So you’re just sitting there, minding your own business, reading that passage you’ve read more times than you can count. Suddenly, BAM!! A verse pops out and smacks you upside the head, demanding your undivided attention. You stop. You read the verse again. It’s like you’ve never seen it before. You read it again and begin to mull it over. You think about the verse as a whole. You think about each word. You go back and read the verses before it. You read ahead to the verses after it. And then you sit quietly, thinking it over and marveling at how a verse you’ve surely read many times before suddenly becomes so significant.
Yes, that’s exactly what happened to me yesterday. I started a new reading plan the other day and I’m in Genesis – a book I’ve read through at least a dozen times. So why did a verse that’s just been sitting there all this time, there in chapter 4, suddenly jump out at me? I have no idea, but because I’m sure you’re curious now, this is the verse that grabbed my attention:
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 master it. ~Genesis 4:7
It was that last part, I think, that got me…
Sin wants us. It wants us to slip up and do exactly what we know we shouldn’t do. Sin wants us to do whatever it is that will ensure that our actions do not bring glory to God. Sin wants to trap us, wrap us up and not let us go. Sin wants to make us miserable.
And we must master it.
How do we master sin? We don’t give it a chance to get even a toe in the door of our hearts. The Bible tells us to not give devil a foothold (Ephesians 5:25-27). Selfish anger is a foothold. It tells us to resist (James 4:7-10). Submission to God is resistance to sin. It tells us to throw it off and run (Hebrews 12:1-3). Focusing on Christ gives us something to run toward as we run away from sin.
God’s grace gives us everything we need to master sin. And His mercy is there for the times we let sin master us.
God wants us. He wants us to stay strong and do exactly what we know we should do. God wants our actions to point others to Him and bring Him glory. God wants to free us, release us from sin’s bondage and let us go out into the world as a shining light and a sprinkle of salt. God wants to make us holy.
Someday, we will be holy. We will be as God intended us to be all along. Because of Christ, we will live forever in the glorified, sanctified bodies that we long for with every breath. Until then, we must cling to the One who holds our hope. Because when we’re clinging to our Savior, sin has no power over us. Thanks be to God!
What verse has jumped out at you recently? What did it teach you about God or yourself?