The Spider 27April2020

The Spider

A wife was a bustle of activity and commotion as she scurried about the house putting things in order, dusting, sweeping, surface cleaning everything in sight. Her husband, late for work as usual, shocked at her activity, exclaimed, “What are you doing? You have a housekeeper to do all of that!” “Yes,” I know she replied, “”She comes today and I am getting the house ready for her to clean.” Seems ridiculous, right? Surface cleaning before the maid does deep leaning. It is like brushing your teeth to make a good impression on the dental hygienist, yet she still discovers popcorn kernels that flossing missed. You merely touch the surface; she goes deeper including X-rays to reveal the root of the problem. You drive your car through the automatic brushes to remove the ugly, outer dirt but the detail man at the dealership finds candy wrappers hidden under the seat that casual eyes do not see.

What frustrates, to the point of inconvenience, most Christians about their daily life is the surface sins; the dirt that is obvious to them and others. Of course, we realize, and are deeply grateful, that Jesus died on a cross for our sins (no capital, plural) but as strange as this may sound, that is not enough to produce victory and freedom in our life. Relief, yes; triumph, no! Forgiveness, yes. Freedom, no! He also died for our Sin (capital, singular), which is by far the greater work. We are deeply grateful and humbled that Jesus died on the cross to remove our sins; impatience, bad temper, lust, envy, anger, covetousness, etc. However, we fail to recognize that first and foremost He died because of our Sin! There is a big difference. He died “for” us, that is for our sins and also He died “because “of us, that is because we are, like Adam, by nature Sinners. (Romans 5:12)

Several years ago I was the proud owner of a blue Ford Pinto station wagon. I know you are laughing but I couldn’t afford a truck and SUV’s weren’t around. I needed something to transport kids and have room for a dog crate. It was a basic car equipped with a radio and a heater but no air conditioner. So during the hot summer months I left the windows down to keep it from being so hot the next day. My first chore every morning upon entering the car was to remove cobwebs that were generously and artistically designed overnight. This was my daily routine. Until, one day I saw a mischievous spider scurrying across the dash in the sunlight. I swung and missed! The game continued until I was batting 0 for 3. Then, a swing and a hit! I killed the spider and in so doing, I eliminated my pesky problem with cobwebs.

Likewise, the irritating and defeating sins that occur with daily frequency are like the cobwebs I faced every morning. The “sins” that hinder us are problematic but they are not the real problem. Our real problem is The Spider, which is the Sin factory of our lives. Sweeping cobwebs becomes frustrating because at some point along the way we reach the same conclusion as the housewife who declared in disgust, “I dusted once. It all came back so I’m not falling for that again.” Failure produces frustration; frustration produces fatalism and fatalism produces surrender. Once we reach the, “What is the use? I always relapse” state of mind, we raise a white flag and surrender in defeat. And, everyone else has cobwebs in their life, right? Wait! Before you give in and give up and relegate your life to mediocrity, listen to the words of the greatest Christian who ever lived. The Apostle Paul faced the same losing battle until he made a discovery, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” This struggle was so real that Paul admitted, “I don’t understand myself! For what I will to do, that I do not practice, but what I hate, that I do. It is no longer I who do it, but [S]in that dwells in me.” (Read Romans 7:13-8:3)

There is a better way! The only way to be free from the entanglement of sins nasty web is to kill the spider! Actually, you can’t kill the spider, the old Adam, self-centered nature that is latent within your bosom cannot be eradicated but he can be neutralized; rendered ineffective. How? When Jesus died on the cross He not only bore our filthy, putrefying sins but He killed the spider! He made it possible to have victory over the Old Man who desires to rule, run and ruin our lives. That is good news! Paul declared, “Therefore, now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Indeed, there is a better way!

The Adam inside everyone has a “dark side” and that nature works extremely hard to keep things hidden and by default this nature will rule in life and death. But the Christ nature within the believer is able to recognize and receive His accomplishments on the cross and through the resurrection. So, there is an inward battle between the dark nature and the Light nature. You decide which one wins! The Spirit within has the power to defeat all death, even darkness, break any dominance. Simply, the Spirit within Christ followers has the power to neutralize the spider within. It is a profound and comprehensive work! Do you know the difference between paint and stain? Paint is applied to the surface. Stain soaks in deep beneath the surface which is why it often requires several applications. Religion simply paints the surface. Paint changes the outward appearance but the inside is left untouched. A relationship with Jesus Christ through the Spirit soaks deep into the soul and spirit. When the stains of Calvary are applied, they go deep, deep enough to assassinate the fleshly, selfish nature whose roots touch every aspect of our being.

Are you tired of fighting cobwebs? Are you embarrassed that the paint of religion continues to peel and flake from the surface of your life exposing ugly xxxxxxxxxxxxxx There is a better way! Stop what you have already done before because it is doomed to fail again. Surrender! Not to the enemy but the Master. Take into account that when Jesus died, you died in Him. Give the Spirit permission to put to death the spider in your life and began a new path. Paul described this action in this manner, “Likewise, you also, recon yourselves to be dead in indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:11) “Recon” is a word that we do not use in daily conversation but it is vivid and very specific. It is a book keeping term which deals in facts, not fiction or imagination. When you deposit money into your account, then you go on line to see that the balance reflects that fact. The money is in the bank. Next, you use your debit card to access the money when you make a purchase. That process describes the word “recon.” It is a FACT that when Jesus died, sin and death died with Him. He made an expensive and generous deposit into your spiritual account. Unfortunately, most believers do not make daily withdrawals from that account and as a result they live with cobwebs. As a believer, I can “recon” the spiritual fact that Jesus made a grace deposit in my account and I am able by faith to make withdrawals as needed to live in victory. I recon, that is, consider my sin nature to be dead and my new nature alive in Christ Jesus. As this happens, the fresh adventure begins and I start “Living Dead!” Remember, if your Christian life is not an adventure, you are not following Jesus!

Ldw 27April2020