Photo Credit: Jason Howie
You have them. And so do I. They constantly surround each of our lives and, unfortunately, many of them causes us to begin “shriveling” and gradually leads to death. Our spiritual death. Yes, even though so many of these distractions are “good” things in themselves, they still have the potential to destroy us.
Before I go too far, let me explain the reason I am feeling so passionate about what I’m going to share…
Last week, our family sang and ministered at another women’s prison. During the service, one particular lady stood out to me. She was simply glowing with joy and peace. Her kind eyes and sincere smile radiated with the love of Jesus. As I talked a bit with her later on, she shared some of her life’s journey with me.
I told this sweet woman that I was so blessed by the peace and joy she demonstrated, and she replied, “You have to understand that I lost everything in life, but being here in prison has been such a huge BLESSING! You see, I’m not who I used to be. On the “outside” I had everything anyone could ever want. I was married to a wealthy banker and we had a big, beautiful house and a life most people long for. But, I was totally filled with only myself! Life was all about what I was going to get or accomplish. It was about what made me happy. But today, I’m filled with Jesus and my life is all about HIM. Instead of having all these material things, now all my belongings fit in one little bag. But, you know what? I wouldn’t trade it for ANYTHING! I have much more joy and peace with almost nothing than I had with everything.”
I was moved and challenged by her response and attitude. How many of us would have this perspective if we lost everything like she did? Would we see it as a blessing? How would I respond?
We talked for several more moments and when we left, my heart felt this burning desire to communicate why I believe many of us are in a similar position she was before her arrest.
Our spiritual lives are dying. They are slowly deteriorating because of all the “distractions” around us. A distraction is anything that breaks our focus on something that’s more important.
Let’s look into this a bit deeper…I believe most of us would say that our walk with the Lord should be the most important thing to us. So, that means that everything else in our lives should assist us with this goal or it’s distracting from it, right?
You may say, “Well, what about my job? Are you saying this is a distraction?” Not necessarily, but it could be. If the motive for your job is to be responsible and provide for the family God has given to you, (instead of it being about promoting yourself or fulfilling your fleshly desires) then it’s really about your relationship with God. It’s about pleasing Him.
Let me ask you…Why do you read the books you read or watch the movies you watch? Or what about deciding which vehicle you buy? What about all the time you spend on Pinterest and Facebook? What is the reason for you trying to lose that weight? Are your activities motivated by your desire to please Jesus or are they distracting you from your walk with the Lord?
In our world today, we are often oblivious to the obvious. We don’t see all the distractions around us that are pulling us away from our what our focus should be.
Now, on the other hand, I completely understand that some distractions can be outside the realm of our control. We can’t prevent them. In fact, our family just experienced a big one today!
We are on a three month long ministry tour in our motorhome. In the past few days, we’ve been having issues with our toilet. Well, today it overflowed. We had approximately eight gallons of disgustingly gross water all over our floor and rugs. It even ran down into our food and supplies that were in the undercarriage. It was extremely unpleasant, but we tied plastic bags over our hands and feet as we began cleaning up the mess in the most sanitary way. This interruption in our day needed our immediate attention!
Do you know that there are many distractions that can’t be avoided, but they can be a part of God’s greater plan for our lives? For instance, God gave us the opportunity to develop more gratefulness. We’ve been visiting the truck stops quite frequently these last few days to fill up our fresh water tank. The task of washing all the rugs, undercarriage supplies, etc. has been a several day process. But my husband and I also know that our response to this situation is being read by our children, and, through this, they are also learning how to handle life’s challenges and frustrations.
But, my friend, so many of us are dying…by our own choice! We are experiencing spiritual death by a thousand distractions screaming around us. What are we going to do about it? Do we desire to exemplify the amazing peace and joy of God like the inmate I described? If so, then what’s keeping us from it?
How much shame do we bring to the name of Jesus because of the distractions that prevent us from being in His word and walking victoriously? Remember, many of these things aren’t “wrong” in themselves.
Are you able to discern what your distractions are? Most importantly, are you able to say, “NO” to all the things that are diverting you from what should be your focus? It’s time for many of us to discover the lost “art” of discerning God’s will, and “weeding” out the good from the best.
Several of the women we related with at that women’s prison are far more “alive” spiritually than many within our churches. And it’s because of the daily choices they make. They could choose to stay in their dorms and watch TV, but instead they choose activities that don’t distract them from their goal of walking with their Savior. They are in the chapel almost every time it’s open. Which is almost daily. And many pastors can hardly even get his members to show up on Sundays any more. What’s wrong with this picture?
Won’t you join me in taking a hard look at each opportunity you have today? Will it lead to spiritual life and wholeness or is it a distraction that slowly sucks the spiritual life out of you?
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have LIFE, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10