Yesterday I wrote about taking dominion over one’s life and that which God has placed in one’s care. One area where we men must take dominion is over sin. Without Christ, this is, of course, impossible. With Christ, however, we are more than conquerors. With Christ we can certainly take dominion over sin. This is brought to my mind by today’s passage. Cain and Abel both brought offerings to God. Abel brought the firstborn of his flock while Cain brought some fruit of the ground. Now some have suggested that a blood sacrifice was required and this is why God rejected Cain’s offering. That might be the case, but I don’t think so.
You’ve heard of “first fruits” haven’t you? The idea is that you are giving God a portion of what He has blessed you with – FIRST. By doing so you are saying that He is number one in your life as well as acknowledging that everything belongs to Him. Abel offered the first and best of what he received from God; Cain didn’t. The issue here isn’t the item, but the condition of the heart. If you are in right relationship with God you put Him above yourself; you give Him your best. What did Cain do with the first fruits of his labor? Cain gave himself first priority; he gave himself the best, only grudgingly giving God some amount of recognition.
Brothers, it all belongs to God. He doesn’t want your sacrifice, He wants your heart; and guys, He deserves your heart. To put it on a less altruistic level, however, putting yourself first is dangerous. The seed of all sin is self-centeredness – putting our desires and will above God’s. A verse from today’s passage puts it this way:
Genesis 4:7 ESV
“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.”
Sin crouches at the door of the man who puts himself before God; his heart is focused on himself and therefore far from God. That man is in wrong relationship with God, and sin will have its way with him. My friend, you must rule over sin. To do this you must, through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, rule over your heart. You must, every day, put Jesus Christ on the throne of your heart and you must kneel at His feet willingly giving Him everything you have and are.
I will leave you with one bit of real-life application. Do you tithe? Do you tithe happily? The statistics show that very few self-described Christians tithe. Having facilitated a Dave Ramsey “Financial Peace University” course a number of times, I have discovered that a lot of people live beyond their means. They tend to buy what they want right now and finance it with debt. These folks usually have a lot of month left at the end of the money; there is nothing left with which to tithe. In this scenario we have put ourselves on the throne of our hearts. We have spent God’s blessings on ourselves and have nothing left to offer our Creator in recognition of His ownership and rightful place in our heart. I hate to say it brothers but in such cases we have become like Cain.
An urgent practical task I want to lay before you is taking dominion over your finances. Get your debt paid off. Get your priorities straight. Put God on the throne of your heart and give Him the first fruits of your labor. Remember, sin is crouching at the door but you must rule over it.