Today has not been a good day for me in regards to newspaper devotional writing. I just keep getting distracted! I have a great topic I've been praying through, and a nice, reliable computer with which to write. Smooth background music is setting the mood, and a beautiful, inspiring spring day is taking place outside my office window.
Unfortunately, I keep getting distracted. Whether it is people needing advice or wanting to meet, administrative responsibilities, or distractions of my own doing. You know, the important ones, like checking my Facebook status and reading up on the Predators playoff game that took place last night. Anyone relate? Staying focused can be such a challenge when the world is coming at us from every direction, and it's not getting any easier. Recently I read where the average attention span for a middle school student is no more than 10-15 minutes. So many things are begging for our attention, whether it be Facebook or Twitter, the latest App, TV, or simple self fulfillment in things we enjoy.
Some distractions are just the byproduct of responsibilities and "life" happening, and you just have to push through and give them to Jesus. Many others, however, can be self-inflicted. We find ourselves being distracted by something in which we ourselves set the trap. Or at the very least, satan set it, and we took the bait.
For believers in Christ, God's Word is very clear in what protects us from the distractions. Consider Hebrews 12:1b-3: "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
A pursuit of Jesus and resting in Him above all things will provide the direction and protection we need as life's detours seek to get us off track. And the message is very clear that we, as believers, must throw off the things that entangle us. Or, in essence, "distract" us. Furthermore, as we are living the life which God calls us, we have someone to whom we are running that will protect us from the distractions. KEEP YOUR EYES FIXED ON JESUS! We must live every day resting in Him and looking to Him for direction in all things having "tunnel vision that is content in Christ." JESUS IS LIFE and living Him will bring about the security we so desperately need.
I also love the fact that focusing on Jesus gives believers a constant reminder of the work that has been done for us, and it is a completed work. Jesus is the author of our faith, and He will carry us through as we live Him. Christ made our faith and salvation possible through love, joy, and sacrifice. Knowing he sat down at the right hand of God gives confidence that what Jesus did on the cross and through the resurrection is a finished work. If you are a believer, do not be distracted and miss the grace Christ wants you to live in every day. He sat down because the work was done, and our victory has been made certain! The distractions will come, but they will never overtake you as you keep your eyes fixed on the Master.
Finally, when I think about distractions, I'm sure there are those reading this who may have never looked to Jesus for salvation. You have never received forgiveness for your sin. Jesus is the divine difference maker because he has done for you, by grace, what you could never do for yourself. By faith trust Him today, and believe that His death was powerful enough for your forgiveness, and that the alive Jesus wants to live in you! The world and Satan will seek to distract you from believing this message. Jesus discussed these distractions as well, when he stated in Matthew 16:26, "What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet lose their soul."
Ashley Mofield is a pastor at White House First Baptist Church