Over the past couple of weeks I have talked about Seeking God and my July Challenge. Mainly one thing that I have been working on is eliminating distractions. I strongly believe that distractions are one of the devil’s tactics to get us Christians off course.
In today’s culture we have so many things coming at us – texts, emails, alerts, phone calls, instant messages, social media posts, etc. It can be overwhelming. It is wonderful that we can use technology to stay in touch with loved ones who live hundreds of miles away. But technology has also created a lot of distractions in our lives. You cannot go anywhere without seeing people who are glued to their phones. If you are driving in the car, you will see other drivers scrolling through Instagram posts while at a traffic light. If you go to a restaurant, you will see people at other tables scrolling on their phones as they wait for their food.
The world can distract us in many other ways, as well. Some people use alcohol or drugs to distract themselves from life. Others use shopping to give themselves momentary happiness. We often let other people influence us, which can be a distraction as well. There’s also television, video games, and so much more.
With all these distractions, we have less time to focus on the things that matter – God and our families. Could it be that we missed out on a meaningful conversation with our loved ones because we were too busy looking at Pinterest? Could it be that we missed something that God wanted to tell us because we were too distracted with a Netflix binge?
Some of these things are not necessarily bad things. It is essential to have a little down time in our lives. But I do feel that the world today does too much of these things, and misses out on so much of real life!
This is how Jennie Allen put it: “So if I were your enemy, I would make you numb and distract you from God’s story. Technology, social media, Netflix, travel, food, comfort. I would not tempt you with notably bad things, or you would get suspicious. I would distract you with everyday comforts that slowly feed you a different story and make you forget God. Then you would dismiss the Spirit leading you, loving you, and comforting you. Then you would start to love comfort more than surrender, and obedience and souls.” (Proven by Jennie Allen © 2017.)
I, for one, feel so strongly about this that I often hold fasts from these things. As I talked about in my last post, I tried to cut back significantly on these things during the month of July. It is also a normal practice for me during Lent. And on the Sabbath I try to stay off all of those things completely.
When I get to the end of my life, I would hate it if God showed me how much I missed out on because I was too distracted.
What joy overwhelms everyone who keeps the ways of God, those who seek him as their heart’s passion! – Psalm 119:2 TPT
This reminds me of the Israelites in the desert. They were distracted by a negative report from ten men and missed the positive report from two men. As a result they remained in the desert forty years longer than necessary. And the two men who gave the positive report (Joshua and Caleb) were the only two adults that made it into the Promised Land. Sadly, the rest died in the desert.
Could it be that we too will miss out on a promise or a gift from God because we allowed something else to take our focus?
Now that my July challenge is over, I do not want to forget what I learned. I do not want to fall back into a life of distraction. I want to hold tightly to the Lord and hold everything else loosely in my hands. He should be our number one priority – always. Let us look up, keep our focus on our Lord and Savior, and lay down the things that keep us from His best.
Heavenly Father, I pray that You help us to open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts today. Help us to see the things You want us to see. Help us to hear what You are trying to tell us. And help our hearts to always remain tethered to You. We know that satan wants to keep us distracted from the path You have for us. But we are taking a stand. We will not allow the enemy to get a foothold in our lives. Please give us the strength we need to cling to You – every moment of every day. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
© 2020 Bridget A. Thomas