Who at the Door is Standing?
If you were driving home alone and you knew someone was waiting outside your front door and he or she was hoping to get you, would you be afraid? Would you turn around and drive to a friend’s house to avoid the danger? The obvious answer is yes!Of course we would all go to great lengths to ensure we were safe! We would go to a friend’s house, grandparent’s house, probably even an acquaintance’s house to avoid this inevitable danger.However, every day we as teens and young adults drive straight into situations where sin is lying at the door and its only desire is for us. I see this as the biggest problem for young adults and their parents in the church: misjudging situations before it is too late to turn back.
In Genesis 4, Cain and Abel each make offerings to God and Abel’s is acceptable, while Cain’s is not. This makes Cain very angry, but this is the admonition God gave to Cain in Genesis 4:7 (NKJV) “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.” In this scripture God gives a simple three part explanation of how sin works. He says that first, sin lies at the door, secondly, the sin desires us, and lastly, we should rule over it.
SIN LIES AT THE DOOR
In this story, God recognized Cain’s anger and knew it could lead to sin. Cain was putting himself into a mindset and situation that could (and as we know did) set him up for sin. This is true for adults and just as much for young adults and most of us are fairly new Christians just learning our way. It seems that every recreational activity revolves around some form of sin. We as young adults have to be people who think ahead. Most teenagers and young adults want to live on the edge and not think about tomorrow but we as Christians don’t have that luxury.Paul teaches us a fundamental principle that “the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Galatians 5:17, ESV). We have to understand that sin is always a desire of the flesh and we must always have our guard up because sin is always at the door.
SIN DESIRES US
The next thing God says very simply to Cain is that because of his weakened state and anger, Satan understands that and desires him. I think this is something that we as Christian young adults and our parents don’t generally consider. Peter encourages us to be “sober-minded” and “watchful”, telling us that Satan “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, ESV). Often we fool ourselves into thinking that because we go to church, attend church functions, etc. that the devil will shy away from us or that we’re in a “safe zone.” This is such a misconception! You can be the strongest Christian in the world, but still struggle if you put yourself right in the way of temptation. Sin and Satan want nothing but to see us fall and stumble and give in to sin and we only make it easier for Satan if we put ourselves in sinful situations.
WE MUST RULE OVER SIN
Lastly, I think God simply gives Cain a vote of confidence. Even though it looks like the odds are against him, God tells Cain that he can rule over this sin. If you do misjudge a situation, there will still be a way of escape for us to find our way out. This is a promise from God Himself. Paul says, “but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57, ESV). We have the most precious gift that Cain didn’t have. We have the example of a Savior who was tempted like we are but overcame every single time: He is the perfect example of overcoming sin and understands all of our weaknesses.
In conclusion, sin desires us and it’s hard for us as young adults to judge situations before we put ourselves in them and we need the help of our parents. Although we sometimes act like we don’t need your help, we do so very desperately. We need your instruction to look for sin, recognize its desire for us, and how to defeat the sin. With your example and the sacrifice of Christ, we can be victorious and rule over sin.
Holly Pannell is a resident of Oklahoma and loves her home state. She is a sophomore in college and will be attending the University of Oklahoma in the fall. She enjoys spending time with her family, eating Italian food, working out to offset the Italian food, and watching Oklahoma football. Although Holly is an accounting major, freelance writing is one of her greatest passions. She is excited to see what God has in store for her and hopes her writing will touch people in a way that encourages and strengthens them.