Taking a walk this morning and putting Steffany Gretzinger Pieces song on repeat, has been the highlight of my morning and definitely my day. The reality of the Love Abba has for us is always so refreshing and empowering and it is always worth it to remind ourselves and remember the price that was paid for us to be swamped in such an atmosphere.
If you listen to the song, there’s a point where she gets talking in worship and she goes ‘It is not about performance, who sings the best or brings the best…’
And as I was smiling sheepishly to myself and excited in my spirit, God drops ‘Cain’ in my heart. He says the interpretation of this song is the antidote to the cain-spirit. Now, i’m a bit distracted, asking God ‘what even is a cain-spirit?’ and i’m taken down memory lane to the story of the two brothers, Cain and Abel who both brought offerings to God. The bible tells us that God was pleased with Abel’s offering and accepted it, but displeased with Cain’s offering which we later see is because he had not given his best. Later in the story, we see that Cain’s jealousy led him to murder his brother when they were out in the field.
When God accosts Cain of what he had done, the dialogue is a very emotional one and it concludes with Cain sobbing over the fact that he was doomed outside the covering of God and he says to God ; “My punishment is more than I can bear” and here’s Abba’s reply; “Not so, anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him”.
Bearing in mind that Jesus had not even come to die for us to unite us back to God even after sin entered the world, but this was God’s heart already to a man who had just committed murder and had further lied on the whereabouts of his brother.
Performance often comes with competition. We feel a need to perform when we’ve identified a ‘threat’. The offering Cain and Abel presented to God was not a case of ‘lets see who will give a better offering’. It was not a tug of war for Abba’s love. It was simply a call to present your best to Abba. In ‘best’, there is no competition because individuals differ.
The cain-spirit allowed Cain interpret God’s acceptance of Abel’s offering as ‘Abel performing better than me’. Meanwhile, it was just a case of God saying to Cain that He had not given His best. No matter what Cain’s best was, God would have wholly received it as He did Abel’s offering.
The cain-spirit is more prevalent in this day than ever before. Believers are attempting to ‘out-perform’ each other and prove that ‘I love God more’, ‘I’m more dedicated than you are’, ‘my offering is definitely more acceptable than yours’ and we do it in the most subtle ways without even knowing and God sits there and is looking at us like ‘I have asked for your best and not ‘a better than your neighbour”.
Our offering to God is not weighed against that of another’s offering, it is weighed only by the state of our hearts in the gifting of the offering to God.
God wants us to remember this everyday of our lives, that as Steffany sang so beautifully, “It is not about performance, who sings the best or brings the best.”
We were never called to give a performance, Just to bask in a relationship characterised with TRUE love. Let’s rid ourselves of every cain-spirit.