Genesis 4 : 1 - 7, Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the LORD." Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. 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." NKJV
When Jesus died for our sins, He gave us the power to say no to sin. However, we would be surprised to know that many Christians and even some church leaders don’t know this to be true. Many Christians still believe that we remain under the bondage of sin’s weight and control, even though Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil.
If it isn’t possible for people to live apart from sin, then why would God tell Cain that he should rule over it, instead of allowing sin to dominate him? Why would God tell us repeatedly in His Word to live holy and righteous before Him in this evil world, if we could never accomplish it?
Jesus, alone, destroyed the stronghold of sin that held mankind in bondage to it. As a result, we, who are in Christ have the power to live free from sin by taking control of our flesh nature and its lusts. God told Cain that sin’s desire was to control him. We know that Satan had already used fleshly desire to seduce Cain’s mother, Eve into committing the first sin. Therefore, we must submit our flesh nature, along with its lusts, to the Lordship of Christ. We do this by choosing God’s will over our own will. When we submit to God and resist the Devil, we will experience the liberating power of God to live without sin.
Have you ever tried to quit committing a particular sin or evil desire, but found that you didn’t have the power to do so? If your answer is yes, then let me give you some hope. Even though sin has no power over a believer, we won’t know what that means or be able to experience it until we learn how to say no to the flesh nature.
Let’s look at this from another perspective. Consider that our soul is a house and that our hearts are the door for the house. If we should let our flesh nature operate the door knob, it will allow an evil desire to be conceived and cause us to become vulnerable to sin. Now, let’s suppose that we say “no” to our carnal desires and “yes” to God’s will. At that point, the Holy Spirit will gain control of the door knob, and the flesh will have to “take a hike.”
You hold the key to the door of your soul. Through your desires, which lead you to make decisions, you will either open the door to sin or to holiness. A desire comes from your soul, but a decision comes from your heart. We must never allow our soul to rule our heart as Cain did, lest we give into temptation, evil desire, and sin. Proverbs 4: 23 instructs us, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Overcoming sin isn’t about quitting. It is about laying down your will for God’s will. You can do this. Nevertheless, you have to do it through Christ, who gives you the strength.
Greater Is He Who Is in Me,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery