Get rid of the spider!
Like most people in our part of the world, we have a lot of trouble with spiders around our house; though unwanted by Gale and I, those pesky, albeit industrious little creatures, like building webs under the overhead of our front porch, around the windows and in the corners of rooms.
We do not simply ignore them—we try to get rid of them and the results of their work–, but, as you have probably noticed, those little creatures can rebuild a web overnight, making combating them a continual engagement.
I recall visiting an office once and noticing an ugly spider web at the bottom of a cabinet; it was otherwise a delightfully clean and neat office, but that web was really unsightly.
I mentioned it to one of the ladies that works there and she told me that she has removed the spider web many times, but it keeps coming back. As our conversation about that stubborn web continued, we both agreed on how to solve the problem: in order to get rid of the web for good, the spider doing the building has to be done away with. It was a case in which the source of the problem had to be taken care of in order to achieve lasting relief.
My purpose is not to give a presentation on spider control or web elimination, but it is in order to use the spider and its persistence in building webs in our homes and offices as a reminder of how Satan wants to keep causing problems in our lives because of his nasty and deceptive sinful tactics. In order to live lives that are consistently victorious over temptation and sin, we must do more than deal with the outward symptoms of sin. We must allow God to reach to the core of our hearts and deal with the real problem. Unfortunately, too often we choose to deal with sin on the surface as we try to hide its effects, while failing to surrender our hearts to God for real and lasting victory.
Genesis 3 gives the account of the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Immediately after rebelling against God by doing the one thing that He had told them not to do, they knew that they were in the wrong. “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves” (Genesis 3:7, New International Version). Not only did they try to make their own coverings after they sinned, they also attempted to hide from God (verse 8), and sought to blame others for what they had chosen to do (verses 12-13).
The attempts of Adam and Eve to dodge the consequences of their sin by trying to take care of it on their own did not work for them, neither will our vain attempts to hide or justify our sins work today. We must deal with our sins as King David did as he cried out to God for restoration: “Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:2,10).
David understood that getting rid of the web would not suffice—he knew he had to get rid of the spider if he was to have lasting peace with God. The same holds true for us today.