June 6th

 

Rule Over Sin

So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 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." Genesis 4:6-7 NKJV

 

This is what God told Cain just before Cain decided to murder his brother Abel.  Cain had offered a sacrifice that was not pleasing to God, and had gotten angry with God.  God gave Cain an opportunity to avoid going down the path of the sin he was considering in his heart.  Cain decided to ignore the Lord and kill his brother.  Cain allowed sin to enter his heart and rule over him.  Later in the chapter, Cain reaped the fruits of destruction that came with his sin of murdering Abel.  These included deceit (8), indifference to sin (9) and self-pity (13). 

 

Each time we are tempted, we can think of God’s words to Cain: “If you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” God’s will is that we rule over sin and not let it rule over us.  He has given us victory over sin through Jesus Christ.  Paul wrote, “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14 NASB).

 

I think most people would find that if they stop for a few seconds when faced with temptation, they could sense God whispering to them, “Don’t do it, don’t give that sin a place in your home, don’t open the door to it!”  Some will heed God’s voice, and others will not.  Those who ignore it risk growing callous to the Holy Spirit.  Indeed, some people can no longer hear him.  When we open the door to sin, we will see its destructive fruit in our lives just like Cain did. 

 

If we’ve already opened the door to sin or if sin rules over us now, there is hope for recovery.  As we confess our sin to God and turn from it, we can invite him to open our spiritual ears to hear his voice again.  The blood of Jesus actually cleanses our conscience from the dead works of sin and we can begin afresh with God following our repentance.  When we’re facing temptations, we can start listening for God’s voice, looking for the way out of the temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13) and exercising our power to choose righteousness.  For more about resisting temptations see our Temptation Study.

 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

"Heavenly Father, Thank you for making the provision through Jesus so I can live free of the law of sin and death. Thank you that I am no longer a slave to sin, and am now a son of God in Christ. I confess any sin that I’ve allowed in my life: ______________ (list).  Please forgive me and cleanse my conscience from this sin.  Please open my ears to hear your guiding voice and strengthen me to live in righteousness.  Thank you, Father!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”