Grace and Peace!
Today’s uplift: Distractions in Life. I don’t know about you but, sometimes I find it hard for me to keep focused on who God says I am. I’m quite sure that I am only talking about myself but, throughout my life I have had times when I found it hard to stay focused on His promises due to distractions. So often I have said to myself “this time I am going to be better”, but at one point or another, something trips me up from behind, and make me question my own abilities! Why?
Well, I think it has to do with what we allow into our lives that can distract us from God word. Not all of these things are “bad” in their nature, in fact, a lot aren’t, but they become a problem when we allow them to distract us from seeking God and studying the word of God. You know those things I’m talking about; they can be anything from a job, kids, or a movie, to fantasy football, video games, a magazine, or even church. There are so many things in this world that fight for our time, and when we allow them to take too much we lose our focus. The answer is not necessarily to cut these distractions out entirely (but in some cases it is), but to realize that they can distract us and we need to keep them in check.
Here are some common things that can interfere with our walk with God.
Money - We all need it to live in this world, but we must not be owned by it if we are to be not of this world. Money itself is not an interference in our walk with God, the love of money is. Matthew 6:24 ““No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
To sum it up, if we trust God, He will take care of us. That doesn’t mean we should quit our jobs, or not earn money, it simply means that we need to realize that God is more important, and is far more capable of taking care of us than we are. Money might be the blood flow of the world, but it is not the blood flow of those who are in Jesus, faith is. Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Media - This is probably one of the biggest distractions right now. With all of the new line-ups on TV this distraction is a big one. The other night, I realized I didn’t have my prayer time yet. But instead of going and praying, I said to myself; I’ll do it later. It is so easy to get caught up in the media. When I say media, I’m referring to the Internet, TV, movies, music, video games, and magazines, all of it. The media is so dangerous because it is so easy to get consumed in. Everywhere we turn, some sort of media is right in our face.
Almost every commercial on TV and every advertisement on the Internet are trying to convince us that we are missing something, and they are the ones that can fill the need when in reality only God can fill that need. Our young girls and women are bombarded by the media with how they should look, feel, and act; movies, music, TV shows, they all are horrible influences on us because they can subliminally tell us how to live, what’s right and wrong. The key to overcoming the media is to be wise in what we watch, read, play, etc, and in how much time we spend with it. We should always be willing to give it up, and quite honestly, some of the things we indulge in (in the media), we need to give up. Sometimes you need to fast from these types of distractions.
Church- Church, or religion. Believe it or not, these can be HUGE interference in our walk with God. Church does not do this intentionally, but we can easily let it hinder our relationship with God. Why? The main reason I see is that it can be so easy to pursue church, and beliefs about God, but forget to pursue God Himself. It is so easy to go to church, when the real reason we should be going to church is to refuel for our week by coming together with fellow believers to worship and meditate on God.
It seems that somewhere along the way, at so many churches, people have gotten the idea that we need to pretend to be perfect at church. That if we show our weaknesses and struggles, we’ll become outcasts, and since so many people parade around in this masquerade, if one person does reveal their weaknesses, they’re so easily looked down upon. This is opposite of what church is supposed to be. Church is really the body of believers. We are supposed to help each other, hold each other accountable, pray for each other, and love one another!
To keep church from becoming a distraction from God, make sure you are pursuing God before pursuing “beliefs” about Him, or church/religion. We need to get past religion and into a relationship. It starts with you! Love your brothers and sisters, be open to people, and DO NOT CONDEMN others when they fail!
Relationships - Every kind of relationship falls into this category; friends, parents, siblings, spouses, children, co-workers, bosses, etc. We can allow any of these relationships to distract us from God. It is our relationships that are our connection with the world, and it is our human nature to have them, but when we allow any one of these relationships threaten to become more important to us than God, they become a distraction. Remember, God calls us to love one another (1 John 3:11), so when we do, it is an act of obedience to God. But don’t forget about God in the process. We need to make sure we are giving God ample time every day.
I would have to say the relationship with the most danger of becoming a distraction from our walk with God would be that of a boy-friend, girl-friend, or spouse. These relationships in their nature, demand the most time, and that’s why it is extremely important that they are centered on God. If they aren’t, you’ll see your walk with God spiraling downward. In a dating relationship, don’t compromise your morals. So remember that relationships are extremely important, but our relationship with God is of the utmost importance.
Routine - This is a common thing that most people get distracted by all the time. The most important thing is that spending time with God should be in your routine! Too often we just squeeze God in when we have down time. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the things we have to do, like work, eat, sleep, etc. I often find sleep getting in the way! So make sure spending time with God is a part of your routine. Also, make sure you are willing to abort your routine, and let God have complete control.
Our Work - What a distraction this can be! I’m not just referring to a job, I mean everything from a job, to leading worship, working in a department at church, or anything! I find that sometimes thinking and planning about what I am going to write about next is a distraction. I want the site to bless people, I want it to look good, but all that I should really be worrying about is that I am doing it as God wants me to, if I do that, He’ll take care of the rest.
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 only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
It is so easy to get caught up on our duties, but the most important thing is that we do it entirely for the Lord. They are to glorify God, not ourselves. We always need to be flexible! This falls in line with routines as well. We can have great motives behind our work, but sometimes we let the work become more important than “listening to Jesus”.
Overcomer, listen and be flexible! I know that it can be a constant struggle to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and to not become distracted by the passing concerns and things of this world. But if we are aware of what can, and does, interfere with our walk with God, we can begin to take the necessary actions to prevent them. Remember, seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
Be Optimistic; Be Open Minded; Be an Over comer!!