You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘distractions’ tag.

“The seeds that fell among the thorns are those that hear, but as they go on their way, they are choked by the worries, riches and pleasures of this life and their fruit does not mature. ” Luke 8:14

“Therefore, if you have been raised with the Messiah, keep focusing on the things that are above, where the Messiah is seated at the Right Hand of God”. Colossians 3:1

“I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit, apart from Me, you can do nothing”. John 15:5

I really enjoy being outside. I feel such a sense of God’s creation when I’m able to be outside, enjoying nature. I also like to take the Word outside and read it. And, living in coastal Virginia, part of God’s creation that occupies the outdoor space with me is the ever present mosquito, at least in the warmer parts of the year. So this morning, Bible in hand, I went out with my trusty dog and sat down to read the morning scriptures. Hardly had I time to crack open the pages of my Bible when I was pounced upon by the buzzing, darting hoard (welllll more like 3 or 4 but they’re mosquitoes dad gone it!) Of course, I immediately put my Bible down and went to swinging and swatting at this pesky nuisance.

Just then, the Spirit enlightened me ( and no not in a more efficient way to rid myself of the scourge). I had a plan to focus on Jesus Christ. I was going to read scripture and then pray. I was shown how little it takes, how easily I allow myself to lose focus on that extremely vital goal, to be utterly distracted by the trivial. Especially for me as mosquitoes; while buzzing around me, don’t tend to land and bite often and when they do, they don’t itch (please don’t hate me if you’re a mosquito magnet who gets crazy itchy).

So let’s leave the specifics of the mosquitoes and look to the broader lesson. Jesus Christ is very clear; we are to stay focused on the Heavenly Father and His word, that’s where the treasure and blessings to this life are. Yet we must understand, there is an enemy with the world at his disposal who will stop at nothing to distract us from, to turn our focus away from God. Especially the enemy attacks when our intention is to be uniquely focused on God such as when in the study of His word or in prayer. If the enemy can get us to put off the study or the prayer to God, then the enemy feels victorious. Here’s another truth we have to grapple with; in our fallen state, we are all to ready to chase after these distractions, losing our focus on our Heavenly Father by doing so.

What do I mean by distractions? In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus teaches us about them in the third example of the seed; the seed in the thorns. These thorns/distractions can be negative; worries or actual issues with health, finances, relationships, careers, etc. However, the thorns don’t need to be large, overpowering circumstances, they can be as small as a mosquito. The thorns/distractions also don’t have to be negative; a sudden affluence, a promotion, a new relationship, a new property, a healing, any good news, can break our focus from the source of the blessing to the blessing itself.

The enemy doesn’t just have a mind-blowing plethora of choices of distractions to use, but also has the ability to throw them at us constantly, one after another. Can he cause our fears to so overwhelm us that we can see nothing but despair ahead for ever? Can he trick us through worldly plenty to focus on our “good life” having us believe in our pride that we are deserving of it and should focus on the enjoyment of it and gaining even more. There is no need or time to think of anything beyond the greed of gain and the selfishness of using it, especially not prayer or study of the Word.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ; here’s the point we really have to grasp if we are going to regain the proper focus. It is not about our individual effort. If I’m relying on “I” to have the strength to withstand the onslaught of the enemy; I will fail. But the Good News is, Jesus Christ, nor our Heavenly Father, ever wanted us to try to stand on our own.

Jesus was again very clear when He promised that by returning to the Father, He was going to be able to send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit to come and dwell within us. It is the team of Our Heavenly Father and His plan of salvation, Jesus Christ our Savior who has taken away our sins and the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, making things clear and giving us the strength to withstand the attacks of the enemy that allows us to defeat the enemy.

Thus remember, whether they be mosquitoes or some earthly pleasure; whether large or small, distractions will come. The enemy of this world will not stop trying to get our attention turned from our Heavenly Father. Should we feel tempted to race after that distraction, whatever it may be and wherever it may lead; remember the fact Jesus stated:….”apart from Me you can do nothing”. All that chasing will come to nothing, no matter what the world declares. Pray for strength through the Holy Spirit in the Name of Jesus Christ. Jesus also proclaimed that He has overcome the world and we can take heart and be in peace because of that; for in Him we can overcome as well.

So swat away or not; let us keep our focus on our Heavenly Father, through the sacrifice and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, realizing that the Holy Spirit will clear away all the thorns that are choking out the blessings of God’s word and will be the fertilizer that allows for that amazing crop and harvest that comes from a God focused life.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father we realize that this is a world filled with distractions attempting to pull our focus from You. Most Merciful Father we also confess that we are all too often ready, willing and able to jump on those distractions allowing them to take us away. We pray for the insight and the strength of the Holy Spirit, dwelling within us to blunt the power of the enemy to distract us and to keep the focus on You; Heavenly Father. That in being in Your Son Jesus Christ we can bring about the abundant harvest of love, light and blessings that this distracted world is in such need of. That in a God-focused life; we will bring praise to Your Most Holy Name. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

%d bloggers like this: