Today’s been long, but good, I think. First day back to work after our week-long break, and even though getting up at this morning at 5:30 was pretty much impossible, I managed to get to work at 7:01(ish) and didn’t sleep through a single minute of the day. Thank God. Meeting with Renee to plan for group was a joy (and not at all a burden), too, and now that I’ve finally finished my Life Journal reading, I feel like I can go to bed having accomplished good things.
Well. I did have cereal for dinner. Probably could have done better on that.
Today’s reading assignment was Genesis 3, 4, and 5, along with Luke 2. We’ve got the fall of man (watch out for that serpent), Cain killed Able (and a lot of begats afterward that I’ll admit to skimming through)…all the way through Jesus ditching his parents to hang out in His Father’s house. Woot!
Crouching at the Door (sort of spooky and suspenseful, don’t you think?)
“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
Observation and Application:
I love the very visceral image the Lord presents here: sin is like a living thing (perhaps is a living thing: Satan himself) waiting to catch us unaware, hiding where we can’t see behind the door or on the other side of the wall, unbeknownst to us. He/it/sin is lying in wait and means to capture us before we even leave the house. Seeing as it’s next to impossible for me to manage being sinless much beyond opening my eyes in the morning, this isn’t a comforting thought.
There are two things in this passage that I want to note and remember; the first being that sin is, primarily and foremost, of concern pertaining to God’s acceptance of us—whether He will or won’t. His warning to Cain serves also as a warning and promise: do what’s right and God will always accept you; give in to sin and you will(must be) rejected. Cain knew this before he killed his brother, so no one can say God was unfair in His judgement. Likewise, we know what is good, and must live by it lest we risk the consequences.
(Note: the Father isn’t promising that we will always be accepted by men for doing right—contrarily, it is right to expect opposition when we make a stand for what is good. Also, the fact that Cain makes a choice whether or not to do what is right clearly suggests premeditated sin in his case. I suspect this is a big deal to God.)
Next, I cannot hope to escape sin’s clutches if I am reactive rather than proactive. Sin lies in wait for me, and succumbing to it is the easiest, most natural thing in the world. I’ve got to know it’s there, waiting, and I’ve got to know what it is so I’m not surprised by it—its existence in my heart, its strength, and ultimate purpose: to distance me from God and make me an ineffective witness. I need to understand my weaknesses and fortify those places that accept sin too easily.
Father, show me my weaknesses and help me to grow beyond them. Give me the power to overrule the things that distance me from you. Thank you for your promise—that you will accept me when I do right, and that when I fail, your Son himself will make up the difference.