Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.
Now, that is a scripture to ponder on. If we do well, follow the Lords commandments and give our best to him shall we not be accepted? If we stray from the commandments and give God our leftovers, sin is just outside waiting for an opportunity or a crack in the doorway to wedge its way through.
Let’s back up a bit to the story of Cain and Abel and refresh our memory.
Gen 4:3-5 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
They often say you need a good theologian to get people confused. Just sticking to what the Bible says (Yes it’s the KJV) shall we look at it again. In the process of time, (that’s important to note) Cain brought…. an offering unto the Lord. And Abel he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering. Notice the difference? Abel brought the firstlings and the fat. It’s probably true, that the fruit of the ground may not have had any fat in it but that’s another message.
Abel brought the firstlings or the first fruits. Cain didn’t. Did you ever wonder why? What was wrong with Cain? Why didn’t he want to give God the best of the best from his first harvest? Could it have been some thoughts like?
“Doesn’t matter what I do it won’t be good enough?”
“God likes Abel better than me anyway; my offering will never be as good as his.”
“Able has a flock; I just have fruit of the ground. I can’t give as good as offering as him.”
“I’ll wait until my offering is perfect and then give it to God.”
I suppose we’ll never know what was running through Cain’s mind. Whatever it was, it prevented Cain from doing his best or even wanting to do well. God knew that and even commented on it. “Hey Cain if you do a good job and give me your best you’ll be accepted. If you keep falling away, sin is lying in wait to take you out!”
Isn’t that the truth? If we know what to do and do it well, things go better for us. For example, the scripture that encourages us to “take every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ.” When we can capture negative thoughts at the beginning we can keep our emotions harnessed and be victorious. If we dwell and think on things we probably shouldn’t be thinking about… (Shouldn’t take a Prophet or a sign from God on that one… You know what you are thinking about that you probably shouldn’t.) Well sin lies out there just waiting for a crack to open at the doorway and Booya!!! You’ve sinned and in some cases like Cain might lose it all.
Now let’s stop and think for a minute. Since this whole episode with Cain and Abel happened, Jesus came on the scene and we now have a new covenant. If we have accepted Jesus as our Lord, he has already redeemed us from the curse of the Law and paid for our sins. Today, we do not have to worry about God not loving us or banishing us if we do wrong. What we do have to think about is this…
I think the 1965 Bible in Basic English Version of this next scripture said it best.
James 3:16 For where envy is, and the desire to get the better of others, there is no order, but every sort of evil-doing.
That’s what happened to Cain, like the word said and God warned him. Every sort of evil-doing crept up and took control of Cain and he chose to kill his brother Abel instead of following God’s suggestion to try and do a better job of following Him.
Probably the thoughts that were giving Cain the most trouble were associated with envy and we see where he failed in taking those thoughts captive and he was banished instead.
What about you? What thoughts are giving you the most trouble? What do you find yourself thinking about too much? If anyone else knew what you were thinking about, how would it make them feel? Do you find yourself being drawn to certain thoughts? What triggers those thoughts? Do you secretly enjoy daydreaming about things others would find appalling? If so….. Now is the time to start taking those thoughts under control. The Devil is always waiting for an opportunity or “door” to get through to destroy individuals, relationships, marriages, families, Churches, Ministries, and anything else. He’s not picky he just likes to destroy things.
Ok I hear you out there moaning …”OK already you’ve made your point. Now what do I do about it?”
One of my favorite fathers of faith is Jesse Duplantis. I like how he puts it. “Admit it, Quit it, and Forget it.” Now depending on your situation you may not want to admit what you were thinking about to anyone but God. Use wisdom. If Eve would have kept her mouth shut and not mentioned to Adam what she was thinking… we literally would be living in a different world.
Use the following scripture to help you defeat the thoughts that are preventing fellowship with God, leading you to sin, or both.
Php 4:4 Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. Finally, my friends keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.
In a nutshell, rejoice because the Lord has delivered you. Don’t worry about not thinking about something. Instead pray about what to think on that is good and have God show you what the original problem was that made you start having stinking thinking. Then trust God to give you peace. Finally, keep your mind on good things, don’t let your mind wander and if certain television shows, movies, songs, video games, books, websites, or magazines are hindering your progress. Don’t watch, listen, play, or look at them.
We may not have the same devastating effects that Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel had from not being able to take thoughts captive. However, some thoughts do lead to some sins and those sins can change our whole world. Just like Adam’s family, what they had was gone and they were never able to recover what they had lost. Abel was gone, Cain was banished and…well you know the rest of the story.
Get rid of your stinkin’ thinkin’ and let Philippines 4:4-8 be your guide. Choose to think on good things this year…God Bless.
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