“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:13-14
God is working in amazing ways in you right now! I am truly excited! He is making you more and more like His Son. Romans 8:29 tells us that God created us to be like His son: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.”
I want to encourage you, even as you get up and prepare for the day, God is going to continue to work in and through you—keep moving forward. One day at a time! Encourage someone else along your path, knowing that God placed them there for a reason. Remember that what we might see as an inconvenience, God sees as an opportunity! Embrace it today!
Our word of focus today is “distraction”! I think it’s pretty amazing that of all of the words that the Lord wants us to FOCUS on, we are looking at DISTRACTION (those things that keep us from focusing)
How many of us create plans for the day? I do! Both of my hands are raised high! I am up writing early this morning, and I have a plan set out for things that I want to get done. I am fully aware of the fact that some of those things will not get done today because of distractions that I will encounter. Now, some of those distractions are Holy Distractions. They allow me the chance to rest, repent, be restored, and experience Christ on an entirely different level. Those are great distractions. But what about the other kind?
As I sit here writing, my mind has been wandering. My thoughts have been cluttered. My emotions have been all over the place. In just the short amount of time that I have been up, I have gone in and out of focusing on what God wants to do in and through me today several times. So, let’s define what a distraction is.
A distraction is “a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else”. The word comes from the Latin dis-, “apart,” and trahere, “drag.” A distraction is something that drags you away from what you were doing. The implication is that this isn’t something that we willingly happens!
A distraction can be anything: a person walking in the room, a hunger pain, a clock ticking on the wall, a dog scratching his head, someone breathing heavy, “A squirrel”. A distraction is simply anything that pulls our eyes off of the goal or the person in front of us. In and of themselves, they are not bad things. They are simply tools that can force us to change course. One important fact to note about distractions is that they often times reveal what we love. Our attention or focus often settles in on what matters most to us.
Can you think of Biblical characters who were distracted?
1. Sampson— “After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him.[c]And his strength left him.” Judges 16:19
2. David–In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 11:1
3. Eve—”When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked;” Genesis 3:6-7
4. Martha– But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”
Luke 10:40
As believers in Christ, we experience distractions all of the time. Anything that might pull us away from our time with God, or seeking His purpose for our lives, or embracing the path He has for us is a distraction. Even right now, some of us are thinking about what we have to do when we finish reading the challenge this morning. We are wondering if this will be a short writing or a long one. We are even wondering what day we are in on this 40 day challenge (we are on day 32). Distractions happen all of the time and in so many ways.
The Bible tells us that distractions are a reality that we all face:
This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 7:35
In a world that is clearly filled with distractions, how do we respond? It’s as if we are conditioned to distractions, because they happen all of the time. There is no sense of developing a gift of focus or self-control (although self-control is part of the fruits of the spirit that we should be developing). Instead, there is the constant barrage of change and rethinking that has our mind on constant overload.
Distractions will impact us in three different ways:
1. It will attack our identity and force us to question who we are in Christ. This can lead to doubts and feelings of despair.
2. It will speed us up or slow us down. Our pace in life and in our relationship with Christ will be drastically impacted. We become impatient, either wanting things to happen sooner than God desires, or waiting longer than we should, and hesitating when He is leading us to move forward.
3. It will present you with an imitation. Remember that the devil is always trying to imitate God. This imitation might come as a new job, or relationship, or opportunity. So how can you tell if it’s an imitation? Remember, this distraction will always come with a compromise, like taking a job or being in a relationship that moves you farther away from God.
There are 2 things we can do to work through distractions:
1. Focus.
The Bible tell us in Prov. 4:25—” Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.”
Be intentional about everything that you do, from spending time in prayer to getting groceries at the store. Always keep Christ at the forefront.
2. Evaluate.
Earlier, I mentioned the concept of Holy Distractions. Those are distractions that God intentionally puts in our path. So, we have to wonder, how do you tell the difference? Here is the one question that I ask, when faced with understanding the distractions in front of me– “Is this distraction bringing me or someone near me right now, closer to Christ, or farther away?” If the answer to that is closer, then it is a Holy Distraction– EMBRACE it. If the answer is farther away, then come back to the vision God has given you and keep moving forward.
• Set aside some time to simply be in the presence of Christ again. Don’t be distracted by anything else. Focus on Him. Rest in Him. Trust in Him today and watch how He will work. Don’t put a time limit on this. Stay as long as He leads you to stay there. You are developing a sense of understanding and recognition about what He wants for you! I am proud of you! Keep going.
• Then, as you go about your day, when you feel distracted, decide if it is a Holy Distraction or not. Embrace the Holy distractions. Move on from the other distractions and keep your eyes focused on Christ. He is using you my friend! I know it! Ask Him to keep you focused on Him today!

What distractions do you have today that might hinder your walk with the Lord?

What can you do about them?

Leave a Reply