Battle for the Mind
“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 rule over it.” Genesis 4:7 NIV
After the very first murder in history, God’s infinite mercy was immediately displayed. Cain’s attitude and anger led to greater sin, and to sin’s horrible consequences.
But God gives us the option to repent and do right—turn our hearts around, subsequently turning the situation around by doing what is good. Here, sin is spoken of as a being, in order to illustrate its deceptive nature. It takes on a life of its own, and then completely takes over. I like the translations that render the last part of this verse, “But you must master it”.
Here, hope is extended. God is saying, Cain, you can do something about it. Do what is right and you will be accepted, your countenance will then be lifted up instead of cast down. Through Christ, with His help, we can rule over sin rather than sin ruling over us. And at such time, God will again look upon us with favor. We will then be accepted.
But gaining control over our choice of attitude, leading to our mastery over sin, takes training, wisdom and diligent effort. It all begins in our thoughts. When negative thoughts come (and they will come), we immediately take those wrongful thoughts and make them become obedient to Christ Jesus. When we force our bad thoughts to turn into good thoughts, sin becomes our captive rather than the reverse.
“…We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. “ (2nd Corinthians 10:5b NIV)
Written by Sheldon Bass