“If you do right, won't you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." - Genesis 4:7
We all know what it means to be at the right place at the right time. Everyone of us has stories about when opportunity came knocking.
When I was drafted to play professional lacrosse after graduating college, I heard the knock. Looking back on it, I was simply at the right place at the right time. The conditions were perfect: the team needed my abilities and the coach liked my style of play. I probably would not have made any other team in the league, but I was at the right place at the right time, so I seized the opportunity.
Over time I have learned there are good opportunities and bad opportunities. Just like you can be at the right place at the right time, you can also be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Unfortunately, I have many examples of these too. I’m sure we all do. You say to yourself, “How did I get in this mess? What just happened? I did not plan on this.” I have a knot in my stomach just thinking back on some of the bad opportunities that sprang out of nowhere.
King David experienced this kind of opportunity. The Bible says that when all of the other kings were off in battle, David stayed home. His decision to ignore his responsibility to go to battle with his troops gave rise to an opportunity for him to sin with Bathsheba. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. If he was doing what he was supposed to be doing, there was a good chance he would not have fallen. When we are doing what we are supposed to do, life actually affords us many sin-safeguards by way of its seemingly endless responsibilities, duties, appointments, meetings and daily routines. By simply going through these relatively mundane motions, we are protected from a host of opportunities to sin.
When we float like David did, the opportunity to sin raises its ugly head. When we least expect it is when sin conditions are perfect. Our guard is down. There are no warning signs. Do you think Satan wants us to know that sin is right around the corner? Do you think he wants us to be prepared for the spiritual battle ahead? Satan succeeds when we don’t see the temptation coming. He does not want us all prayed up. No, he wants to surprise us and ambush us.
If we don’t use our free time wisely, there can be great temptation to sin. Mindless channel surfing gives rise to hundreds of opportunities to see stuff you didn’t want to see. Several hours online gives rise in “discovering” sites that you had no intention of visiting. In whatever your case, you might not have been looking for sin, you did not desire it, until it popped up.
Our goal is to be on our guard. We must realize that, as God said to Cain, sin is crouching at our door. Crouching means that it is waiting for the perfect opportunity to spring. Peter writes that the devil “prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” In other words, it is waiting for the perfect opportunity. The Holy Spirit, however, fills our lives to help us live a victorious life. But I also know that if we can build in and utilize life’s schedules and sensible safeguards, we can cut off a multitude of sins at the pass.
As competitors, we need to manage our time well when we are not competing. Yes, rest and relaxation are essential, but wasting time is another thing. Whatever it takes, keep the sin of opportunity out! Keep sin at the door instead of inside it.
- When does the sin of opportunity hit you?
- Do you feel like you see sin coming, or are you surprised by it? Explain.
- What does it mean that sin is crouching at your door? What sin “camps out” at our doorstep?
- How can you be intentional? What safe-guards can you put into your life? How can you keep sin outside the door not inside?
2 Samuel 11:5; 1 Peter 5:8; James 1:13-18
"Father, I ask for the wisdom to know when the opportunity to sin arises. Your Word says that we must be prepared and stand firm. I stand in victory because You, Lord Jesus, have already defeated death. When sin comes knocking, I do not want to fall or stumble. I am now aware of the sin of opportunity so I can recognize the deceiver’s work. Lord, order my footsteps. May my time and schedule be glorifying to You. Let me not waste time, Lord Jesus. Rest and relaxation You will provide. Today, I keep sin outside the door! Thank you Jesus. Amen.”