My Dad used to say that men love to do scary things like fly fighter jets in war, jump from planes, and hunt wild animals, but many of them are scared to death of having kids and raising a family. Psychologists talk about misplaced anger when we lash out at someone or something that isn't the cause of our offense. Similarly, men have misplaced ambition, discipline, and courage. We exercise, sacrifice, and work for things like big muscles, cars, and houses, but why don't we work hard at resisting evil, protecting our families, and walking in holiness?
Proverbs 10:23 says,
“Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool, And so is wisdom to a person of understanding.”
“Doing wisdom” must become like a sport to us. We must learn to see the devil as our arch-enemy and godliness as our trophy. When God rejected Cain’s offering because it wasn't the best he had to offer (Genesis 4:3-5), he brooded over his humiliation, and a spirit of murder entered his heart. The Lord said to Cain,
“Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at your door, and its’ desire is for you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:6-7
Men love and hate the statement: “You must master it.” For those uncommitted to holiness, this statement strikes fear in our hearts. Many want God to be responsible for making us Holy. We can, of course, only become Holy through the grace of God but becoming Holy is still a choice we make. But we have invented doctrines that say that God does all the work, and either we become Holy through some automated force of His will or we languish in sin for some unexplained reason of His will. How absurd!
The Word of the Lord is: “Sin is crouching at your door; and it's desire is for you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:7
The power is God’s, but the choice is ours. The question is: what do we want? If we want big muscles, cars, and many women, we will most likely get them. If we want to overcome sin, we will get that. The world praises people who acquire the things of the flesh but persecutes men who embody the things of God. So which option requires a stronger man? Which option is truly the difficult one? Which accomplishment is greater? At the end of your life, will you say, “sin was crouching at my door but I mastered it.” Or will you say, “sin mastered me”?
Our Father in Heaven issues this challenge to all men in regard to temptation: “You must master it.”