It was just as I jumped into the car Sunday and headed home after church that I first noticed my new friend.
He was positioned squarely in front of my steering wheel defiantly clinging to the lifeline that I assumed had brought him to the windshield of my Malibu.
He won’t last long, I thought. I figured that as soon as I get onto the highway this ole boy’s gone! But there he was, still holding tight with the determination of a champion and very little effort it seemed.
Now allow me a moment to interject that I do not like spiders in the least… anywhere, any time… I just don’t like spiders! Let me also share that he was big enough to give me the willies and were it not for the windshield that separated us I would have had that (hair standing up on the back of my neck) feeling immediately.
There was something however that seemed a little odd as he effortlessly clung to his single strand of hope. This bothered me so that I decided to end the contest with a blast of windshield washer fluid and a few swipes of the washer blades.
Then it happened almost instantaneously as I realized watching the wiper blades swing from left to right and old Mr. spider still hanging there. Wait just a minute… THE SPIDER’S ON THE INSIDE OF MY CAR! Yes, that was I pulling my car quickly to the side of US 23 south of Circleville Sunday and dancing the two-step!
So after I calmed down and UN-friended my little stowaway I wondered, what are we letting in our lives? What has placed itself right before our eyes that over time we have just grown so accustomed to that it no longer concerns us?
Many years ago a man named Paul wrote to some very good friends of his and gave them some pointed advice on what to seek after and what to avoid.
What to put on and what to put away. Listen to his words, “and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.” Paul says in essence, here’s the life you can live, here’s the life God wants you to live but what ever you do, don’t allow the devil to guide you or influence you in any way. In fact, never give him place at all in your life!
One paraphrase passionately pleads, “Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.” The Greek language makes it clear that we must choose whether or not to yield territory in our hearts to the devil. You see, we have a choice: We can choose to “give the enemy place” in our minds and emotions, or we can choose to walk in the Spirit.
Dale Hayes in “Leadership” writes, “On a recent trip to Haiti, I heard a Haitian pastor illustrate to his congregation the need for total commitment to Christ. His parable: A certain man wanted to sell his house for $2,000.
Another man wanted very badly to buy it, but because he was poor, he couldn’t afford the full price. After much bargaining, the owner agreed to sell the house for half the original price with just one stipulation: He would retain ownership of one small nail protruding from just over the door.
After several years, the original owner wanted the house back, but the new owner was unwilling to sell. So the first owner went out, found the carcass of a dead dog, and hung it from the single nail he still owned. Soon the house became unlivable, and the family was forced to sell the house to the owner of the nail. The Haitian pastor’s conclusion: “If we leave the Devil with even one small peg in our life, he will return to hang his rotting garbage on it, making it unfit for Christ’s habitation.”
Small things matter much. Give no place to the devil for he has no place in your life. You were not created by him or for him, but by and for God. I heard a preacher say once, “You know the Devil is like an old stray cat, that if allowed to stay around the house will potentially by and by be on the back porch and if allowed to stay on the back porch will by and by potentially be allowed in the den, then if allowed in the den will potentially find acceptance in the living room and by and by having found no resistance in any other areas he will find his way to the foot of you bed probably with the Pillow in mind.”
So, how do you see it? Anything inside that should be taken out?
Throckmorton is the pastor at Crossroads Church in Circleville.