I often tell my kids to…
I then finish it off with this, “That way you do not have to remember what you said, who you were with, or where you were at.”
I then have bantered with my family, that my first tattoo will be on my left forearm, and it will read, “Do the right thing!”
Today I read this verse…
Gen. 4:7 (NLT), “You will be accepted if you do what is right.
But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out!
Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you.
But you must subdue it and be its master.”
Many times we get stuck on the first 5 words of this scripture. “You will be accepted if…” This phrase can easily trip us up if we are not careful. Our acceptance is not in do’s and don’ts. Our acceptance is in doing the ultimate “right thing” – living a life in which we abide in Christ!
Abiding means we live a life in which we reflect Him and Him alone.
An abiding life is led by the Word of God, both written in the scriptures and the words that are confirmed by His written Word.
An abiding life is a life led by the Spirit of God, and not our own carnal wants and desires.
An abiding life is not perfect, because we are not perfect, but 100% submitted to Christ, because He is perfect! Doing the right thing is about abiding in Christ, because it is in Him that we live, and move, and have our being!
However the facts are that often times the enemy of our soul would like to fool us into thinking that we are hopeless, because we cannot “do right” and that we cannot abide. In these moments where we truly perceive that we cannot do right, realize this is simply not the truth. We can do right!!!! Simply because we are made right through Christ! If we abide in Him, He will abide in us, and “We Can Do Right”!
As I read this passage this morning, a passage I have read so very many times before, it grabs me in a new way. As it grabs me – it points out the ways in which I personally struggle to do the right thing in my own journey. I often wonder why the temptation for sin is present. It persistently knocks on the door of my soul, tempting me to walk in pride, ego, sinful pleasure, and keeping my eyes on me instead of Christ.
Simply said, “It keeps me from ABIDING!”
Read this again… Gen. 4:7 – that, “…refusing to do the right thing – watch out – sin is crouching at the doorstep…” When I do that which is opposed to Christ, I keep myself from abiding. I make the choice to abide in me, and not in Him. I then become a greater target for the crouching dragon of sin. That dragon that is as close to me as the front door of my heart. I think I am becoming greater, when in actuality, I am become weaker and weaker
There is hope though! It is as simple as doing the right thing!
Doing the right thing is not about laws and lists.
Doing the right thing is not about keeping track of all the things that you and I have been told we should or shouldn’t do.
Doing the right thing is about abiding in Christ! Abiding in Christ keeps the desire of control (pride, ego, sin, pleasure, etc…) at bay. Actually more than at bay. It crucifies the carnality of our life and allows the Spirit of God to dominate that which separates us from God – sin!
How do I abide in Him?
Not only by getting in His word, but getting His word in me.
Not just recognizing His Spirit, but asking His spirit to lead me.
Not just going to church, but being who Christ intended the church to be.
Not just praying, but praying continuously.
Not just getting the tattoo, but actually living what the tattoo says!
Doing the right thing is more than a tattoo. Doing the right thing is a mandate in abiding in Christ and living a just and holy life!
Lord, today, I will choose to do the right thing in all right ways!
Lord, I choose to abide in You!
P.S. I maybe should get a tattoo on my right forearm, “Abide in Christ!”