Friday, March 12, 2010

Too Focused For Distraction

Have you ever had your bubble blown up, soaring high and hopeful, only to have it burst into tiny pieces right before your eyes? Have you ever pulled blankets to keep your upper body warm, only to discover that your feet were sticking out? I’m sure you get the idea. Obviously, like many of you, I’m well-acquainted with these types of scenarios. In the thick of it, it can be difficult to stay focused and centered on our faith and not life’s changing circumstances. However, if we are focused and armed with the full armor of God, we can prepare ourselves for the spiritual battle with distractions.

When we’re faced with problems and difficult situations, the worst thing we can do is to lose our focus. This past week has been an unusually difficult week in many respects. There have been some very big challenges and then not so big one, such as my son beating my new Mac pressed powder like a drum, covering his body and the floor with it. (I have to mention how he made the kitchen wall his art canvas and an orange and green crayon his paintbrush as well this week.) Anyway, I got caught up in the emotions of the negative situations and temporarily lost focus. I even attempted to pray, reading scriptures and devotions. However, it had little impact initially because my mind had locked onto the problems and its possible devastating consequences. I had caved to the pressure.

We have to make a deliberate choice not to waste any time resting our thoughts on the negatives, which only lead to anxiety, worry, and depression. Anything that distracts us from God’s Word and His will are dangerous because it inevitably leads to sin. As elementary as this is going to sound, I realized that I can’t have faith and worry. It’s just like the principle that says light and dark can’t occupy the same space. Hebrews 12:1 instructs us, “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” If we choose to focus on our faith, it can keep us from distraction. Every single care has to be given to Him so that we can accomplish what God has for us in its fullness.

Paul admonishes us in I Corinthians 7:35 to “attend upon the Lord without distraction.” In Matthew 6:33-34, Jesus says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” Jesus has given us a divine order to the complexities of life. Priority one is for us to seek His kingdom and His righteousness. I have to admit that when I really meditated on these words, the worry and anxiety broke. When I’m obedient, the worry, fear and anxiety dissolve.

Problems and challenges have a way of revealing where we really are. We can panic, worry, and delve into a sea of despair, or we can put the problem or challenge where it rightfully belongs, at the feet of Jesus. Anytime I’m tempted to pick it back up, I have to remember to quickly let it go and refocus.

I am reminded of Jesus teaching about those who build their houses on rock and sand in Matthew 7:21-28. He explains that not everyone who gives prophesies, prays, and performs good works in His name will enter into the kingdom of heaven. Only those that hear and do what he says will be like the wise man who built his house on a rock. Remember, “the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.”

Is your house built on a rock? If not, consider surrendering all to Him. Storms will and do come, but there is safety. Cast all of your cares upon Him. He loves you and doesn’t want you weighted down by the pressures of life. He can fill your joy and every dark space. He can cover you under his blanket of unconditional love, protection, and provision. He did it for me, and I know He can do it for you.

I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line on the Abiding in the Vine Facebook group page or comment at


1 comment:

  1. This is a timely word for our lives and, most certainly, the season.

    Just this past week, the Lord caused me to seek consecration for home stretch of the most incredible work he has set before my life. By bringing "THE JOURNEY Intimate Steps through Desperate Hours" to the marketplace, the Lord seeks a powerful transformation for a prepared harvest of readers. The Lord brought me through a fire for such a time as this when His precious creation is confounded by the recession, worried about wars and rumors of wars, weighing the signs of climate anomalies, and watching even our communities suffer seemingly endless tensions.

    Within this context where our faith is tested, the Lord has challenged me, "demonstrate my power. Allow men and women to see through your window of desperation and deliverance so that they can more clearly see me."

    And yet, I too found myself distracted by relationships, business dealings, and some times "good things" that were not "God things".

    Hence, you confirm the necessity of focus and trust in the Lord to perfect the things which concerns us [Psalms 138:8].

    Just this week, I shared with my friends this status," having witnessed the arrival of three beautiful girls, that in order to arrive at the birthing room, one must travel through the doorway of labor. Claim the delivery. Celebrate the stresses and stretching along the way."

    Earlier this with, I was communicating with a friend I've known since junior/high school. God has blessed her with a great gift for authorship. She was confessing challenging in completing projects. It was confessions that many of could share at one time or another in our lives. MaRita, you reveal one of the enemy's temptation, and quite frankly one of God's testing tools; the former intended to prevent us and the latter to promote us.

    Thank you, MaRita, for speaking to my spirit. And I receive it.

    FYI - an excerpt of the conversation with my friend is found at