If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)
Sometimes it feels like our spiritual life is getting nowhere. We think we're working hard and doing all the right things, but just like the cat on the slide, we're not getting to where we should...fast. Maybe it's time to take an honest look at ourselves. Are we really doing everything we should be? Are we truly giving 100% of our hearts to God and giving Him the first fruits?
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?
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 4:6-7)
Able gave God the firstborn of his flock--he gave to God first. But Cain gave "some" of his fruit--was it the best that he had? Likely not. Cain's heart wasn't in the right place, so he wasn't accepted. What Cain then did was minimize his sin. He decided that he'd done everything just as well as Able had, and that God was unfair for not accepting and blessing his sacrifice.
Whoa. That one hits home for me this week. I've been feeling like I'm running on a treadmill and getting nowhere, but is it because I'm not giving God the best of myself, the best of my time, the best of my energy? Sure, I'm giving God "some" of my time, but is it because my heart longs for Him, or is it because it's a chore, duty, or burden?
If I'm minimizing my sin, then I'll decide that I'm doing what I should do, I'm giving "some", so why aren't I getting the blessing?
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 145:18 emphasis mine)
I want for God to be near to me. I want to have the kind of acceptable life that Able had. I don't want for sin to crouch at my door desiring to have me. I want to rule over my sin instead of it ruling over me. But to do this, I need first to be honest with myself. If I haven't been giving God the best of my life, I need to determine to do it now. I don't ever want my time with Him to be a burden or a chore. I want it to be sweet and something I look forward to.
That is my prayer for all of us today. Help us oh God, to be honest with ourselves about what we give and about what we do. Help us, Lord, to cry out to you in truth. Draw nearer to us, Jesus, so that we feel the goodness of your presence. With all of our hearts, Amen.