June 25, 2018
"Jesus looked at them intently and said, ‘Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.'" Matthew 19:26 (NLT)
I was on my way to a week of therapy to find out why I just couldn't get over "the hump."
Seven days with 40 strangers and no cell phone.
Lord, come quickly. Seven days.
So I called my dad to tell him I'd be MIA for a few days while I was on this "retreat." Retreat sounded so much softer than therapy.
"Can I tell you a story?" he asked.
"I have 10 minutes. Can you make it quick?"
Then, like a phenomenal voice-over in some epic movie, my dad spoke:
"When I was early in my ministry in Panama, I was preaching a three-day revival in a small church by the ocean. That first night I preached mi corazon [my heart] out. I preached hard and loud. Many were touched by God. Toward the end of the invitation, Ms. Ramirez stood up. She made her way to the center aisle and walked very slowly toward the front. When she finally got to me, I asked why she had come forward. Her answer was simple.
"‘Pastor, I need you to pray that the Lord cleans the cobwebs out of my life. I have so many cobwebs. Could you please pray?' she asked me.
"And so I obliged. I prayed that the Lord would clean the cobwebs out of her life. She thanked me and went on her way. On night two of the revival I saw her get up again - Ms. Ramirez. And she came walking down the aisle with a little more certainty.
"‘Pastor, could you pray again? Could you please pray again that the Lord cleans the cobwebs out of my life?' she asked.
"I reminded her I had prayed the night before for this very thing, and that the Lord would honor our prayer. But she insisted I pray again. And so I did.
"Son, listen to me. The last night of the revival - I couldn't believe it - she got up again. She made her way down the aisle even faster this night. I wondered if she was going to tell me that her life had begun to take a turn for the better - that the Lord had begun to clean the cobwebs.
"‘Pastor Fermin, please, one last time? Can you please pray that the Lord cleans the cobwebs -'
"I stopped her mid-sentence. I stopped her because I realized we were praying the wrong prayer.
"And so I prayed, Father, we do not ask You tonight to clean the cobwebs from Ms. Ramirez's life. In fact, Lord, keep them there for now. But tonight we ask for something much greater. Tonight we ask that You KILL THE SPIDER in Ms. Ramirez's life. In the Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
"Carlos, I have watched you your entire life. You are a professional at cleaning the cobwebs from your life. You are amazing at playing the part and being used by God in spite of your circumstances. But do not go to this place and try to clean up your life. That won't work. You have to kill the spider. You must find the producer of all the cobwebs in your life and kill it. It is much more difficult, but that is why you are there. To kill the spider."
And, my friends, find it I did. I imagine one of these things is running through your head right now:
1. I don't think I have a problem with spiders, but how can I be sure?
2. I think I have 200 spiders, so how will I kill them all?
I define a "spider" as an agreement you've made with a lie. A cobweb is a medicator that brings false comfort to a lie.
We all have cobwebs. We all have spiders. But here's the good news: We have all been filled with the same power that rolled the stone away on the third day. "Jesus looked at them intently and said, ‘Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible'" (Matthew 19:26).
You CAN kill the spider.
I share my story to give you hope to face the spiders with the power of the God who makes the earth spin and float. Because with God, everything is possible.
Thank You, God, for being here. I invite You to come in and show me that place where I made an agreement with a lie that has kept me bound. Give me a memory or a word - something that will help me get to the root of the cobwebs I keep cleaning. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 16:23-24, "At that time you won't need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven't done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy." (NLT)
Tired of trying to live for Christ - only to keep failing with the same old behaviors? Or do you pray for guidance, deliverance, and vow to do better, yet fail to progress? In Kill the Spider, Carlos Whittaker shares personal material ranging from hilarious, self-deprecating stories to passion-filled wisdom - to show others it’s not enough to try to “stop sinning.” Get help knocking out deep-rooted habits by treating the cause, not just the symptoms.
Get the free Kill The Spider e-course by visiting www.killthespider.com.
Follow Carlos on Facebook, here.
What kinds of "spiders" have you seen God address? Join the conversation and you might win a copy of Kill the Spider!
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Grab a journal today, and write down this simple question: Dear Jesus, What agreements have I made with lies in my life? And then write. Don't edit the Holy Spirit. Write what comes first ...
© 2018 by Carlos Whittaker. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries Word Team thanks Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, for their sponsorship of today's devotion. The Word Team staff has been blessed by Carlos' book, Kill the Spider, and hope it blesses you as well.