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Every believer must resist temptation when it comes. Temptation can be more than just sexual impurity. You can be tempted not to give when God says to give. You must resist temptation to disobey God whenever He is directing you to do a certain thing.

Satan will always be there to try to get you to disobey God. Satan knows that, when you obey God, blessings will come your way. He knows too that by getting you to disobey God he has you right where he wants you.

In Genesis 4:8 it says, "Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." Unfortunately the King James Version makes it sound a little flat when it says, "Cain talked with Abel." The actual Hebrew word translated talked means more than that. In the Hebrew it says, "Cain quarreled with him."

Cain fought with his brother because he was envious. Cain was the first envious person. He envied his brother's blessing and relationship with God. That still hasn't changed to this day. Some people are angry because they see other people being used and blessed by God more than they are. But it can happen if they haven't been willing to do what those others have done.

Maybe you know someone who has been like Abel and has received the blessings of God, while you have been like Cain; and like Cain, you are upset about it. You need to check your attitude. Remember, sin is crouching at your door. By being envious of another's blessings, you are opening the door to Satan.

In the epistle of James we can see what happens when envy shows up and isn't resisted by the believer. Envy is a spirit from the enemy, Satan, and it must be resisted. "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish" (James 3:14-15).

The Greek word for "sensual" is "psuche," meaning "mind, soul." This kind of wisdom comes from the emotions, and it is not of God.

Envy opens the door to every evil work. "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work" (James 3:16). Now all of us have to face envy at one time or another. When somebody gets married, we are filled with envy. When somebody is promoted to a better job than ours, we get jealous. When somebody joins a church or ministry staff full time, we become envious.

Something good happens to another person and we want it, too. You cannot allow envy to hang around; you must deal with it. Envy is a spirit and an enemy of the believer. You have to speak to envy, telling it, "In the name of Jesus, I resist you, envy! Get out of here!" By not resisting envy, you will find that every evil work will be conjured up inside you.

You could wind up doing the same thing Cain did and become a murderer because of envy. Now you might not kill another person physically by taking a gun and blowing him away. You can also kill people with the words of your mouth, by talking against them.

Let's say somebody in the church choir leads the worship service, and you complain about it, saying, "That person always gets to lead the singing." Maybe that's because God blessed him (or her) with a good voice and you don't have that same kind of voice.

You don't have to get jealous about it. God gives certain talents to certain people. We should praise God for their talent. God blessed them to be able to do that.

Sometimes I wish I could sing songs of praise during a church service, but it doesn't work that way. I'm not a lead singer, so I don't try to be a soloist. I'm not, however, envious of people who can. I don't get mad just because I can't do it. God has given me other gifts.

There is also no reason to get envious about somebody else's wife or husband. If you are single, God can give you a mate that He has made especially for you. If you are married, you need to do what God says in His Word and treat your mate accordingly. Then that person will be the best one you could ever have.

Your attitude is paramount to whether Satan is able to take hold on you and get his clutches around you. Even though you are saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Spirit, you can still get off into areas where you don't belong if you don't stop and check for envy.

Looking again in Genesis, chapter 4, we see that Cain was filled with envy because God had rejected his sacrifice and had accepted his brother's. As far as God was concerned, it was as if Cain was stealing, because his heart wasn't right. God wanted Cain to get his heart right, to do the right thing and to obey what he was told by his parents. Cain's brother did, but Cain would not.

In Verse 7 God was saying to him, "If you do the right thing, won't I accept you?" Then in verse 8 we see that Cain quarreled with his brother: "And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."

Because of sin, the manifestation of death came right away. But as we have read in Hebrews 11:4, Abel is still testifying to people today.

God intends for believers to read about this story in Genesis and learn from it. We are to give the best that we have of all the fruit He has given to us. We are to give not only of our financial resources, but the best of all that we have: our time, our talents, our abilities. As we do, God's blessings will be manifested in our lives.

Source: What On Earth Are We Here For? by Keith Butler
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Keith Butler
Web site: Word of Faith International Christian Center
Bishop Keith A. Butler is the senior pastor of Word of Faith International Christian Center. Keith Butler is the founder and president of Keith Butler Ministries (KBM), an international organization established to take the life-changing message of the Gospel to "the uttermost parts of the earth." Through Live Your Faith Seminars and the establishment of our PISTIS School of Ministry in various locations, Keith Butler provides teaching of the Word of God on a variety of subjects such as how to live the life of faith, how to fulfill the call of God for your life, how to receive your healing, the importance of walking in love and many more topics. PISTIS is specifically designed to train ministers so that they are equipped to go out into their world and teach and preach Jesus effectively.

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