Are You Distracted
Pay Attention! Hey, I’m Talking to You! If you’re like me, from the moment I open my eyes in the morning I seem to loose my focus. My mind begins reviewing all the “To Do’s” of my day. To be honest if I allow it to, it will take me on a roller coaster ride throughout my whole day. Sometimes my day starts out like this... Coffee! I need some coffee! Why am I so tired? Coffee! Ah!!! Yes! Coffee!! Okay, now what was I going to do? Oh yeah, continue reading that chapter in my Bible, and my morning devotion...Wait a minute, Where’s my phone? Huh? Wow! I had that many Facebook messages? Something must be going on. I’d better read those first. A Hurricane in Florida? Oh my gosh! It’ll just take a minute, God and I’ll get back to my reading, I just need to turn on the news and see what’s going on. Maybe I should call some of my friends and check to see if they’re okay? Did I already drink that coffee? (Phone rings!)...Another telemarketer, seriously? I’d better check my email and see if they responded yet...I need another cup of coffee, I didn’t even taste the first one. (PopUp Message) Oh, look who’s Birthday it is today, I’ll just send them a Birthday wish before I forget. (scrolling, scrolling) Oh my gosh! Look at the time. I’ve got to take a shower and get dressed I have a meeting in 45 minutes. It sounded like I was all over the place, didn’t it? I couldn’t focus long enough to complete a single task. The result, Chaos! Does this sound like one of your days? (Spiritual warfare doesn’t always look like a fight in fact sometimes we may not even realize our spiritual life is under attack) Are You Distracted? Are You Distracted? Trust me I know, I am. It seems we are just inundated everyday with emails, phone calls, messages, sounds, TV’s, shopping, traffic, etc. It’s easy to do nowadays, to be distracted. So many things in life can take our attention away from what God wants for us. Our busy schedules, social media, financial problems, the news with threats of terrorism and war, global warming. Oh and don’t forget our own personal dramas throughout the week, doctors appointments, dealing with difficult people, and on and on and on. But it's not just life's external distractions. It’s our internal distractions too! Our insecurities, feelings of loneliness, anger, bitterness, and fear of rejection, these are just a few distractions that rob us! And can destroy us, if we allow them to. Subtle Distractions of the enemy are one of Satan’s most lethal secret weapons. Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t always recognize Satan’s methods. Distracting us from spending time in God’s Word is so subtle that just as the fog begins to clear, It’s when we experience an “aha” moment, and that’s when we realize that Satan has struck again! He’s a robber and a thief, that’s when we realize what he has just done again...robbed us of our time with the Father and hopefully that’s when we finally turn our attention back to God. We need to keep our focus on the prize. Paul encourages us to press on toward the goal in his letter to the Philippians 3:13-15 it is written, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have [a]apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.” Nehemiah’s Example In one example, if we look back over the Scriptures, we are reminded of how Nehemiah was called by God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Every time he and his fellow workers were getting close to completing their goal, Are You Distracted? Nehemiah’s enemies would attempt to distract Nehemiah from his focus, to rebuild the wall. Now it happened when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks left in it (though at that time I had not hung the doors in the gates), that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me saying, “Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they thought to do me harm. So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” But they sent me this message four times, and I answered in the same manner. (Nehemiah 6:1-4) But, Nehemiah was too focused on doing the work which God had called him to do to be distracted. So he answered over and over that he could not be distracted from his work for God. If you’re like me, probably after the second or third time, we might have questioned ourselves and thought, “Sure, I can take a break.” Really! Because I don’t believe we are able to recognize the enemies methods. I am not sure I would have been able to recognize the “Red Flags” that were there and the real dangers, or that this distraction was attempting to rob me of my goal. Satan wants to keep his subtle devices hidden. Let’s face it he’s good at it. The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 2:11, “lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” Distract the Distractor Is your cell phone chirping, beeping, or it’s silenced and the phone continues to vibrate, But you’ve just sat down to eat dinner with the family, and instead of you focusing on your family you’re distracted again...I wonder who’s texting me, you respond to yourself... Do you realize how frustrated Satan would be if every time he attempted to use a “distraction,” such as stealing our time from being in the Word and reading our Bible, or He tries preventing us from spending time in prayer and talking with God; or enjoying quality time with our kids; or looking at our Are You Distracted? phones while on a date with our spouse...What if we countered his attempts by responding,”Not now!” and we recall what Nehemiah said over and over... “I am doing a great work (project/priority) so that I cannot go down.” Make a promise today that you will not be distracted. Will you be a person of purpose? Will you focus and claim your victory over distractions and use the gifts God has created you use for His Glory? What about your relationships with others? Are we developing our relationships for Christ or are the distractions in life causing us to distance ourselves from others and harming our relationships? Are we helping and serving others or are we following our own selfish desires and ambitions? The bottom line is that we do not have time to waste our lives on distractions. We are living in the last days. God's timetable is continually moving forward for the world. Knowing this should always brings us back to Jesus and what he has done for us. What are His priorities? Ask yourself this question...Is this distraction taking me away from my time with Jesus? Is it distracting me from His purpose for my life? Is it preventing me from fulfilling the Great Commission? Remember...Satan doesn’t always have to tempt us to cause us to sin, sometimes all he has to do is just distract us from God’s purpose for us. Fight the Good Fight!
Blessings, Pastor Don