Distractions can come to us at any time and in different ways. Some are more subtle than others. Either way they take our attention away from our intended focus. We get led astray when we focus too much on the distractions. Jesus told us, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34
The other day I was at church and we were in a time of worship. My focus was on Jesus and His Presence. However, that particular day I had a sore back. I would lift my hands and be okay, but once I moved a certain way the pain in my back would become more intense. This would cause me to worry about the pain and take my focus off Jesus’ Presence.
Once I got over this I was in some intense worship when suddenly I felt a prick on my arm. I couldn’t figure out what happened, but my arm was swelling. I looked down and saw a bee lying on the ground. The bee had stung me, so I step on it to take it out of its misery. Although I still felt the pain.
I asked the Lord what these things were and what I could learn. I felt the Lord say that the enemy tries to bring us distractions. The devil wants us to take our eyes off Jesus and look at the problems we are facing. (Don’t misinterpret me. I’m not saying that the devil made my back ache or that he made the bee sting me. Rather, God can speak to us and teach us things in every circumstance.)
Jesus didn’t allow distractions
We often take our eyes off our purpose. Many Christians only go to church and happily call themselves Christians. People become distracted from their purpose. Jesus never lived that way, and neither should we.
Here are a few Scripture verses that prove Jesus focused on different things:
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
“that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:27
“Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25
According to these verses, Jesus focuses on that no one would perish at His second coming, that He would have a glorious church without spot or wrinkle and He constantly intercedes for us. It says that He lives to make intercession for us.
Jesus remained focused and didn’t allow for distractions. Let’s live our life the way Jesus meant it to be. We must live a life of purpose and destiny.
Distractions from things that are important
Often, we become distracted by things that don’t really matter. Instead of focusing on what we should be we are distracted by things of lesser importance. What about the 3 things Jesus focused on? Don’t we want to be a glorious church that Jesus will come back for? Shouldn’t our desires be for others to come to Christ so that Jesus can return? What about interceding for others?
Instead we overlook our own sins and criticize everyone else. We don’t look for ways to advance His Kingdom, but rather, become distracted by gossip, arguments and speaking bad about others. This is just to name a few. Rather than bringing unity to the church we are destroying one another. God wants us to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
The body of Christ needs to be a place for healing and deliverance. We should come together as people of God to do one thing and that’s bring glory to Jesus. Let’s focus on bringing His Kingdom to earth. Instead of gossiping and backbiting, we should lift each other up. We must encourage one another.
The enemy’s plan is to distract us from God’s plan. We focus on other people’s faults that we forget our most important assignment of preaching the Gospel (Mark 16:15). Instead of helping the furtherance of the Gospel we are destroying it by our own criticisms. Let’s do as Jesus did!
Jesus did what He saw the Father do without distractions
“Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.” John 5:19-20
Sometimes we use this verse to explain how healing works. We explain how Jesus would see the healing before it took place, because that’s what He would see the Father do. I agree with that one hundred percent. However, I believe it has more significance than just healing or miracles. Jesus knew and saw the way the Father reacted to situations. He knew the Father would allow certain people to touch Him even though the law said contrary. Jesus came to fulfill the law (Matthew 5:17).
We must follow this same example. We should do only what we see the Father doing. I’m sure the Father isn’t gossiping, backbiting or without patience for those who had different characters than His. (If it were that way, we would all have been consumed). I believe the Christian life is so much better when we live this way. We don’t look for the wrong in others but rather we seek ways to glorify the Father through us.
The world isn’t going to come to Christ because of the way we slander one another. Parents how do you expect your children to come to church if you are always speaking against the pastors, leaders and other members? It’s time that we seek to grow to maturity in Christ Jesus!
Live a life of purpose, free from distractions
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15-18
This should be our purpose! Preach the Gospel and allow signs and wonders to follow. As Christians this is what Jesus expects. Instead of gossip, backbiting and the other things we do that don’t please the Father, we should focus on what He wants from us. I’m not saying that everyone is to preach. However, everyone should be a witness for Christ. We all have different spheres of influence. Some have bigger spheres than others, but they are important to our calling just the same.
We need to be intentional to live a life of purpose. We must decide that this is how we will live. Here’s a few examples:
If we are going to be soul winners, we must look for people who are lost and don’t know Christ. We’ll have to leave our comfort zone and look for them. Some will be family members. Others will be co-workers. Whatever the case may be, we must look and be intentional in how we will win others to Christ.
Seek His Presence/Face
We must set time aside or it just won’t happen. In our churches we must have hunger. Come with expectancy and willingness to seek His Presence. His Presence is everywhere you look for it.
Love our neighbours
This is everyone without Christ. We must be intentional to show them what Christ’s love really looks like with our actions, words and the way we present ourselves.
Love Abraham’s Children
All Christians are sons and daughters of Abraham. We have all his promises. Go to Genesis 12:1-3 to see some of the promises he received. One was that if we curse him, God would curse us. Yes, the law has already been fulfilled but it doesn’t give us a right to curse (speak bad against) another Christian. We are to love one another.
Heal the Sick
We can’t just expect the sick to receive healing. You must lay our hands on them. Don’t just declare that miracles will take place in every service. Give the opportunity and pray for the sick. In every service God does miracles because we seek it intentionally.
Don’t let distractions take you away from your purpose. Allow God to move through you! Put your eyes on Jesus. Focus on Him. Life is so much better when we live according to His purpose. Let’s be intentional in all that we do for Him!
Author of Trusting God’s Timing
Founder of House of Refuge Street Ministries