One of the crazy things we struggle with in our modern world is to what extent should we intervene in the lives of others? There are too many folks who seem to stick their noses into other people’s business who have no right to do so. Then there’s the polar opposite where folks should intervene, but fail to do anything.
I was watching a news clip this past week that showed two men attacking a guy in a New York City subway. They started hitting him, and when he fell down, both guys started stomping on his head. It was brutal. Someone was taking a video of the event. Two people stood a couple of feet away watching the whole attack. It hit me that at least three people were recording or watching, and no one helped the man being attacked. There are times when we are in trouble, and we need someone to intervene.
Many of us have had friends, family members, neighbors, or co-workers who were in trouble. Maybe they made some bad decisions about a relationship, about money, or about how to manage their pain and hurt. Their bad choices led them to a place of real danger causing more suffering and harm. Someone needed to intervene to help them change course and direction. Interventions are hard because so often the person hurting is blind about their addiction or bad choices, or are in denial that they have a problem. When we try to intervene and help, we are often pushed away.
The fact is, we all need an intervention. We all need God to intervene and save us from the power of sin that wants to destroy us. We are all sinners. We all live in a world where we are surrounded by the temptations of sin and can’t escape sin’s power. We all have issues, bad habits, hang up, addictions, and hurts that cause us to do things we hate doing. The sin in and around us also keeps us from doing what we know we should do. There are times we wonder if we’ll ever change. Can we change? The answer is yes, but only with God’s intervention.
This Sunday, we’ll start a new series called Intervention. Are you ready for a change? Have you been stuck in something that you want to stop? Is there something you know you need to start doing that should be a consistent part of your life? Is your past continuing to sabotage your present? Do you have an addiction? Often we are blind or in denial about the stuff in us which traps us. Sometimes we need an intervention to help us recognize what’s enslaving us so we can find freedom. God is always ready to intervene to help free us from our captivity. God has shown us the way to freedom. In one way or another, we all need God’s intervention in our lives. Join us in July for this incredible series of hope. Invite others who also need an intervention by God.
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Today is Halloween. Our life group, along with many other groups in our church, are doing what we’ve called the “Halloween Challenge”. Years ago, I challenged our church to make a difference on Halloween. We are serving our neighborhood on this night that has been a bit awkward for Christians. We are not celebrating evil or the devil for sure. Rather than run from or try to hide from the “holiday”, we are choosing to engage with people. Our group will be giving away hot dogs, drinks, candy, and this year, we are adding a hayride. We’ve found serving in this way is a great way to engage and connect with people and have the possibility of opening up spiritual conversations.
Several houses around us have decorated for the day with spider webs. What’s interesting to me is that you see these massive cobwebs, but you rarely see the fake spider! But that’s the way life is; we see cobwebs all the time, but rarely see the one who made the sticky, messy web.
Sunday we are beginning a three-week series called Kill the Spider. I got the idea from a book I read earlier this year with the same title by Carlos Whittaker. Spiders and their cobwebs are a great metaphor for the spiritual struggle we all face.
Do you struggle with bad habits, sin and personal junk that never seems to go away, messes up your life, and those in it? Maybe it’s constant worry, anxiety or fear. Maybe it’s the need to medicate away the pain of the struggle which manifests as an addiction like porn, overeating, drugs or alcohol. Maybe it shows up in things like anger, isolation, or the various ways we seem to continually sabotage relationships. Maybe it’s the constant effort to change by reading self-help books, attending classes or conferences. Maybe it’s an obsession with how we look, wanting others to like and affirm us, or the tendency to be codependent.
These things are like cobwebs. We keep trying to clean them out, but they come right back sooner or later. Why? Because in order to get rid of the cobwebs, we need to kill the spider that is making them.
We have to kill the spider! The spiders in our lives are the lies from the Evil One that we believe and agree with. The lies of the Devil will cause us to act in ways that we know are not good for us nor will they honor God. These lies create spiritual cobwebs that we and others see. But behind them is the real problem: the spider-lies.
When we are willing to identify the spider-lie in us, it is then, and only then, that we can finally replace the lies with God’s truth. We don’t kill spiritual spiders with insecticide. We kill the spider and find freedom by replacing the lie with God’s truth. We live by that truth. Jesus said that the truth is what sets us free (John 8:32). God’s truth allows us to really live and thrive, free of the cobwebs that are so despised.
Join us the next three weeks for this incredible series and teaching. Join us each week if you are wanting to experience freedom or know someone who needs to be free from their cobwebs. This is a great series to invite others to join you. Carlos Whittaker will be with us on Sunday, November 18th. You won’t want to miss his message or the series.