Distractions :: by John Lysaught

“Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil” (Proverbs 4:25-27).

Do you have busy life, shorter days, less sleep? Do you live this way? Are you so busy that you don’t give enough time for Jesus? I’m guilty of this but I’m getting back on track. This was a trap that snared me off my walk with Christ since I last wrote. It is my own fault for falling into many distractions. I waivered and I fell.

It isn’t like I meant to, but it happened nonetheless. I know better than this but still it occurred. Not all at once, but gradually. I started on a slow slope to where I was only thinking about Christ once awhile and no longer living for Christ.

I started another Master’s program because I felt bored and felt I needed something like a hobby to keep me busy (a weird hobby, right?). This is one thing that that took me away from Christ. Then I bought a new house and so my family moved without help. (I will never do that again.) The brand new house we bought has a lot of hiccups (as usual with a new house), so that has been occupying my time, too.

And my wife is going to have surgery on her neck and later on her back, and so I’ve been concerned about that — as we get ready for the surgery. Work has been really busy lately and of course the kids have been occupying my time because they are teenagers. Hmmm, a lot of excuses, right?

So I’ve been pretty busy lately. But his is no excuse to neglect my God, no excuse to not pick up my Bible or to pray. It is no excuse to set Him to the side while I strayed from the path I was on. I’m back and it feels great to have gotten back on track with Christ.

I think some can relate. It was put on my heart to write this because of lot of you face similar things; being busy, being distracted. It is a device Satan uses against us to get us to turn from Christ. I fell for it and some of you have too. I’m here to tell you that you can still get back to Christ. You can find your way back to the path you were on in your relationship with Him.

The entire time I was distracted, I felt the tug on my heart. I felt the Holy Spirit knocking on my heart wondering where I had gone. I felt the blessings of the Lord slip away from me and I did not respond. I left the Holy Spirit and Christ to my right and left, not straight in front me as I should have done. I didn’t listen like I should have, I ignored the Holy Spirit.

The guilt I felt was strong. There was a short time when I said it was okay to be distracted. I told myself that the next day I would focus on Christ again. This happened every day, for quite a while—until I stopped. Every day my guilt grew until I wasn’t listening anymore and did not answer the knocking on my heart. Thankfully, I woke-up.

How distracted are you from Christ?

Is it some sort of concern that keeps you up all night but you aren’t praying? Is it the TV shows you are watching that take away from your time with Christ? Is it that book you pick up instead of the Bible with the little time you have? What is going on in your life that is keeping you from a full relationship with Christ?

Being distracted from God is not a good thing. The separation put between us and Christ is nothing but a bad decision. I know we don’t have intentionally to do so but sometimes it happens. We don’t notice until we are lost in the woods. This is a ploy by Satan. Satan wants us to be distracted.

He uses temptation and sin to get us away from Christ and he also injects sneaky things into the mix to get us to move off our path with Christ. Being distracted is one of his tactics. It is a sly move on his behalf and it works on many.

We must be leery of this ploy by Satan. We’ve got to be on the defensive all the time. I thought by getting busy, and subsequently distracted from Christ that I would still be strong in my relationship with Him. But I failed.

Does that mean that I am a weak Christian? Yes. I’m always weak and you are too, because if we weren’t, we wouldn’t need Christ to help us through each day; we are human nonetheless. Through grace and mercy though, I am forgiven for leaving Christ by the wayside, and so can you.

Looking back on recent events that got me distracted showed me how quickly I can get lost. We are always lost without Christ in our lives, and by not keeping him as our pinnacle of focus, we fall into the snare that Satan lays for. Retrospect is always 20/20 vision yet at the time of being unfocused on Christ, I didn’t see that. Yet if we ask for forgiveness and ask our God to help us get back on the road with Christ, through His grace, we can.

We have to get God back into our lives. This action is something we can’t force ourselves to do because we need to ask Christ to help us get our relationship with Him going again. We can’t let distraction rule our lives. We need to be fully focused on Jesus. When we do this, we are on the narrow path and our relationship with Christ can only but grow. Freedom in Christ can be found if we stop the distractions and look to Him.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

We’ll all face tribulations and being distracted is a tribulation that distracts us from Christ. Are we behind it? Yes and no. Satan is behind it surely, but we let the distractions in life get to us. We need to be stronger than this and keep our eye on the prize. When we allow ourselves to slip, we can get back on track and reestablish our relationship with Christ, we just need to ask Him.

What Satan wants you to do is to get off track. He wants to separate you from Jesus. If Satan can, he will be successful. He tries to keep your mind off Christ so he can put a chasm in your relationship that will get wider and wider until you can’t see what side Christ is on. By getting us separated, Satan tries to keep us feeling guilty about this and tries to use the guilt to us from Christ. If this happens, he has won, but this can be changed.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

Getting back to your relationship with Christ isn’t that hard at all. Through His grace and love, He is always there awaiting our return with our hearts and minds. He is waiting for you now if life is a bit distracting and getting in your way. How easy is it to get back to the path you were on with Christ?

It is a matter of prayer, dedication, obedience, and desire from within to amend with Him. In your heart you really have to want this, for if not, the prayers and efforts you do will be hollow and empty and will not work. Be honest with yourself and when you are really ready to leave those distractions behind, aim your attention to get back to Christ and you will be able to.

Resist Satan. He is there to destroy you. He will use obvious tactics like temptations and committed sins, as well as others things going on in your life to sneak in an attempt to separate you from Jesus. Basically, what you have to be cognizant of is what is going on in your physical world as well as your spiritual world. If you notice that you’re swaying off the righteous path, reject what is going on and get back to the trail you were on.

There are so many distractions aside from our spiritual relationship with Christ. Pretty much anything of this world can be a distraction. Aside from obvious sins, what comes to mind is the distraction of money and idols as traps which we can get caught in. These distractions can and will take us away from God and cause us to drift away, ever so sneakily by Satan and his minions.

Money is not a bad thing. It doesn’t have to be evil and is not a taboo or anything like that. We need money to survive and get the basic necessities we need in life. And we need to tithe and give offerings to God. What is bad is the love of money.

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10).

The love of money is seen and practiced in the world. The world loves money more than anything but money can’t buy peace, serenity, hope, love, or salvation. Money can become an idol to people. Their focus from when they wake up to when they go to sleep is money, money, and more money. You don’t have to be rich to love money, either. Christians can be distracted with money and money issues so much that it encompasses their thinking and their lives.

This may be a gradual thing that happens and then you come to a point where you don’t even realize that you have been enveloped by the love of money; by doing so you put a wedge between yourself and Christ. Your love of money will take you away from Christ because you can’t serve two masters. You must be conscious of this and be leery of what can happen if you begin to focus on money versus Christ.

Idols can be anything you worship. Now I don’t mean you get on your knees and bow down to something. Having an idol is something that you covet or love that replaces God in your life. Anything can become your idol and will distract you to a point where things other than Christ become more important to you than Him. It is easy to slip into this, especially the young, for the world offers many idols for people to grab onto that takes away from Jesus.

If something other than God is overwhelming your mind, it is an idol for you. If your daily focus and thoughts are on things other than on God, those things are idols. (People, items, work, etc.) This distraction can be one thing or many things but the end result is that they will take your relationship with Christ and throw it in the dumpster.

Remember this: You can resist and you can overcome distractions in your life. The wiles of Satan are many. You can beat this through help from Christ. Pray, read the Bible, and pray some more. If we do this, we will be able to get the strength from Christ to overcome distractions and get back to our growing relationship with Him.

Love the Lord with all your strength, heart, soul, and mind. When you do, it will help make Christ the center piece in your life. Don’t let the world over take you and pull you into its darkness and void. Focus on Jesus and don’t ever stop loving Him. God Bless.