What a world we live in. Just 20 years ago, the internet was still small and simple, cell phones were only phones, flash drives could only handle a few small files, Skype/Zoom/Face timing were not created, we had to use paper maps, Bluetooth & social media were not yet created, YouTube was still years away from existence, 3D printing wasn’t a thing, and headphones were not even close to what they are now. In short, things have changed drastically, and it was seemingly overnight. The single most life-altering invention of the last 20 years is probably social media. Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram, and all of the others take up so much of our lives. It is way too easy for me to waste an hour of my life just watching videos. This is truly something that we need to address.
Proverbs 4:23 says that we are supposed to, “Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flow springs of life.”
With all the distractions that the last 20 years have brought to life, as well as all the chores, jobs, and activities we have always been doing, my day can be filled so quickly with a plethora of activities and tasks which are really just distractions from what is important… My relationship with Jesus. My life is my responsibility, and no one and nothing going to answer to my choices but me. If I choose to ignore my relationship with Jesus for a day, only He and I will know that, and I could easily convince myself that no one else would even know. But He would, and I would.
Hebrews 12:1 says, “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Filling my day with things that aren’t Jesus doesn’t mean I am automatically sinning. I mean, I could wake up, make up my bed, get ready for work, eat breakfast, drive to work, actually work, eat lunch, go back to work, drive home, make dinner, do a project like mow my grass, take a shower, and go to bed, which means I have spent an entire day being very productive, and yet never spend time with God. That isn’t a sin. But if I do that enough, I will begin to feel heavier, spiritually, and that would open a door to a lot of things to happen. I’ve been there before. I used to battle a lot of things because I didn’t put God first in my life. And when I say I didn’t put God first, I don’t mean that He was first, and then there was a second thing. When I say I didn’t put God first, I mean that I didn’t connect Him to everything that I did.
See, I have learned that I must connect God to every part of my life. I must guard my heart to have no room for anything but Him. So it isn’t: 1) God, 2) Wife, 3) Job, etc. I have learned that my life must be: 1) God, 2) God, 3) God, 4) God, 5) God. There is no room for anything else. When I talk to my wife, I want it to be about God. When I work, I want to connect God to it. When mow my lawn, I want God to be there with me; I want to acknowledge Him and connect Him to everything I do. I can’t afford distractions, to be so busy that I neglect the God who created me out of love, for love! Either I am in love with Him, or I am not. It’s not enough to appreciate God. It must be absolute adoration and affection, because that is how He is with me. I must love Him like He loves me.
We must also be aware of the schemes of the devil, and how he uses distractions. I can’t afford to be despondent, depressed, disappointed, or irritated. Those things are simply emotional distractions the enemy brings to lure me away from the One I Love. The devil loves to distract us with different emotions from the circumstances of life. The most obvious of his antics is how we get affected by other people. People say or do things we don’t like and then we lose our character, misrepresenting God completely.
The world we live in today is all about instant gratifications. This is another way we get distracted. We want things, and we want them right now. We have very little patience. I hear a lot of young people say things like, “I don’t want to wait for that. That seems terrible. Why would God withhold from me if He knows I don’t want or like to wait?” It’s as if the speed of our society has changed our relationship with God, and now we ignore the fact that He values patience and perseverance. Those 2 words have almost become bad words to many young people today, and it goes to show you just how distracted from Him we have truly become. Can you imagine? People actually think God’s goodness is dependent on their opinion of timing, lack of patience, and inability to control their emotions…
Satan is relentless in his efforts to distract us from God. Whether it be apps, busyness, emotions, or timing, he will use anything he can to get you separated from God. In the meantime, God is so good and faithful that He still goes after each of us who has strayed. My grandmother actually told me a cute story this morning that she used to tell children when she traveled as a missionary, a story about a little lamb…
“There once was a little lamb who had a mommy and a daddy and a whole flock of friends, and they had a wonderful shepherd who took care of them. He would take them to a fresh field every day so that they could eat the greenest and best grass, and there was a beautiful brook that they could drink from nearby, so that no sheep was ever thirsty. Well, one day, the little lamb saw a butterfly and thought to herself, ‘Oh my! That butterfly is so pretty. I want to catch it so that I can play with it.’ So the little lamb walked up to the butterfly and began to reach for it when suddenly the butterfly flew away. It didn’t travel very far before it landed again, so the little lamb tried to sneak up on the butterfly, but again the butterfly flew away from her. So this continued for a little while, and the lamb got closer and closer but just couldn’t catch the beautiful butterfly. Eventually, the butterfly flew away and the little lamb was sad. She turned around to go back to her parents, but she couldn’t see them. She looked left, she looked right, but as far as she could see, there were no sheep around. It was then that the little lamb remembered her mommy and daddy had warned her to always stay close to them and not get distracted by things, because sheep are always hunted by terrible creatures like lions, bears, and wolves. The poor little lamb became so frightened that she just couldn’t help herself but to start screaming for her mommy. She screamed and she screamed. She started running, but couldn’t decide where to run to, so she just started to run in every direction in hopes that someone would hear her screaming. Suddenly, from behind a hill, the good shepherd came running to the little lamb. He scooped her up so fast, and he held her to his chest so tight. He comforted her as he carried her back to the other sheep, back to her friends and her mommy and her daddy.”
We can get distracted just like this lamb, and we too have a shepherd who takes care of us and loves us. So see, distractions aren’t necessarily sins, but they can put us in great danger. We need to guard our hearts, not compromise our relationship with Father God, and truly love Him. God bless you.
Written by a few for the many.