O God, Kill the Spider
"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."1
One Sunday our pastor told an interesting story and, had it not been serious, it would have been funny. He told about a fellow in a support group who for months on end kept praying about a personal problem but never did anything about it. Week after week he would pray with seemingly great conviction, "Oh God, clean the cobwebs out of my life … clean the cobwebs out of my life!"
Finally, in utter frustration the leader of the group broke into the man's prayer and prayed rather boisterously, "Oh God, KILL THE SPIDER!"
I can identify with this leader in that I, too, know of people who have been confessing the same sin and/or problem for years, asking God for deliverance but never doing anything about it. True, God feeds the sparrows but as the old saying goes, he doesn't throw the food into their nests.
If we are struggling with a besetting sin or bad habit, what can we do about it? Certainly pray and ask God for deliverance but also pray that He will show us the root cause of our problem because, more often than not, our repetitive failures are the fruit of a deeper root. God not only wants to deliver us from habitual sins but also free us from the deeper root cause. Also, we need to ask God to lead us to the help we need to overcome whether it be an AA Group, some other kind of recovery group, a counselor, a pastor or whatever help we need. And then we need to do something about finding that help. As we do our part, God will do His, but He won't do for us what we can and are able to do for ourselves. For us to do less is an avoidance of personal responsibility.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You have already done for me what I couldn't do for myself in that You gave your Son, Jesus, to die for and free me from a life of sin and failure. Please help me to see the root cause of my besetting sin or problem [name it] and help me to find the help I need to overcome. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV).