This weekend, Tim, Brent, Melissa, and me and Kristy took the youth group to Fallfest at King’s Island. The theme was “Web of Lies.” It was all about how easy it can be for us to get caught up in the lies of Satan and the world about what it means to be successful, wealthy, popular, and happy.
When I go to these things as a “chaperone” I usually find that maybe I get just as much out of it spiritually than the kids do. A lot of the sermons were things that hit right at home in my heart and it really helped me to see that maybe I’ve been caught up in some webs—more frankly that I wear a mask sometimes.
Everybody wears a mask at some point or another. The myriad of reasons that we do are almost innumerable. We want that group of friends to like us, so we don’t talk about Jesus. We want to get that big promotion so we “bend” our ethics a bit. We want to be “happy” so we strive to get higher paying jobs, larger houses, faster cars, and more electronics. Having status is something we strive to do. We strive to be better than everyone else at something (s).
Think of it as kind of a spider web. When a fly or moth gets caught in the spider’s web, they view it as a “minor inconvenience.” They don’t know that they’ve just landed on their grave. The struggle and fight and flap to get free, only getting tired. After fighting they’re exhausted and realize that they’ve actually become “more stuck” than they were at first as they tried to fight free. Eventually, they’ve been in the web long enough that they realize it is going to be easier if they just hang there…and that’s when a big spider comes…it wraps them up and then what was a minor aggravation is now a death sentence.
People aren’t much different. We get caught in an addiction—it’s something we know is wrong, but we indulge more and more. We get taken by shady business practice and taste sweet “success.” We get in a relationship that pushes the boundaries and like how it feels. We see how popular we can be without talking about church stuff and Jesus—and we get a lot of friends.
Fast-forward a few weeks, months, or years. That addiction has consumed everything, including your soul. It’s like being dehydrated and drinking salt water. You think you’re satisfied only to need more and more. Maybe you’re sitting in your brand new office on the top floor of a skyscraper downtown, and you realize that you’ve made some bad deals, bent the law, broken policies to get there and crushed people, maybe even your family underfoot while climbing the corporate ladder. That relationship that you were in ended a long time ago, but you find yourself repeating it over and over—same thing, different people and nowhere closer to happiness. Those “friends” turned on you, led you down roads you thought you’d labeled forbidden and now you’re alone. Sound familiar?
It’s familiar because its our story. Its how we are. However, God, who is ever-loving, merciful, and patient with us doesn’t want it to be that way. If only we could get out of the web and to the cross! Christ came and tore off the web, removed the scales from our eyes, and gave us a life more abundant, more joyful, and more exciting than we’ll ever be able to match. More often than not we’re wearing a mask that Jesus removed but we put back on. Now is the time to take off the mask and be the person God created you to be.
My challenge for you this week is to ask God where you’re caught in the “web” at. Identify it, and then ask him to help you leave it behind. It won’t be easy—the enemy will make sure of that. However, nothing worth having ever came easy did it? Let Jesus be Jesus—He’s the hero and the Savoir—not you. Just something to think about. – Scott