In Genesis 4:1-13, we see Abel who was humble and obedient, and Cain who was self-focused and self-centered. Even when God confronted Cain with his self-centeredness, he refused to be broken over his sin and we see the consequences of his action. He kills his brother and God issues to him the payment for his sin. Of course, Cain's response is typical of a hardened heart.
"Cain said to the , “My punishment is greater than I can bear."
Recently I was reminded that our victory comes when we realize we are in control of our choices. Satan cannot make us choose sin, nor can anyone make us choose to be disobedient. Ultimately God is in control, but He gave us the freedom to choose. I believe He gave this to us so we would be able to freely choose Him or not. God didn't want to force us to choose Him although He is what is BEST for us. Just as we would never want to force someone to love us, we want them to choose to love us.
I remember several years ago watching as a dear family member CHOSE to walk in the bondage of sin. Yet, she would blame everyone else for her consequences or even for her choices. At that time, I told her that you can be a victim or a victor, but you cannot be both. We experience victory over our sin and situations when we take responsibility for where we are, and we acknowledge our part in our consequences. This requires self-awareness, a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's conviction and LOTS of HUMILITY. What follows this is freedom! Freedom from sin. The consequences however of our sin may linger for a lifetime. God sent His Son to die so that we could be set us free from sin, I don't think our consequences were necessarily part of the deal. Does that mean you will deal with them the rest of your life? Possibly. It may be a broken relationship that never is restored, it may be your lost health; Sin has consequences and some last a lifetime.... but whatever the consequences, you can move on and begin again. You can have victory.
Although we do not deserve it, grace has been given to us because we believe Jesus is our right standing with God. (He is our righteousness) We have been given mercy, although we deserve eternal separation from God because of our sin. We have been given Jesus Christ by our faith to be all that we need to access our Heavenly Father. Why would we choose anything other than Jesus? In this right standing, we have been given TRUE PEACE! To be right with God is to be at peace, and to be at peace is to be filled with JOY.
Today let's choose to do the following:
- Choose to be broken over our sins.
- Take responsibility for our sins and consequences that resulted from it.
- Stop blaming others.
- Cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
- Practice humility.
- Become the victorious warriors we were designed by our Creator to be!!!