I hate spiders, so much to my dismay when I saw one the size of a nickel navigating it’s way across my den’s ceiling with Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible-esque stealth during my time with the Lord, I freaked out. I gasped and told Tucker (a cocker spaniel), “Ew! Look! He’s huge!” I jumped up and thought many a thoughts, most of which were, “Lauren just got back from camping; that’s a wilderness spider which means it’s more likely to be poisonous [not true]; it’s going to attack me now or when I’m asleep.” All highly rational thoughts…
Fight or flight, baby.
I stood up and thought, “This has gone poorly for me before, but I have to do something!” How many of you have ever tried to kill a bug on the ceiling? How many of you also know from experience that doing so is almost always like painting a ceiling? You end up with it on your face. There ain’t no way in Satan’s promised land that I’m allowing a spider to fall anywhere near my face. I hastily grabbed the closest thing that could spray him to his impending death. That thing was Lauren’s Off brand bug spray. It repells them right? So if I just douse it in spray, he’ll die right? RIGHT.
Beyoncé’s Drunk In Love had nothing on that spider. Drunk on insecticides was what he was singing. He got near enough to the ground, hanging by a thread [literally] and I knocked him with my sisters shoe to the ground and stepped on him. Naturally, my 4″ wedges were available to get him real good, but why use my shoes when I can use hers? [Sorry not sorry, Lo.]
As I sat back down, obviously super enthralled with myself that I just made that mission impossible for him, I thought, “man, what if that were how I interacted with sin in my heart and in my life?”
I recently began a John Piper sermon on suffering with Christ and had to stop it 20 minutes in because REAL TALK: It’s John Piper. I could spend a year reflecting on one 55 minute long sermon about my wicked and deceitful self in light of God’s glory. But the first 20 minutes of that sermon where on the “if you’re continuing in the faith…” John Piper talked about how we can know if we’re continuing in the faith by asking ourselves, “Do we hate our sin? Have we made peace with it or are we actively trying to kill our sin in faith and power of the Holy Spirit?”
I wrestled with that idea this morning because I’ve seen a few sin issues pop up in my heart: unforgiveness, comparison, people pleasing which is idolatry. And can I confess something? I haven’t sought an ounce as hard to put to death some of those “prettier sins” like I killed that spider earlier today. And you know what? That’s ugly.
That’s allowing the deceitfulness of sin to creep into my life and not take a stand against evil, darkness, and welcoming strain in my relationship with God. Hashtag ew. I, as a child of God, am to live redeemed, free from the bondage of sin. I am called to forsake my desires and ask God to fill me with His. I am to love my enemies, forgive graciously and abundantly when wronged. I am to walk in and out of everyday by His power and His Spirit. I am called to put to death the things of the flesh and shed light on sin because it has no place in God’s holy, righteous and glorious kingdom. Allowing it room in the corner of my heart to grow is submitting again to a yoke of slavery. And performance/people pleasing has got to be the heaviest yoke of all people.
I sat back down and continued journaling thanking God for that illustration (sorry PETA), confessing sin and asking God to help spur me on in continuing with him in the faith. Luckily, God has me in the book of Hebrews this season so I got a good scare (LOLZ) and really good application on how I can continue to be spurred on in my walk with him. I made a list of things I read today that I want to dive into in order to understand and know God more. Here’s that list!
- Learn more about God through studying the life of Jesus. Hebrews 1:3, “Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.”
- Ask God to reveal where I have drifted in my heart from the foundational truths of the gospel and preach the gospel to myself daily. Hebrews 2:1, “Therefore we must pay close attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”
- Submit all things under His lordship so that He can get glory and I can experience deeper trust in Him and greater freedom knowing He is in control. Hebrews 2:8, “…now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.”
- Ask God to search my heart to see where I am not trusting or believing God for His promises. Hebrews 3:12, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an unbelieving heart.”
- Abide in the word and allow it to pierce my heart where needed; it is living and active. Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
- Learn more about suffering and temptations of Christ to see better a Great High Priest who sympathizes with me and offers mercy and grace in my time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16 “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
That’s about it! Remembering that the battle against the flesh and sin will be until the day I die. It’s kind of a bummer knowing that the struggle is real, but it’s also kind of hopeful knowing who is on my side and that Christ partners with us. Putting to death sin cannot be done in my own strength. He gives us the Holy Spirit and the body to help us in combat. And for that I am thankful.
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13