Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Distractions...Be Gone!

            Do you ever wonder why you can't seem to get anything accomplished? You know God is asking you to do something, and you want to do it, but the more you desire to do the less you actually accomplish? This has been my struggle these past few weeks. I know what the Lord is asking me to do, and I do want to do it. But it seems like I spend my time doing other things than what it is He is asking of me. The word that came to my mind this morning, as I was praying about this issue I am having is distractions. Like Martha, I find that I am distracted about many things. (Luke 10:40) I find myself focusing on other things instead of what the Lord God is placing on my heart to do. I think we all suffer from distractions which seek to draw us away. My prayer this morning was how to clear away those distractions and focus on what the Lord Jesus was putting on my heart.
                A distraction is anything that draws your attention away. It divides your attention, or prevents you from concentrating on the task at hand. It can be any number of things. It can be a diversion, an interruption or an obstacle. Whatever the distraction is, it is not from the Lord God. One of the synonyms of distraction is confusion. The distractions I am facing lately are causing me confusion as well. This tells me that these
distractions are not from the Lord, but from the enemy who wants to keep me from accomplishing the task the Lord Jesus has placed on my heart. We know that God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33), He is the author of peace. This led me to the scripture He wanted me to see, and read, and study, because I did ask, “How do I clear away those distractions and focus on what You are asking me to do?”
                “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts You.” Isaiah 26:3
                Just a few days ago, it seems, He spoke this verse to me, and I wrote about it in my blog. But today, He took me back and opened up His word to me, answering the cry of my heart this morning. Isaiah tells us that the Lord God will keep us in perfect peace. Peace is the last thing I have received these past few days. I have tried to focus and study, I have tried to sit down and do what He has asked me to do, but something always gets in my way. There always seems to be an obstacle facing me, and to be totally honest, sometimes those distractions are of my own doing. My distractions I find can also become my excuses if I am not careful.
                The first part of this verse is “You will keep”- this means that the Lord God will guard and watch over me. He will keep watch for the distractions that want to come in, and He will guard my heart from wandering where He does not want it to go. This is good for those of us who have constant distractions, because there is hope in His word to us today. He will guard us; He will keep watch over me and set a hedge around me so that I may focus on what it is He has me to do.
                Secondly, He promises to give us “perfect peace”. Peace is something I need right now. I need a quiet, peaceful place to set down and focus on what He has given me to do. Isn’t it true though, that when you know you need to do something for the Lord, the last thing you seem to get is quiet and peace! It seems like the more I try to focus, the more distractions I allow to come in and take over. But His promise to us is “perfect peace”- which means that we will be in a state of health and security. He will calm the distractions and set to silence the confusion that wants to crash into our walls. But there is something we must do to have this perfect peace.
                We must keep our “minds stayed on” Him. He cannot keep guard over us if we are running here and there toward every distraction that comes our way. He cannot give us the peace we seek if we are not willing to allow Him to sustain us. If God calls you, He will equip you. If He has placed a task, a calling on your heart, then He will give you all that you need to accomplish it. He will uphold you with His right hand; He will guard your mind, your soul and your days to do what He has asked you to do. But we have to allow Him to do it. We have to trust that He has called, we have to trust that He has chosen, we have to trust that He will do unto us according to His good pleasure.
                Daniel “purposed in his heart” that he would not take part in the distractions of the king’s delicacies. (Dan.1:8) He made up his mind and he was not going to let anyone or anything draw him away from what he knew was God’s calling on his life. We have to do the same. The only way that we can free ourselves from the distractions and confusions we experience in this life is to purpose in our hearts and keep our minds stayed on the Lord our God.

                My mom used to tell me I was like a bull with horns. When I set my mind to something, there was nothing going to stand in my way. But over the years I have grown lax and allowed distractions to become my excuses for not doing what the Lord has asked of me. I have felt His gently nudge to do and I have made the excuse of “I don’t have the time”, “I don’t know how”, “I am not sure”, or recently, “I can’t focus”. I have allowed distractions to disrupt the peace He wants to give me to accomplish the task He has laid upon my heart.
                Too many times we allow distractions to keep us from the feet of Jesus. Just as Martha was “distracted with much serving” (Luke 10:40) we too allow ourselves to be distracted with anything other than what the Lord wants us to do. What happens when we allow distractions to draw us away? We become restless, unable to focus, fearful, anxious and end up doubting the call on our lives. That is exactly what the enemy wants. He wants to draw you away so that you cannot fulfill the plan God has for your life. Distractions are the way that he does it, and when we take our minds off the Lord, and we allow those distractions to take over, he has won that small battle for your time.
                Keep our minds focused on the task, the calling, the goal God has given you. Do not allow distractions to come in. Purpose in your heart, be diligent and hide yourself under the hand of God, which upholds you and will keep you in perfect peace. It is not easy, because the more you try to fight the distractions, the more they will come. But we have to be firm and fixed and not wavering in the things God has called us to do.
                Distractions are like the waves of the sea; they will toss us to and fro and eventually turn our boat over. But we have a sail that will keep us safe, and that is the sail of perfect peace. It is in Him we will find the rest and the quiet from the distractions that come upon us; it is through Him that we will be able to do all that He has for us. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10) The enemy wants to keep you from walking the path that God has prepared for you, and he will do it through distractions. Be confident and do not fear; keep your mind focused on the Lord and the task He has laid before you, and He will take care of the rest. In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen.