The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Gen. 4:6-7
Dear Lord Jesus, I’m always vulnerable to the destructive power of sin, but it seems like I’m especially vulnerable when there’s some kind of emotional upheaval in my heart. Like Cain, when I’m angry and sulking about something or someone, I can be easily “had” by sin, giving in to its desire—its seductive and destructive ways. I wish there was no such thing as “the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Heb. 11:25).
Lord Jesus, thank you for pursuing me today and asking me questions like, “Why are you angry?” “Why are you so sad?” “What are you afraid of?” and “Why are you so quiet and distant?” Though you know the answers to these and every question you ask, I need to think about these things. Show me my heart, Jesus, show me what’s going on below the water line of my restlessness.
I wish I only had to think about the sin that’s crouching just outside my door—the tempter and temptress without, just waiting to pounce. But the truth is, Jesus, until you return to finish making all things new, I’ve got to be wise to the sin that’s crouching inside of me as well. Like Paul, the very things I don’t want to do, I still do, and the very things I want to do, they’re not always easily done (Rom. 7). I long for more freedom to live and to love as I am loved by you, Jesus
How I praise you that there’s no condemnation hanging over me for my sin, for you hung on the cross in my place. How I praise you that to be tempted is not an act of sin, for even you, Jesus, were tempted. I would despair without this knowledge of your experience.
But the awesome and glorious truth is this: You’ve mastered sin for us, Jesus. You’ve exhausted its penalty and broken its power. Sin will not have dominion over us ever again. Hallelujah, many times over!
In this good news, in this gospel, I rest today. As you show me my vulnerable heart, Jesus, show me your compassionate and loving heart ten times more so. That vision will more than meet my need. It’s your promise keeping, not mine, that is my peace and hope. So very Amen I pray, in your strong, present, and redeeming name.