Distractions. In today’s world, distractions are everywhere and inevitable. The ability to maintain a focus on just about anything is close to impossible. With all these worldly distractions, how on earth do we stay focused on what should be our main goal in life; expanding the Kingdom of God by spreading the Gospel?
Kids and News and Traffic, Oh my!
Like it or not, we as followers of Christ live in a world of evil. The devil and his band of demons will do just about anything to get us to turn our focus away from God’s word and towards them. In the Bible, Colossians 3:2 instructs us, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth“. Of course, its easy for me to sit here and write this with a focus on “keeping it Christian”, but the key here is for those who read this to recognize the very fact that those distractions taking your focus off God may very well be originating from satan himself.
The world is full of distractions. Lets see if this sounds familiar to anyone:
Wake up at 630, get the kids up, fix their lunches, jump in the shower, get dressed, go back and make sure the kids are getting ready, make your lunch, feed the dog, throw the dishes in the dishwasher, wipe the counter, make sure the kids are ready, Suzy just said something, the phone is ringing, fix your coffee, rush out of the door, drop off the kids at school, drive to work, controversy on the radio about the president, phone is ringing, someone is texting, why did that guy just pull out in front of me, I wish people would just drive a constant speed, lot of traffic this morning, Suzy has a game this evening, practice tomorrow, there’s another game Friday in a town 40 miles away, practice tomorrow till 7, she’ll have homework, what’s for dinner, did I just forget my lunch at home,,,,,it just goes on and on.
Where in that paragraph did you see “pray” or “God” or anything associated with spreading the Gospel? Nowhere right… It is a sad but true fact but that likely describes quite a few American mornings today. Matthew 6:33 tells us, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well“.
What Was That Noise?
There you are, sitting in church like a good Christian should be focused on the pastor and a great sermon. So great in fact that it seems as though he wrote that sermon specifically for you. Suddenly, right there in front of you to the right a small baby begins to cry. You’re listening to the pastor but man is that a cute little baby. And look at that cute little outfit she has on! Adorable! Wait,,,,,,,,,,,,what did the pastor just say? I think it was important…..
How in the world could a cute little baby be a tool of satan? Satan is crafty. 1st Peter 5:8 warns, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour“. And Genesis 3:1 says, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?
All too often we think of satan as a bull in a china shop who comes in wreaking havoc and chaos everywhere he goes. While inevitably this is true, he doesn’t need to cause a big scene or cause a major catastrophe to get the job done. Sometimes, the simple gesture of taking your attention off of a very important part of the pastors’ sermon at just the right time with the gentle whimper of a baby is all it takes to put his plan in motion. Why? Because satan knows precisely what gets your attention, he knows your weak points, and he knows how to turn your head at just the right time to get your attention off God and on him.
Name Your Distractions
Theres an old saying, “Starve Your Distractions and Feed Your Focus”. Take a pause and think hard on this for a moment and you’ll soon realize precisely what your main focus’ really are. Are you focused on Christ? How much of your 24 hour days worth of focus do you devote to God?
Here’s a challenge for you. Take a pad of paper and write down everything that you focus on in a 24-hour period but space each item apart so you have room to write between each item. OK, now look at that list hard. More than likely you’ve written down the obvious things like “work”, “meeting”, “Suzy’s game”, “cook dinner”, etc. Now go back and fill in the voids with the small things. Those small distractions that took place throughout the day that had your attention.
How many things did you write down that were God-focused? Prayer, read the Bible, listen to a Christian radio station, witness to someone, etc.
What are you feeding every day? By giving attention to those distractions, aka “feeding the distractions”, we starve our hunger for God. Ephesians 6:10-13 instructs us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand“.
These three verses are our explicit instructions for combating the distractions that take our focus off God. The next time you’re in the middle of a Godly thought, maybe a prayer, maybe sitting in church or listening to a Christian tune and you’re cut off, or something grabs your attention, remember Ephesians, remember your focus, starve that distraction and stay focused on the prize, Jesus Christ.