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If You Do Well

“If You Do Well”

By:  Louie Taylor

     Cain and Abel were brothers who came from the same loin but were cut from different cloth. They both were interested in serving God and that is commendable. They each brought an offering to the Lord, but something about Cain’s sacrifice made it inferior in nature to the offering that Abel made in faith. Maybe God rejected it because it was not much of a sacrifice at all. The reason is debatable, but here are some observations from the first murder story that stand out to me.

     When God rejected Cain’s offering, Cain became angry and sullen (dejected). His “countenance” or his “face” had fallen. Why the long face? Cain’s anger and grief were the result of his own poor decisions. He directed his frustration at his brother, but his own personal choices put him in his predicament. The same is true with me. When I find myself in a state of emotional disorder, it is nearly always the result of my own poor decisions and flawed thinking. And just as He did with Cain, God leaves it up to me to make wiser choices and change things for the better.

     How do you turn a frown into a smile? By doing the right things. In verse 7 God asked Cain, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?” (NASB) So often we think our happiness is determined by the things that other people do or say. That is seldom if ever the case. No matter what other people are involved with or talking about, we have the power to control our own emotions. The key is to focus on doing well. If I do what I know is right in the Lord’s sight, He will lift my spirits and accept my offerings.

     Sin is a wild animal. It sits crouched and coiled and is poised to spring and unleash its fury on us. Sin wanted to destroy Cain’s life, but God told him that he “must master it”. We need to take control of troubling situations and not let sin have the upper hand. It is possible to master sin, otherwise God’s words here are pointless. If we make the determination to listen to God and follow His orders, He will not allow sin to wreak havoc in our lives (Romans 6:11-13).

     Cain chose to not do well, to not obey God and to not master sin. Sin therefore became his master, and sin is a bloody tyrant. Cain killed his own brother, and Abel’s blood still cries its warnings out to us from the pages of God’s word today. Unrestrained sin doesn’t always lead to murder. It rarely does. But when we are wallowing in the mire of bitterness and misery, compounding our error with more sinfulness will never pull us up out of that pit. We must not stew inwardly, our explode outwardly, but reach upwardly to our Father in heaven

     What kind of problem are you struggling with right now? Are you upset because you feel like you’re not getting what you want or deserve out of life? Are you discouraged because someone you love has ignored you or treated you unkindly? Maybe even a brother or sister in Christ has mistreated you and your spirits have fallen. Unfortunately you cannot control another person’s free will. But remember – if YOU do well, your countenance will be lifted. God has given you the power to be the master of your own happiness and salvation.