I’ve always had this strange problem. A problem that other people didn’t seem to have. I used to wonder why it happened to me. I thought I had serious issues or something and that I should be ashamed of myself for having it occur.
Years later that I learned that others have it too. Satan is at work on all of us.
You see, every time I tried to say my prayers, I would struggle. I would start out very earnestly, and full of determination, but then suddenly I was thinking about the event coming up next week or something a friend had told me – and whatever person or subject I was praying about had sprung from my mind like a cricket let loose.
Prayer was like hanging onto the monkey bars when all I wanted to do was drop.
My mind wandered excessively when I tried to focus. I couldn’t concentrate. And this strategy of Satan’s was not limited to prayer. I was targeted during the church service on Sunday, and when I would read my bible.
As I fought with it for years, I learned that this distraction of my mind was the devil attacking me and trying to keep me away from God. It made me angry that I was giving in. It had infiltrated my whole life, in fact. The thoughts that controlled my mind, though not all bad, were certainly far from the best.
It’s funny because, as an older sister, I have often used the same tactic on little kids. Consider this: Tommy wants more candy so Tommy starts crying. Instead of fighting with him you might instead decide to distract him with his new toy car. Very soon, Tommy has (hopefully) completely forgotten about his main goal of getting the sweets for himself.
Is Satan doing this to us? As Christians our goals should be to honor Christ, to fight His battles, to do His will. We have the power needed to do these things through the Holy Spirit. So instead of combating us openly, since he knows he would lose, Satan simply throws a million distractions in our path.
So let me ask you the question: are we letting ourselves be turned aside? Are our minds full of the wrong things instead of focused on Jesus?
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, 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,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
Friends, let’s throw the weight of distraction off of us! Let’s run the other way as fast as we can. It’s not easy. I know that too. But when I stand before God Himself, I know I’m going to regret being distracted. I’m going to hang my head in shame. I’m going to mourn over every idle moment, and be full of guilt for every step I took to the right hand or the left. And what will remorse get me then? It will be too late. The Bible says in Isaiah,
“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7.
I write this to remind myself as much as you.
Don’t seek the world, and the things of it. Seek the Lord.
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
Do you struggle with being distracted too? What helps you keep on track?