Lesson from a Spider's Web

During my walk, I felt a prompting in my heart to go stand on this small piece of concrete slab sitting under a tree and to pray for the people that I’d seen during the walk.  As I headed in a straight line to the slab, I ran directly into an unseen spider web.

You have to understand that all along the walk I had seen at least 10 different spider webs.  Orb weavers have this talent for setting up their delicate netting in obtrusive places literally overnight.  All along the way, they’d been perfectly visible and easily avoided.  Then when I set out to go to a specific spot that I felt a prompting to go to, I run right into a giant web.

Of course, being a female, I freaked out a little bit.  Ran my hands through my hair and got the stringy, sticky goop out.  I thanked God that the spider was still scurrying around the unbroken portion of the web on the tree branch, likely lamenting its breakage.  But even more, I felt my heart sink.  I felt like it was a small failure on my part.  That maybe the prompting didn’t come from God, since the path wasn’t perfectly cleared of all obstacles.

Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:14 NKJV

Immediately, my thoughts received correction.  Jesus warned us that the way is difficult. When has anything great come easy?  If Christians go about feeling like every problem in the path signifies a bad direction, we’d stay in bed under the covers! 

So I shrugged off my initial shudder and obediently stood on the concrete block to pray.  But it got me thinking, how can we know what is a prompting from God and not a desire of our own making?

  1. What would I gain by doing what my heart prompted?  If the answer is nothing, than you can be more certain that it’s not a selfish one.
  2. Does the prompting align with what I know about God?  If the prompting asks you to do something you know God would never ask, then you can be sure it’s not from Him.
  3. Will others gain from my obedience?  If the answer is yes, it is much more likely that He ordained it.
  4. Would Satan have a motive to stop me from being obedient in this?

For my prompting in this venture, I had nothing to gain.  God would want me to pray, and others would gain from my intercession for them.  And yes, Satan has a motive to stop me.  So in this particular instance I was right in continuing to be obedient even though an obstacle blocked my way. 

We all wish God would remove every obstacle from our path, but sometimes the obstacles are there to help us to grow stronger.  I pray that I will be obedient when a bigger obstacle arrives.

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