For many years I taught my kindergarten class the story of Cain and Abel. Considering their young age I navigated this story with simple discussions about jealousy, obedience, and love. In re- reading this account in my Bible today the Lord took me through it with His perspective, keeping it simple for my old age! :) I could truly hear the Him speaking to my heart. He told my heart that I CAN and am ABLE to master the “sin crouching at my door” if I will follow His lead. He made me smile when He showed me that Cain’s name has an “I” in the middle of it. I began to recognize at once the lesson He was about to lay gently upon my heart.
May we stop and take time at the beginning of each day, with a repentant heart asking God to bring to mind those things in our lives that do not glorify Him. When I do not give God that first hour of my day (my “first fruit”) I find that my “I” steps in with a plan to dominate my day, preventing His blessings to me. The Lord speaks to all of our hearts when He tells Cain with tenderness and compassion, ”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.” The only way to do this is to take our focus away from the “I” in our sinful hearts and focus on Our Shepherd. The account of Cain and Abel should shout to our hearts and minds of our need for repentance and surrender in order to receive true blessings. Cain was so focused on his “I” that he missed the blessing.
Think about our world today. We live in a “ME” culture. It all revolves around what we want, and then, getting it in our desired timing. Satan continues to crouch at our door whispering his lies into our minds and our perspectives. I have often wondered about the mark that God put on Cain. Was it like a t-shirt that I saw someone wearing recently that said, “It All About ME”. I realize that the shirt was meant to be funny…but the irony of it was not lost on my heart. I can easily picture Cain in that shirt…but then… I have to ask the question…If God gave me a shirt today, what would my shirt say? In my time with the Lord this morning, He showed me how easy it is for me to slip on that “All About ME” shirt. I must admit that the one thing that Satan does well is to convince us to justify the “lie of I”.
Take a moment and contrast what the Lord says about Cain and Abel’s offerings. “In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.” Everything in this sentence speaks to me of Cain’s timing and of his choosing. It does not speak of first fruits… it just says “some fruits”. Notice the first word in the next verse is the word “But”. This word shouts of contrast to me. “But Abel brought fat portionsfrom some of thefirst born of his flock. Here God tells us that Abel had a flock. Abel gave God the best part from “some” of the first born. This does not sound like one lamb… it was the best from “some” of the first born. Either this was a huge offering, or the Lord whispers to my heart that this was a continuous offerings. Giving God the first of the best of what we have implies to me that there will be more to come. It is amazing that when I pour over God’s word and pay attention to the meaning and purpose of each and every word…sometimes His truth will simply jump out at me.
Lord, I ask this day that my focus rest on You. Keep Satan’s “lie of I” from crouching at my doorstep. In Your strength let me master it. Help me to have a repentant heart and a steadfast focus on You. I want to surrender to You my “first fruits,” my “fat portions,” the very best of what You have given to me in my “flock” today, tomorrow and always. Let my heart not be “downcast”, but be filled with the joy and the awe of Your endless abundance of love. I thank You Father for your precious words each and every one of them! Written by: guest blogger Jeanne East