Have you ever walked through your garage or house and all of a sudden a cobweb gets tangled in your hair? I am sure it has happened to all of us at some point, right? It’s frustrating, gross, worrisome, and hard to get out.
Last week, while I was arranging boxes in our garage, I noticed in the corner there were a bunch of cobwebs and daddy long legs. A few months beforehand, I had cleaned up the area and now it’s back to being infested with these spiders. If you don’t clean with persistence, this is bound to happen.
Even better, have you ever taken the daring initiative to clean the top of your ceiling fan? You and I both know that if you don’t clean it in a while, dust particles continue to aggregate. So you get a wet rag or duster and see all the residue of skin cells that you allowed to accumulate over a long period of time.
This image can relate to our spiritual lives. If not careful and diligent, Christians can allow “sinful dust” to accumulate in our hearts and minds.
If we are not reading God’s word, attending church, praying for our family and friends, we can wake up one day with cobwebs and dust all around. You may literally have to dust off your Bible for failure to reading God’s word.Tweet
Scripture informs us in 2 Thessalonians 3:13: “As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.” This means that we can grow weary, tired, lazy, and indifferent to growing in our spiritual relationship with God. When we give up and pause our sanctification, dust and cobwebs show up. It prevents us from doing what is good, right, noble, and true–serving the living God.
Moreover, this dust in the spiritual world can be pride, arrogance, lust, greed, etc. Apart from the grace of God, all of us can be tempted to allow the carnal man or woman to creep back into our lives. This is why Paul exclaims to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12) because he knows our natural propensity towards sin can stunt our spiritual growth.
The past few years have been difficult. I have allowed dust and cobwebs to gather in my heart, mind, and soul. My relationship with God succumbed to the fleeting pleasures of this world rather than in worshipping Christ. Consequently, I grew tired and weary. I lost my joy in the Lord and began to doubt his goodness. I stopped writing consistently because I truly believed God did not call me to be an evangelist.
Don’t allow this to happen to you. Heed to the infallible words of 1 Corinthians 15:58: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always bounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
A decade ago, while I was attending seminary (wow, can’t believe it’s been that long), a few of us students would preach the gospel at a local university in Louisville. Most of our feedback from the students were negative and confrontational. It felt like we were wasting our times and should just give up and stop preaching Jesus.
But then, we met a man who was convicted by the Holy Spirit. He was living in sin and left the church a few years back. His grandmother told him he was called to be a pastor someday. So he wanted us to pray for him to get back on the narrow path that leads to life. After we prayed, he attended church with us the following week.
Our labor was not in vain! That young man we met ten years ago is still at the same church, even though we have all left. Not only is he at the church, but is on staff as the Pastor to College and Young Adults at the same local university we were preaching at! Isn’t that an amazing testimony to the grace and goodness of God?
Therefore, do not grow weary in doing good. Do not believe your labor is in vain. Strive to be steadfast in the Lord. And in God’s perfect timing, He will make all things right. Romans 8:28 exclaims: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
The devil wants you to give up and allow the cobwebs and dust to consume you. He tricks your mind into believing you are worthless, without hope, and should remain on the shelf to be collected by dust. But God wants you to get off that shelf, to wipe off the dust, and strive to live with purpose and joy in mind.
1 John 4:4 tells us, “He that is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” God is infinitely more powerful than the temptations of this world. Jesus has provided for us his righteousness when he died on the cross for our sins. God the Father has promised us the gift of the Holy Spirit, which teaches, rebukes, and encourages us to grow in holiness and conform each day into the image of God.
So what should we do from this point forward? First, repent of our sins. Jesus told us to repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand (Matt. 3:2). This word repentance comes from the Greek word that translates into English as transformation. It’s a complete change, from one direction to another.
Second, trust in the Lord. The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths (Prov. 3:5-6).”
When we repent and trust in God, He will guide us to the narrow road that leads to life. This life will eradicate the cobwebs and dust, transforming us more into the image of Christ. Praise be to God!
Article written by Chad A. Damitz (Master of Divinity, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)