Cain’s Sacrifice

Now Abel was a keeper of the sheep, but Cain was the tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the first born of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry and his countenance fell.

So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”nkjv 4:2b-7

What do my sacrifices and offerings mean to God?

Not much if I have not taken the time to listen to what He requires and sometimes God requires things from me that I would never offer. For too long, I was Cain offering what pleased me instead of asking God what pleased Him.  I used my bestowed gifts and talents in an attempt to prove to God I was worthy enough a thousand different screwed up ways.  Too long it has taken me to learn, I am not worthy to do Kingdom work until I have humbled myself and asked God to lead me.

The Fruits of the Spirit are a foundation to build obedience through self-control.

When I aspire to live in love, with joy, peacefully with others, showing patience, exhibiting kindness, goodness and gentleness, faithfully serving, they transform my spirit through conscience choices made to follow God instead of letting sin rule over me.  If I do not master self-control, I can never fully live the first eight.  How can I love without hate if there is no self-control over anger? How will I have patience if kindness and gentleness are not practiced? How can I fully experience joy if I do not retain God’s peace?

If time is taken to observe, it will certainly be found that most live this scripture, no matter their beliefs and whether it is realized or not.  Even the atheist who would rather spit in God’s face than acknowledge or kneel before Him, often practices kindness, experiences joy, loves other because God created us and these elements are not only essential to being like Jesus, but are an innate part of our human structure. When we waste time on emotions such as anger, hate, rumors, fear and doubt, we distance ourselves from God by allowing our sin to flourish.  If  sin is ruling over us, then we cannot hear God.

It is crucial I have a daily fasting from the din of the world because it brings me into the Light of the World’s presence.  Like a beacon, Jesus awaits my arrival each day.  This is where I learn to discern God’s voice from my own.  This is my time of gathering strength for the day.  This is my daily portion and like the manna that fell from the sky at the Israelites feet, it sufficiently binds my day as God’s own.

It is not what I do for God of my own volition, but how I present myself to Him in obedience with an attitude that His will is done and not my own.  In accompaniment, humility is appropriate; without humility, I cannot rule over my own desire to put myself – my ideas and wants – ahead of what God is requiring. He asks me to love Him with all of my heart. And if I am showing up with my heart full of love and my spirit willing to hear and have humbled myself, then I am a blank canvas with which God can work. If I continually act as Cain, then my canvas is a scribble of human error and divine correction.  I desire to have a portion of my canvas left, that is blank and untouched by me, where God can create beauty.

Do I greet Him with eagerness?  With anticipation of what He might ask of me? Or do I show up last minute with my foot tapping, saying, “make it quick – I gotta wash the dishes,” or immediately whining a protest of, “really – can you not see how much I already need to do.”  Now I know, there is nothing more important than meeting with God and allowing Him to disrupt my plan with His will.

I serve a God of adventure.  It is just how He works. I believe there is a reason God likes to surprise me.  He knows what He created me to be.  I know that God can redeem any mess I create and use it for good. I give Him plenty to work with.  I am His problem child. I want to do things my own way and like Cain, I sacrifice the fullness of joy in God’s gifts.

Now look at your life.

How many things did you try to talk God out of that turned out to be perfect at the end? How many situations did you try to manipulate because you did not trust God with the outcome?  How did that work out for you? This is one instance I can use the word never and it be true:  it has NEVER worked out for me.  It wastes my time.  I have to do everything twice.  First, my own screwed up way while God patiently waits on me. Then His way with Him saying, “I tried to tell you, but you had to do the dishes, remember? Let’s do this different next time.”

Lately, something in me is changing that those around me can not understand.

Lately, boundaries are easier to hold because they are boundaries encouraged by God.

Lately, God is strengthening me because I am showing up and sitting still and quietly listening.

He makes everything clear: I only have to serve Him and no one or anything else. This is truth the world denies us.

An urgency lurks within me to greet Him with Samuel’s response, “Speak, for your servant hears.”  To be ready with Isaiah’s words upon my lips, “Here I am. Send me.”  And to possess Abraham’s faithful obedience believing all along  God’s providence will be perfect.

I have already been chosen by God.

Now is the time to ask, “Lord, how may I serve you?”

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