I was reading through Genesis last night and I meditated on a nugget of truth that explains why so many Christians live defeated lives. This comes from the story of a man who was harboring anger (which turned into murder) in his heart. He was upset because the Lord was more pleased with another persons offering than with his. He had an issue with God in his heart, and when you have heart issues with God, it only hinders YOU!

In Genesis 4:­­­­­­­­­6 it says “Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 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.”

Let’s break this down to a very elementary level:

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?

Often just “being accepted” is not enough for Christians. We want to be the headliner, or the person who gets the praise. Often Christians desire that without doing their part; doing what is right. God accepts us as we are and helps mold us into the image and likeness of Christ. Being accepted by an awesome, pure and holy God is an amazing thing.

The next part of this verse is my favorite:

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.”

How often do people know what the right thing to do is, and proceed to do the opposite? Perhaps the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart and gives you specific instructions. Maybe he tells you not to fellowship with a certain person, or spend time in a questionable place. Maybe he tells you to witness to someone, or not to visit that secret website. If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door. The word not only says that sin is crouching behind your door but that it desires to have you. Sin is not only your actions that are contrary to the Word of God, sin is a living entity that will be thrown into the lake of fire on the Day of Judgment. When you look at sin from an eternal perspective, you are much less likely to participate in it. People do not want to admit it, but it is possible to Master Sin. Sin (the action and the entity) seeks to disconnect you from the source of life, and it is crucial to make every effort to Master sin. We like to believe that we are sucked into a sin whirlwind and we have no choice in the matter, but we do. Every time we choose to sin we are taking one step back from Mastering sin.

Here are 10 steps to Mastering your Sin:

1. Acknowledge that sin is sin = don’t kid yourself and try to justify sin
2. Do a personal inventory = find out if there is anything that leads you to your sin
3. Make up your mind that you want to change
4. Pray for the grace of God to overcome your sin.
5. Find as many scriptures on overcoming sin as possible, and stand on them. A good scripture to stand on is this:
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
6. Know your weakness and avoid it = If needed avoid being alone as much as possible. Find good company and stay in this good company.
7. If you are associated with other persons having this same problem, YOU MUST BREAK OFF THEIR FRIENDSHIP. Never associate with other people having the same weakness. Don’t suppose that two of you will quit together, you never will
8. Read the Bible when you feel tempted.
9. Decide you are serious about Mastering Sin.
10. Don’t sin = We all know Satan does not have the ability to twist your arm and make you sin, so don’t volunteer.

No one is perfect, and we will all mess up at one point or another; don’t let sin be your master, Master your Sin!

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