“…sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
Genesis 4:7 (CSB)
It seems so easy for Satan to get the blame for our mistakes and for the bad things in our lives. People will use verses like John 10:10a, “The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy.” 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour” (CSB). Yes, Satan is our enemy, but sin is our true enemy. Sin waits patiently for us to be enticed and to give in to our temptations and cravings. Sin waits patiently to attack. Sin is a tool of the devil to thwart God’s plans. The thief uses sin to kill those entangled in addiction and jealousy (see Gen. 4:1-15). Sin steals one’s peace and joy. Sins of lust and pride will destroy families.
Sin wants us and wants to be the ruler of our lives and to be our master. Sin wants us enslaved to it. Sin begins in our hearts and minds (James 1:14-15). In Genesis 4:1-15, we read the story of Cain and Able. Two brothers who would forever be impacted by the sin of jealousy. In Cain, we see jealousy develop and lead to fury/anger, then leading to the murder of Able and leading ultimately to further exile from the presence of God. Sin has become a part of our nature. We have become prone to easily sin, and sin is what separates us from God. Sin allows shame, guilt, corruption, and bondage to enter creation and our lives.
However, there are ways we can combat and be rulers over sin:
1. JESUS! He pleads our case and stands for us before a Holy God. “Jesus as our new representative brings us forgiveness, righteousness, and life” (Kenneth Keathley). (Matt. 1:2; Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 5:17; Romans 6:1-14; 1 John 1:9, 2:1, 3)
2. Put on the full armor of God and pray. Spiritual warfare is real and all around us (Ephesians 6:1-18)
3. Guard your heart and mind by protecting the gates of your eyes and ears. Be careful of (filter) what you watch, read, places we visit, and music we listen to. These things have a way to open doors for darkness to enter our lives.
4. Confess your sins to God and a trusted friend. Confession of sins brings them to light so that we can begin to learn how to rule over them and prevents those sins from being a dark secret waiting to pop up out of “nowhere.” Confession allows forgiveness and restoration to happen (Mark 4:22; Luke 8:17; 1 John 1:9; Gal. 6:1-5).
1. How has sin ruled over you in the past, and now?
2.What sin or struggles seem to be crouching at your door?
3.What are the negative consequences of our sins?
4.What are some ways we can guard ourselves against sin?