Distractions (20 Mar 2016)

We live in a world of distractions. Drivers on the road tend to slow down when they see the unexpected; like an accident that had happened or a beautiful sunset that amazes which causes them to miss an exit. The dominance of technology such as smartphones are often major distractions for us during work or even when we are about to sleep especially when there is an incoming WhatsApp message or phone call. Indeed, there are so many things in this world that will distract us and fight for our time which will cause us to lose focus on God.

In the Bible, there are passages that people were distracted as well. One example is found in Luke 10:38-42 (NIV 1984):

Jesus Visits Martha and Mary

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

From the above passage, we can see that Martha was distracted from work as compared to her sister Mary who chose to focus and listen to Jesus. Though Martha’s actions were good, Jesus reminded and gently corrected her attitude that her priorities were not the best as compared to Mary. Are we sometimes like Martha get caught up in the details of work that can make us forget the main reasons for our actions? Mary in this instance had shown us that there is a proper time to listen to Jesus and a proper time to work for Him.

Amaziah King of Judah

In another example in 2 Chronicles 25, King Amaziah, who was one of Judah’s kings, did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly. He (v 4) obeyed God’s laws and did not put to death the sons of the leaders for their sin of murdering his father. However, when God sent a prophet who told him not to allow the Israelite troops to fight for him, Amaziah was concerned and distracted by the amount of money that he had spent for them to fight the battle.

After the victory against the Edomites, Amaziah was further distracted by the idols that he had brought back to worship from the people of Seir. He was also distracted by his own arrogance when he went to pick a fight with Jehoash king of Israel. As Amaziah chose not to listen to the prophet but instead consulted his own advisors, God punished him by making him lose the battle against the Israelites. In short, idolatry and pride were some of the main distractions that caused Amaziah’s downfall.

As we examine our lives, do we as Christians find ourselves having a distracted heart or being distracted by the things in the world? What can we do to stay focused on God and overcome the distractions that come along our way? Reading the Bible daily, prayer and Scripture memory are some of the simple solutions that we can adopt to stay on course and not lose focus on the Lord.

So the next time you are distracted, will you do what it takes to stay focused on God?

Brother Justin Leo Deng Yong