give themselves to it. So it is with sin. It lurks at the door, desiring to have us.
I want to encourage you this week to see the importance of mastering sin. God has provided the tools to doing so; God’s grace, a relationship with Jesus, and the counseling Holy Spirit are available to us if we will receive them. We have what we need to avoid Cain’s mistake, his giving in to what desired to have him. If you’re going to master anything, you must practice. Practice your faith and let God hone your skills through a coaching relationship that only he can provide. May God bless you today!