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 4:7)
When temptation enters our hearts and minds, we either deal with it and gain mastery over it, or it eventually leads us to sinful actions. The time between the initial temptation and the chosen response is critical. Much hangs in the balance.
Cain knew that God was displeased with him but pleased with Abel. Feelings of jealous anger crept into Cain’s heart, and thoughts of murder pervaded his mind. As Cain considered what to do, God’s word came to him. God warned him that sin was waiting at the door of his life, looking for an opportunity to enter. Now was not the time to treat temptation lightly, not the time to assume sin would never cause any harm. Now was the time to master the sin and renounce it before it overcame him. Tragically, Cain did not master his sin; instead, sin overtook him and destroyed his life.
Temptations come at unexpected moments. Sinful thoughts may cross your mind. Selfish feelings may begin to invade your heart. The promptings of the Holy Spirit will warn you that God is not pleased with the direction your thoughts and feelings are taking you. At that moment of conviction, you must master the sin that crouches at the door of your life. Sin destroys. Sin brings death. Sin is not something to toy with or take lightly. God’s word to you is the same warning He gave to Cain: Master the sin at the door of your life before it brings its inevitable and disastrous consequences. Heed His caution, and you will avoid unnecessary hardship for yourself and others.