If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it. Genesis 4:7
Some things never change. The devil—that serpent of old—is a hustler, a huckster, a master at door-to-door sales. Whether peddling lies to Adam and Eve, or provoking the green-eyed monster in their firstborn Cain, or baiting descendants thereafter, he knows how to hawk his wares.[i]
It’s about desires. Not desires as a whole, else we'd be void of emotion. If God wasn’t interested in desires, He wouldn’t have caused every tree to grow that is pleasing to the sight and good for food.[ii] I say this while snarfing down Hershey’s Kisses (which could very well be my case-in-point example of wrong desires).
I’m talking about illegal, lust-of-the-eyes, lust-of-the-flesh, pride-of-life kinds of desires that are independent of God.[iii] Desires fulfilled in (and by) something or someone other than God. The devil knows all about those. He’s desired to make himself like the Most High since before creation.[iv] That being denied him, he whets his ravenous appetite elsewhere. He’s crouching at hearts’ doors, selling his bill of goods to whosoever opens to him. Spawning generations upon generations of Cains who, when challenged by God, refuse to renounce lustful heart postures. If you do well, will you not be accepted?[v]
And if you do not do well . . . Its (sin’s) desire is to have you.
Being had by some hoodwinking salesman is not where it’s happening for me and I’m certain, for you too.
Yet, the devil is persistent. I’ll give him that much. For one cursed by God to crawl on his belly and eat dust all the days of his life, he’s sure figured out a way to crouch at hearts’ doors—waiting for that precise moment to spring when defenses are down.[vi]Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.[vii]
We’re not above it all as Christians. I say that based on Jesus knocking at the door of Laodicean hearts, asking to come in and sup with them.[viii] Laodicean churchgoers, who mistakenly interpret their “I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing”, to be the sure-fire sign of God’s favor upon them. Need of nothing? Do I detect a hint of that ancestral sin of independence from God? The fact that He’s outside knock, knock, knocking should send up warning flares.
What about the church in Smyrna who are sorely familiar with poverty? There’s more to these saints than meets the eye. These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: I know your works, tribulation, and poverty, but you are rich.[ix] “Jesus is the First in being the source of all blessing. He is the Last in assuring us that all His promises will come to pass”[x] They were tapped into Him.
But now I am fearful, lest that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, so your minds may be corrupted and seduced from wholehearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ.[xi]
Let’s not allow the father of lies to live vicariously through us. Or the ones we stand in the gap for. He will just have to live out his dashed dreams elsewhere.
[i] Genesis 3:1, 4:6 [ii] Genesis 2:9 [iii] 1 John 2:16 [iv] Isaiah 14:14; Ezekiel 28:13–17 (historically referring to the kings of Babylon and Tyre, but also applicable to Satan) [v] John 8:44; Genesis 4:7 [vi] Genesis 3:14 [vii] 1 Peter 5:8 [viii] Revelation 3:17–21 [ix] Revelation 2:8–11 [x] Book of Revelation Study Guide, Notes by Mike Bickle, page 12 [xi] 2 Corinthians 11:3