Sometime ago, I was reading the story of Cain and Abel as recorded in Genesis 4:1-7, and I have heard all kinds of explanations about that story. But if you read that story very well you will realize that God was saying to Cain I don’t want your personal effort. What I want is the sacrifice made on your behalf because your righteousness is like a filthy rag. Cain came with an intention to earn God’s approval and God was telling him you cannot earn My approval because it is a grace thing.
In that account God said to Cain if you do well you will be accepted. God was saying to Cain in case you don’t know I brought a sin offering and it is at the door of your house so you could offer it and be saved. But Cain by his sacrifice was saying to God you must accept me based on my works. God said to Cain there is sin offering at the door and all you need to do is to offer it as Abel has done and you will be accepted. But he said no I will rather offer my works, I will present my efforts and he was rejected.
If you come to God based on your efforts, rights or privileges you will be rejected. Always come to him saying Lord you are my righteousness, my redeemer and sanctifier. When you do so, the doors of heaven will open up for you to come in because that’s what God wants. You will not be rejected. Based on the finished work of Jesus, you are already accepted. You are free from all struggles. You are a new specie of being that has never existed before. You are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God had before ordained that you should walk in them.