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Kill the Spider by Carlos Whittaker: A Book Review

I can probably name the amount of times that I’ve sat around talking to another Christian about spiritual warfare. I’m not talking about the “there is bad in this world, but Jesus will overcome” kind of chats. I’m talking about the nitty, gritty conversations where the Devil doesn’t look so neat and tidy, where the darkness is darker than one can ever imagine. Talking about how to combat it? Say a prayer. Do good things. Hope for the best.

This response has always seemed to pale in comparison to the greatness of the God I serve. Really though, is there a “good” way to discuss spiritual warfare where it doesn’t seem like it should be relegated to October or set in a dark, moody, muted color palette like Stranger Things? If there is, Carlos Whittaker has discovered it. I think sometimes spiritual warfare is seen as something to do behind closed doors where no one can see the darkest of the darkest moments we have. Carlos is begging that we bring the light to that darkness.

Setting up this whole idea of a spider in your life creating cobwebs and generally wreaking havoc, is an incredible tale that his dad told him. (I’m already on board with this because I love stories from older generations.) As I’m sitting here currently, I can’t decide to let you in on the tale or to tell you to go buy it and read it for yourself. It’s in the very first chapter or two. It’s also here on Carlos’ podcast in Episode 001. Actually, go listen to him interview his dad. It’s an incredible story, and I loved being able to hear his dad audibly tell it. Once you’ve heard it though, let the power of it sink deep into your soul. It’s a tiny tale with a huge impact.

The Words That I Can’t Get Out Of My Head

Carlos is now off on a grand adventure to kill the spider instead of brushing away the cobwebs of his life. Picture your own cobwebs. You know the ones I’m referencing. It’s the habits you confront quickly, and they dissipate only for you to rediscover them a few weeks down the line. I get it. I’m right there with you. Social media comparison, I’m looking at you. (On a slightly other note, instagram, please enable a feature where I can remain following someone but don’t have to see their ‘glamorous’ life on my feed.) Carlos defines the spider itself as “an agreement with a lie you believe.” Brush the cobweb away and let that sink in.

There’s a few stories that I’m still digesting a few weeks after reading. There’s also a few quotes that have stood out. They’re the ones that I haven’t been able to shake no matter what I try. They’re the ones that when I dive back in, I’ll be digging into them and their influence in my life. I’ve listed them below. Hear these words straight from Carlos Whittaker himself:

“What can you silence in your busy life to increase the decibel level of the voice of God?”

“We will never kill our spiders with podcasts, seminars, conferences, conversations, leadership principles, devotional apps, Scripture tattoos, or killer Instagram images with motivational quotes on them. They are great and work for a moment—literally, one moment. But that stuff isn’t and wasn’t created to address the deeper needs. It won’t completely and totally change you from the inside out.”

“Everybody has spiders. It’s just nobody does anything about it until they come out of hiding.” Wow.

Write those down. Take them with you. Don’t just read and walk away. Let them influence your life.

Raw. Honest. Truth.

Those three words are the ones I can best describe my experience reading this. I felt like I was sitting at a close friends house as they told me with no bars held back about everything they’d been going through lately. It is refreshing. It is also heartbreaking. I saw myself all too much in Carlos’ words where I wish I hadn’t. His struggles with how he relates to God and wondering if he’s forgotten sound all too familiar. If I’m honest, it’s a little uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable in a good, strive towards a better life lived in His fullness kind of way.

Y’all, I am actively planning on rereading this already. I devoured it on my first read through and can’t wait to sit with it and dig deeper. I cannot express enough how much this book is a game-changer in spiritual warfare and actively living as a Christian instead of just brushing sin away like it’s now dealt with.

I’ve started compiling a list of quotes that I love, but really, how does one compile one of the most comprehensive daily prayers that I’ve ever read into a list of quotes. It’s pages long, absolutely breathtakingly beautiful and a necessity in a starting place of my own prayer life. Carlos’ wife, Heather, wrote it for them and their family, but I’ll be revising it and tailoring it for my family and posting it on a wall somewhere for us to pray daily. It is hands down one of the most heartfelt, beautifully written, seeping with love prayers that I’ve ever laid eyes on.

Seriously, I have all the love for this book and can’t wait to see the impact it has after its release on October 3. It’s my number 1 suggestion from my 2017 Fall Book list. In Carlos’ words, “Gaze at God. Glance at life.” Now, go preorder it, so you can get it next Tuesday!

[Full Disclosure: I am a member of Carlos’ Launch Team for Kill The Spider: Getting Rid of What’s Really Holding You Back. I have been asked to provide my honest opinion regarding this book in exchange for a free digital copy.]

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