The unseen spiritual warfare in the heavenlies evidences itself in the creation account as recorded in Genesis. The Adversary questioned and contradicted God’s instruction to the first man and woman, and in disobedience to the Divine warning not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, sin entered into the human race. But God had a remedy for man’s fall and spiritual death, the offering of an Innocent One for the guilty as pictured in the slaying of an animal and clothing the offenders with skins, symbolic of the imputed Righteousness of God.
Thus began the process of instructing Adam and Eve in God’s grace not only of a Savior but how to grow spiritually in that new relationship. Specific instructions from God were given for establishing the proper mode of worship. It would follow the pattern established by the pre-incarnate Christ in His presentation of salvation to Adam and Eve. “So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard” (Gen 4:3-5 NASB).
God had ordained a precise mode of worship, one that depicted His grace apart from human merit. Though no doubt Cain’s offering was from the best of his produce, it represented human effort. The offering of Abel was a portrayal of the first offering of an innocent animal dying for sinful man. God’s grace provision was “His doing” apart from human meritorious work. That was the divine approach established in the Garden and it has never changed. The Apostle Paul thousands of years later would write … “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph 2:8-9 NIV).
God has never accepted man’s best efforts as the means of relationship with Him. He only accepts that which is perfect, His Work, in providing salvation. Thus, the Cross of Christ brought to completion the thousands of animal sacrifices that had previously occurred. He offered Himself as the all-sufficient offering for sin. Isaiah had prophesied … “But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; If [when] He would render Himself as a guilt offering” (Isa 53:10 NASB). As in salvation, God is pleased with what He is able to accomplish in and through the Christian. “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph 2:10 NIV). That truth goes counter to human thinking which attempts to do something to earn God’s approval.
Perhaps the greatest soul tranquilizer is basking in the Truth that God desires our availability and He will do the work ... “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Phil 2:13 NIV). No clearer evidence of this is seen in the humanity for Christ … “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. "Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves” (John 14:10-11 NASB).
As the Christian learns to rest in the truth that God does the work, the quality of his effectiveness in God’s service actually increases. Quantity is never the divine measure. Everything that God is able to do in the life of the believer who is walking by means of the Spirit will be “His doing” for … “We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts” (1Thess 2:4 NIV).