Identity Found in God
The High Priest and the Forgiven
The High Priest
The Blood of Christ
The Living Bread
The Dwelling Place of God
Living Confidently as the Forgiven
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves,and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Ephesians 4:14
Have you ever had distractions in your life? Times when you’re going on your way, and something else catches your attention? Ok “Up” fans, you know, those are “squirrel” moments. And then all of a sudden you say, “Wait, what was I doing? Oh yeah…” I confess this happens to me more and more. I can offer many excuses, including old age. While some of the excuses may be legitimate reasons why my mind may shift from one place to another, the core of this distraction is the fact that I wasn’t 100% tuned into and focused on the first activity.
We can look back and see the Israelites, the judges, kings, Pharisees, disciples, the followers of Jesus, who tended to get distracted over and over. Sometimes it didn’t take long for them to forget the direction they were heading. Other scenarios it happened gradually. I have to wonder how the Israelites lived the 364 days between one Day of Atonement to the next. I imagine they experienced some distractions. But when that Day of Atonement came around again, I bet they were reminded of where their focus should be.
It's pretty easy to examine and even judge those we read about. But what about you and me? How focused are we on God in our lives? Are we able to stay on the course of living a life as God has called us? What are the squirrels on our path? What, or maybe who, distracts us, steals our attention away?
Distractions are all around us. There’s no doubt that we can find other things to concentrate on, to spend time doing or thinking about. We are surrounded, in fact, we are drowning in a pool of distractions. Let’s stop for a moment and consider what types of distractions we may face. Maybe we face distractions in the form of social media or news. Maybe our jobs occupy much of our attention. Or, our lives can sometimes be just plain busy. Busy in school, busy with activities, appointments and meetings. How do we know when these things become a distraction? When do we stop and recognize that something has drawn our focus away from God’s involvement in our lives? Distractions can even come in “doing good”. There are times when we are involved in many “good” things, but as a whole picture, we find ourselves with little energy left for the source of “good” – God.
How can we avoid the distractions that seem to want to swallow us up? First, we have to recognize that the squirrel has our attention. If it’s a squirrel, call it a squirrel! Name it and realize you’ve been had. Secondly, we have to make an intentional choice to return to the path before us. The conscious desire to join Jesus on the journey is key. Putting on the perspective and reality of what our purpose is here on earth. Take some time to put on this perspective. Reorient our priorities and focuses, bringing ourselves back to God. Third, take part in those things to help us stay tuned in to Christ. Dig into God’s Word – I mean REALLY spend time allowing Him to reveal His Truths and promises to you. Spend time in prayer – in conversation with Him. Maybe keep a prayer journal – or not (for those who dislike writing). Surround yourself with brothers and sisters who will help keep you focused, not those who may serve as squirrels. People who share the same destination and map can help speak direction into your life. Wake up each morning and find a way to seek Him first. Fill your day with His perspective. Avoid those activities and ways the world offers. You are capable to make this choice. Pray for strength to stay on the path.
Take heart, when the squirrel does come, and it will, just as those we read about in the Bible, we can get back on track. The Israelites had the Day of Atonement as one reminder. Maybe as we experience our Easter season we can be reminded, reoriented, refocused on who we are, who we serve and where we’re headed.
Spend time today intentionally focused on God. Ask Him to reveal the distractions in your life. Surrender them to Him. Refocus. Reorient.
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