As I sit here trying to write this devotional on a specific topic, there are so many distractions around me. My mother is visiting for two weeks, my daughter is playing with every toy imaginable (my living room looks like a toy story explosion) while yelling “look at me! Watch me!” My upstairs neighbor’s sound like they are dragging furniture while jumping up and down (mind you, I normally never hear them so this is odd). I am becoming increasingly more distracted as the minutes pass. I realize that what I wanted to write about has been drowned out by what God wants me to write. So today I am going to start talking about tactics of the enemy.
“If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.”-C.S. Lewis
I believe that this tactic is most commonly used by the enemy and yet frequently goes unnoticed. The enemy is sneaky and “comes only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10).” Distractions do just that, they steal your time, they kill your dreams and they destroy your present and future.
1. A thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.
2. Extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.
Let’s look at some common distractions.
Social Media: Facebook, instagram, twitter, tumblr and etc. The way that social media (or any media) distracts us is by allowing us to be constantly bombarded by images and news. Social media often times leaves us with feelings of jealousy, comparison, depression and inadequacy. We feel we don’t measure up to others and often put others’ lives on a pedestal, even though many times what others portray on social media is a glamorized portrait of their lives. It’s like Photoshop, it covers blemishes, cuts out what they don’t want seen and throws on a filter to show less of real life.
Other People’s Lives: I just listed how other people’s lives on social media can distract us. The lives of the people we are around every day can distract us as well. A perfect example of this is found in 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 don’t know about you but I can totally relate to this in my life. You feel like either at work, home and/or in relationships that you seem to be doing all the work, but someone doing none of the work is reaping the benefits and getting the acknowledgment and notice. We become hypersensitive which leads us to analyze every thought, every conversation, and every event. This distraction takes us away from joyful living and serving others. When we feel unappreciated, overworked and unacknowledged out attitude becomes saturated with negativity and resistance. We become unfriendly and unwilling to help those around us because we feel we are being treated poorly or unfairly. It distracts us from loving and serving those around us because our focus becomes a scale of what fair or unfair, what we deserve and what others deserve. You cannot serve anyone with this attitude because it keeps you trapped in pride and self-pity; everything becomes all about you.
Ways to combat distraction(s):
Take your thoughts captive: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”-2 Corinthians 10:5
Everything that you think is not true. We must learn to line up our thoughts with what the word says.
Check your feelings: Feelings are fleeting. Just like thoughts, they are not always true. It is ok to have feelings, feelings are beautiful! But we need to make sure that we do not become slaves to our feelings. Feeling are a good detector of whats going on in your heart, mind, spirit and attitude. When feelings arise and we are having trouble combating them, the first thing we should do it is run to God. PRAY. He will give you the strength, you just have to ask.
Social media fast: I know some of you will gasp at the thought of that, but it is a very useful tool. It seems difficult, but if you pray for God to help you with it, He will. I have heard many people say they don’t have a problem with social media and do not need to fast from it, but problem or not, we all need it. Try it for a day and see how much less anxious you are. Many times we don’t even realize its affect or hold on us and our lives. I deactivated my facebook two years ago (and let me tell you, I was a facebook junkie) and though it was hard at first, it has been the best thing ever. I was obedient to God when He told me to deactivate it, and He gave me so much peace that I have not wanted to go back. I still use other social media sites, but I make sure that I fast from them from time to time.
“No matter what distractions surround you, always remember who you are and stay on YOUR path...that's where your blessings are.”-Author Unknown