No matter what is crouching at your door, Muriel has some ways to rise up from all that threatens you in today’s Monday Minute.
What Crouches at Your Door?
by Muriel Gregory
A recent report shook many believers in France. It established that over a 70-year span, more 200,000 children suffered sexual abuse by the clergy. How can that be? How could such a horrific sin have taken place in the house of God?
2020 was the year of the pandemic but also the year the US witnessed the hurt of people outraged by the killing of an African American by the police. How is it that the very people who should protect you commit such a crime?
For most of our military career, we chose to live on post. It felt like the safest place to raise kids. What is better than a gated community?! One year, however, a neighbor called the Military Police on us for “child neglect.” We were working in the yard, and our daughter was playing close by. When the MPs arrived, they informed us right away that they could see the child was safe and that it was not the first time that person would call them for useless stuff.
Why are people that way?
“The Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at your door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.’”
This passage is the first instance of sin mentioned in the Bible. The Hebrew word used is Khata, which means failure. Sin is the moral failure to reach God’s standards. A quick look at the ten commandments gives us an overview of how we potentially fail God and how we fail others. The reality is that when we fail others, we sin against God. After his debacle with Bathsheba, David understood that very well when he cried out, “against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight” (Psalm 51:4). Scrolling through social media or looking at the news is all we need to realize that sin is woven into the structure of our society.
Are we doomed to live forever in sin?
There is good news, and it can be found in 1 Peter 2:22-24, “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” Amen, sister, that IS good news!
Amid our failures and shortcomings, God’s grace and forgiveness shine like a beacon of hope in a hurting world.
I have used Philippians 4:8 as a ruling stick to identify my failures to meet the standards.
Whatever is true – Have I been dishonest? With God? With others? Or with myself?
Whatever is just – Do I put others first, or do I let my urges and desires benefit me at the expense of others?
Whatever is lovely – DO I hold any grudges or resentment? Who do I need to forgive?
Whatever is honorable – How do I speak to other people or about them? Are my actions honoring God?
Whatever is pure – Have I guarded myself against temptation? Have I acted impurely?
Whatever is commendable – What areas of my life do I struggle with? Is it others? Is it myself?
Sin is crouching at my door, but I have the power and the tools to rule over it. Being self-aware of my shortcomings leads me to repentance. As long as my eyes are fixed on Jesus, I will stop justifying subhuman behaviors.
Train (read the Bible) – Read Romans 6:12. What can you do today not to let sin reign in your body?
Submit (to the Lord) – Read Psalm 51:10. How will you let God renew a right spirit within you?
Build – Read Psalm 51:13. What can you do this week to share the good news of God’s grace and forgiveness with a friend or a neighbor?
Lord, when I witness the hurt in this broken world and the darkness of my own heart, I welcome your grace and forgiveness with relief. Help me be the tool to spread hope in this fallen world. Amen.
If you need prayer covering for what’s crouching at your door, the Planting Roots prayer team would be honored to cover your needs. Submit your confidential prayer requests HERE.