October 6, 2019
Genesis 4:3-7 (TLB) At harvest time Cain brought the Lord a gift of his farm produce, and Abel brought the fatty cuts of meat from his best lambs, and presented them to the Lord. And the Lord accepted Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s. This made Cain both dejected and very angry, and his face grew dark with fury. “Why are you angry?” the Lord asked him. “Why is your face so dark with rage? IT CAN BE BRIGHT WITH JOY IF YOU WILL DO WHAT YOU SHOULD! But if you refuse to obey, watch out. Sin is waiting to attack you, longing to destroy you. But you can conquer it!”
From the above verse, God made me realize that to do what’s right, we shouldn’t follow the condition of our emotions. Because when our emotions are well, we can do what’s right easily, but when our emotions turn negative (having bad mood), we feel justified to express the negative emotions we feel (people must understand that our mood is disturbed).
Supposedly, when we feel negative emotions arising – whatever the reason is – we must have an attitude to subdue those negative emotions! Cain should’ve done the same when he felt that God has ‘treated him unjustly’.
From the story of Cain and Abel and God’s reprimand to Cain, I learned several important principles:
1. When we must keep doing what’s right, joy will always flow from our hearts, and it will shine from our faces.
When we do the right thing, our conscience will always give its confirmation in our hearts (there is no condemnation in our hearts) – we can keep enjoying ‘the right standing before God’ in our lives.
1 John 3:19-22 (TLB) Then we will know for sure, by our actions, that we are on God’s side, and our consciences will be clear, even when we stand before the Lord. But if we have bad consciences and feel that we have done wrong, the Lord will surely feel it even more, for he knows everything we do. But, dearly loved friends, if our consciences are clear, we can come to the Lord with perfect assurance and trust, and get whatever we ask for because we are obeying him and doing the things that please him.
And after all, isn’t the Kingdom of Heaven points more towards the truth (the right standing before God), peace, and joy from the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17)? As long as we are doing what’s right, we will keep enjoying the reality of the Kingdom in our everyday life!
2. Raging negative emotions – whatever the reason and trigger – signifies that we are in a ‘danger zone’, where the enemy is ready to push us into doing evil before God’s eyes; sin is targeting us to be attacked and destroyed.
Although sometimes we experience an incident which triggers our anger (or other negative emotions), the Bible firmly says that regardless of all, such condition must not lead us to committing sin (Ps 4:4, Eph 4:26-27).
In the case of Cain, he finally committed evil by killing Abel, his own brother. Cain who’s supposed to be his brother’s keeper (if he did what’s right), turned into a killer instead because he followed the urge of negative emotions within him.
To do what’s right is a choice whether we are being ‘happy’ or in a ‘bad mood’. When we observe what God said to Cain, we must quickly beware of ourselves when our mood turns negative! Observe the various thoughts and imagination that are crossing our mind – don’t let negative thoughts keep crossing! Quickly take control over our mind! Force it to dwell on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellence and things worthy of praise; think about those things alone (Phil 4:8)! In simpler terms, redirect our mind by force to God’s word alone!
Don’t let negative emotions ‘give us ideas’ about releasing the negative feelings. Because whatever the form, release of negative emotions is always destructive – both for ourselves and those around us.
3. However strong the raging negative emotions, they are actually still within our control and we could subdue them easily!
Have this determination in our heart: whatever the emotional condition we feel, we will always do what’s right! Always remember that the emotion we feel only indicates our condition/position in the spirit world. If we feel that our emotion is positive, it means we are safe; the reality of God’s presence is enveloping us, praise the Lord.
However, when we start to feel negative emotions arising, that’s the moment we must truly beware! The spiritual radar within our heart is giving us a warning about the evil one’s attempt and plans over our lives – act quickly and ‘counter attack’ every work of the enemy! Quickly pray in tongues and declare the word until all the raging negative emotions are extinguished, exchanged with the stirring/burning of God’s word and Spirit in our hearts!
Be responsible for ourselves; make sure that our emotion is always ignited by the fire of the Holy Spirit coming from His word! Always do the right thing regardless of the condition of our emotions! #ILoveGod
Ps. Steven Agustinus