Caught in the Web: Getting Free*

caught in the web

Look carefully! Can you see it? A perfectly formed circular spider web hanging across a path, suspended by a thread! Th is is the amazing sight that my friend Penny and I happened upon early one morning as we were walking down some little-traveled paths in a wooded area in my neighborhood. Here was one spider who was serious! She was ready to get a good catch that day!

There was a period of insecurity in my life when I was a good catch in a craftily constructed web—not made by earthly designs but that of the Father of Lies (John 8:44). It started out with a series of real, and perhaps imagined, rejections which then developed into a lie. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I had recognized it for what it was, but I didn’t. And so I embraced it as truth and struggled for many years.

Believing the lie caused me much emotional pain, along with fear and confusion. It influenced my behavior. And it even started to poison other relationships and areas of my life. Finally, by the time I recognized it as a lie, I was so bound up in it that I couldn’t get free.

I prayed. I cried. I tried to act against it. I attempted the mental mind games. I asked my praying friends to pray. I asked my husband to pray. All in vain! Until one day, I was reading and meditating in the little book of Colossians, preparing to teach it for the third time. (I’m a slow learner!)

I read, “[Since] you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God … For you have died, life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1, 3 NASB, emphasis added).

All of a sudden, the Spirit of God brought the lie to my mind, and with it came this realization:

Wait a minute! I died to that lie!

That very moment, the power of the lie was broken in my experience! Here I had been begging and pleading for the Lord to do something that he had already done through the cross of Christ and my union with him. But I had not recognized it by faith in my particular situation. Once I did, everything changed! I was set free from the fear, confusion, and the agonizing emotions that the lie had produced in me.

You may ask me how I knew that this was true. I remembered our little scriptural word with (sun) and the truths in the Scriptures.

When Christ died, I died with him.
When Christ was buried, I was buried with him!
When Christ was raised, I was raised with him to newness of life!

And what did I die to?

I died to sin (Rom. 6:3–14; Eph. 2:1–7; 2 Cor. 5:21; Col. 2:13).
I died to self (Rom. 6:6; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:9–10).
I died to the flesh (Rom. 6:2, 6, 11; Gal. 6:24).
I died to the world (Col. 2:8; Gal. 6:14).
I died to the Law, to-do list religion (Rom. 7:4, 6; Gal. 3:13, 24–25).
I died to the powers of Satan, whose main tactics are deception (lies) and accusation (Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14–15; Rev. 12:9; 20:3, 8).

So now when that nasty lie and other accusations and condemnations rear their ugly heads, I say,

Wait a minute! I died to that!

And I’m alive, united with my risen Savior—adequate in and through him to be what he has made me to be in this situation. (See Phil. 3:13–14.)

For Your Study and Reflection

What lies, accusations, expectations, and condemnations are you struggling with today, child of God?
What besetting sin has a grip on you?
What selfish desires and self-focus harass your soul?

1. Look at the verses above that connect to that struggle. Write out the verses in your journal. Read and meditate on the truth that sets you free, because I’m here to tell you, on the basis of the Word of God, you died to all of that! And now you live to walk in newness of zoe life because of the One you are united with in his fullness!

2. Journal your thoughts, prayers, and thanksgiving.

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it … See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you.
—Colossians (3:1–4 MSG, emphasis added

* If you missed the previous blog post, click here "How NOT to See & Hear God"

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If you were helped by this post, you may want to take a look at the book, The With-ness of our God: Relationship in Every Dimension. This post and the next ("The Day of Reckoning") are excerpts of chapter 4.
Look at the page above "With-ness of our God" for more information.