In the society we live in today, we are surrounded by distractions and things that keep us preoccupied. We are always looking for something else to keep our interest, and even when we don’t, it is offered so freely that it becomes near impossible to refrain from these little distractions. To be completely honest, I have been very distracted lately. I’m not sure exactly why, but my thoughts have been on so many other things, I haven’t set aside time for the Lord lately. Just the other day, the word distracted came up in conversation and it rang in my thoughts the whole rest of the day. I wasn’t sure why at the time, but after going home and praying about it, I realized that the Lord was speaking to me on an intimate level.
I do not want to use this time to make up excuses for myself or try to explain why I haven’t been blogging as often as I would like and have communicated. The truth is, I have become distracted and therefore have not made this a priority nor have I set aside time to pray about this blog either. After the Lord had revealed to me what it is that I need to work, I began to think about how it came to be like this. The bible warns us about becoming distracted and how we are able to keep from getting that way. So I believe that not only am I going to be able to use this and learn from this blog, but I am praying that those of you who may also be struggling with becoming distracted may be encouraged and able to fight this with me.
I want to ask a question first before I start getting into the Word and what it says about distractions; Have you become distracted? Some other words for distracted are preoccupied, inattentive, absentminded, worried, anxious, troubled… Do any of these words describe how you have been lately? I know I personally qualify under some of them. When the Lord revealed this truth to me, it became evident that I was able to see where my focus is just in evaluating my day and where things have been. That does not mean that you are wrong for getting busy at work or kids or get caught up in our own crazy lives, but I think that it is clear when we see ourselves putting time with the Lord aside in order to do other things. In my own life, this happens to be my blog and bible study.
A passage I want to touch on before I get into more direct verses is when Jesus calls the disciples out as He was walking on the water in Matthew 14. Peter stepped out of the boat and begin to move towards Jesus, walking on the water. But as soon as Peter took his eyes off of Him, he began to sink, and was afraid. It is like this in our lives as well. We are able to do the impossible when we fix our eyes on Christ and on His will, but it is when we take our eyes off Him, when we become distracted by the storm around us and the waves beneath us, we will begin to sink into the distractions.
- 1 Corinthians 7:35 ~ “I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”
- Romans 12:2 ~ “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
- 1 John 2:15-17 ~ “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
- Colossians 3:1-2 ~ “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.“
Another passage that really stuck out to me is Luke 10:38-42. “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’” I can empathize with Martha on many levels. She wanted the best for the Lord; the tastiest food, the best dishes, the perfect display. She truly wanted to serve her Lord, but she became distracted by things that truly don’t matter. Rather than sit and listen to the teaching, she became preoccupied with other things and she was not able to hear what it was Jesus was saying to them.
Who else gets to be like this? It is so important to truly devote time to the Lord and be able to go to Him in prayer and humility. Just like Martha in the example above, we can become so distracted with doing things for the Lord, we neglect the necessary time that should be spent in prayer. The enemy is so good at giving us things that will cause us to be inattentive to what the Lord is calling us to do. Similar to Peter on the water, I can imagine the water raging beneath his feet, rain pouring down, the wind tossing and turning him back and forth. I am sure he felt every raindrop against his skin, every shift in the water he stood on. Just like the enemy tried to throw distractions at us, emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally… Satan wants to knock us off our feet and cause us to drown in the violent storm. But we have Jesus, the lifeguard who is there to catch us before we fall into the waters.
So how are we to keep from becoming preoccupied, worried and absentminded? Praise God that He has given us instruction on that as well! Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” When we become distracted with things, good or bad, it is important that we remember to be in prayer and communication with the Lord. If we become distracted and worried, or preoccupied and loose focus on the Lord, He is right there to pull us back, to pick us up and he will give us not only peace, but He will also guard our hearts and help to keep our eyes on Him.
I pray that this was encouraging to you and not only that, but also a learning tool. Trust me, you are not the only one who needed this today. I most certainly did. I personally do not want my life to be filled with distractions that cause my thoughts, my heart, my actions to be focused on something other than the Lord. I know that it is easy to get caught up the things of this world, good and bad, but whether it is something honorable or sinful, God desires our whole hearts and our full attention. He wants our entire heart in a relationship of trust and obedience to Him, because He loves us and wants nothing more than to have us be with Him. Stay strong, my brothers and sisters, and remember that even if we look at the things around us, like Peter in the storm, Christ is right there to draw our gaze back to Him and catch us if we fall. God bless you all!