I’m not into spiders at all. I know spiders can be helpful because they eat other insects, but generally I kill them when I see them inside or almost inside my home. But that is not what I’m writing about. This blog is a result of a Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast I listened to last week that featured contemporary Christian recording artist Carlos Whittaker talking about his new book, Kill The Spider. In the book Carlos honestly tells about how his porn addiction led to an emotional affair with another woman that nearly cost him his wife, his children, his ministry, really everything that mattered to him.
He shares a story his father told him just before Carlos left town for long-term in-patient therapy, hoping to be set free from his addiction. His father was an evangelist and during one revival a woman came to him three nights in a row to ask him to pray that God would remove the cobwebs from her life. After the third time, his father looked at the woman and said, “No, I will not pray that. You need to stop asking God to clean out the cobwebs. You need to kill the spider.” Carlos’ father said to him, “I’ve watched you clean out the cobwebs in your life for years. Now it’s time for you to kill the spider.”
So what does “killing the spider” really mean?
According to Carlos, a spider is any deep-seated issue that is the root cause of anxiety, fear, sin, or some other symptom. A spider could be a past hurt or a lie you believe. A cobweb is any medicator that brings false comfort to that issue. It’s anything you might use to feel better about yourself such as drugs, alcohol, or pornography. You can clear the cobwebs by treating the symptoms, but the cobwebs will keep coming back until you kill the spider by identifying and going after the real issue that is causing the symptoms. In Carlos’ case, he remembered during therapy that he was sexually abused as a very young child. That was the spider that kept spinning the sexual addiction cobweb in his life. He received the help he needed to deal with his past abuse, and now he is free from his addiction, his marriage has been restored (after an eight month separation), and he is once again active in ministry!
Now if you’re like me, identifying your spiders could be difficult.
Here are some suggestions Carlos makes for finding those spiders:
Counseling: Talk with someone who is trained to help you identify core issues. (Do you know Trinity can arrange on-site counseling for you with a certified Christian counselor at a deeply discounted hourly rate?)
Examine your Desires: What potentially destructive things do you find yourself doing to cover the pain you are feeling as a result of spiders?
Intimate Conversations With The Holy Spirit: He knows all there is to know about you. Ask Him to show you the deepest places of hurt in your life.
Ask People Who Love You and Know You Well: Make sure these are people who want the best for you; your spouse, parents, close friends, pastors, and group leaders.
How do I kill the spider once I’ve identified it? Carlos gives three simple steps:
Confess The Lie, Past Hurt, Or Deep-Seated Issue: Expose it to the light of the Lord’s authority and grace.
Reject The Lie, Past Hurt, Or Deep-Seated Issue: Reject it in Jesus’ name. Take away its power over you.
Replace It With Jesus’ Truth: Truth is, His grace is greater than any sin, pain, hurt, abuse, or defining circumstance in our lives. Truth is, He is for us and He is able to set us free from any sin, obstacle, emotional distress, or painful past experience. He has absolute authority over any spider, no matter how big and hairy it might be!
Let’s stop messing with cobwebs, and let’s go after the spiders in our lives before they cause bigger problems than we ever dreamed. Grab a shoe. We’re going on a spider hunt!
Need Help With Spiders? Check out these resources:
Join A Group
Joining a Group is a great way to connect with others and do life together. If you are interested in finding the right group for you click here
It Hurts To Lose Someone. Find Help At GriefShare.
GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone.
Find help and healing for the hurt of separation and divorce
DivorceCare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. Don’t go through separation or divorce alone.
Talk with someone.
Trinity offers professional counseling. If you are interested in talking with someone, please call the church office at 336-585-0605.