"Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast." - Genesis 4:3-5
Written by Joe Smith
There will be days when you are not “feeling it”. The passion is not there. You feel no motivation for the sport you love; and before you know it, you find yourself dragging and going through the motions. Getting on the ice doesn’t even seem like a good time. Talking with your teammates is the last thing you want to do. You want to be anywhere, but in a cold ice rink.
It can be this way in our Christian lives as well. There are some days you just don’t feel like opening up your Bible or praying to God. If you do it seems like more of an obligation than anything else. Those days happen. It’s part of life, but we need to be careful not to let these “odd” days become “normal” days in our lives. Our relationship with God is something we need to work at. By studying the Bible, constantly coming to God in prayer, and spending time with other believers, our relationship with God grows stronger.
In Genesis chapter 4 we are introduced to two brothers: Cain and Abel. Back in their day (before Jesus was on Earth) God required His followers to offer sacrifices due to the fact that we all sin constantly. There were many different kinds of offerings that could be made for many different reasons. (let’s be thankful we live in a time after Jesus offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for us!!) It says that “Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil” (4:2). So, when they both came with their sacrifices Cain had “some of the fruits of the soil” while Abel brought “fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock” (4:4). It says that “the Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor” (4:5). Cain was so angry that he lured his brother out into a field and killed him. Now, that may be a bit of an overreaction, but Cain’s rage and pride simply took over.
Why did God look so unfavorably on Cain’s sacrifice? It says they both presented their offerings, so why would God be upset with Cain? The key to this answer is found in what they were offering, not so much that they made offerings. The passage says Cain only offered some of the fruits while Abel brought fat portions and some of the firstborn. Abel brought the absolute best, while Cain only brought something average. It also says that God not only looked at Cain’s offering unfavorably, but that He also looked on Cain in the same way. It all had to do with the heart. Maybe Cain just wasn’t “feeling it” on that day, but for whatever reason he offered his subpar sacrifice purely out of obligation and it was not from the heart. God warned him about the results of doing right as opposed to wrong, but Cain did not want to hear it. He lashed out at his brother in a fit of jealousy and executed the first murder in human history.
Now I am not saying that days with no motivation will lead to murder. I am saying that days with no spiritual motivation lead to a distancing between you and God. This distance becomes a dangerous thing. We need to cling to God and grow our relationship with Him. He is always waiting with open arms.
The Bible is full of amazing stories that can help us in our spiritual walk. We are also unbelievably blessed to be able to come to God directly in prayer whenever we want! Take advantage of this and give thanks to God with a sincere heart. Thank Him for even giving you the breath in your lungs to say thank you.