Lately, I’ve noticed that there seems to be a great deal of distraction that has taken the attention of the Body of Christ off of the mission we’ve been called to, which is to make disciples. The call to make disciples is at the core of our commissioning as followers of Christ. The distractions of things like pop culture and scandal and even petty debates over things that even Christ did not concern himself with have a way of not only making the mark we’ve been called to make, but to diminish the image of the Kingdom in the eyes of the world we’ve been called to reach.
Whether you’re keeping up with the Kardashians ( and Jenner), or whatever has become that thing that’s becoming a distraction your effectiveness, you must endeavor daily to remove them so that you can center yourself on that thing that is most needful.
In the tenth chapter of Luke’s account of the ministry of Jesus we see that his travels have led him to the house where Mary and her sister Martha live. While Mary has chosen to sit at his feet to be attentive to all that Jesus is sharing with them, Martha is clearly distracted by the preparation of food. It is apparent that even in this, the thing that distracted Martha was not necessarily a bad thing, but there was something that Mary had determined trumped it and therefore gave her attention to that one thing.
When Paul addressed the issues that were connected to the life a single Christian versus that of a married Christian, he pointed out that when you become married your attention is divided between your responsibilities as a spouse and your ability to be effective for the Kingdom. He doesn’t say the need of one trumps the other in this situation, but points out that this distraction inhibits giving your all to the things of the Kingdom.
As saints, there are always going to be distractions that come into our lives. Being aware of the ones that our enemy uses to take our attention from the mission of being salt and light, and making disciples reduces the potential we have to expand the Kingdom and make His name great in the earth.
A preacher that I respect once said, “You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop him from building a nest there.” When we start to see that things are distracting us from staying focused on our task that we’ve been called to fulfill, we can either allow it to take us off course or we can actively shoo it away.
Meditation: One of the ways that we are told to stay focused on task is by meditating and thinking often on things that do matter. Paul tells us that those things which are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of a good report, then these are the things which we should give our attention to. God spoke to Joshua to meditate on His law, because in this he would make his way prosperous and successful.
Be Rooted In His Doctrine: Paul als speaks to Timothy about the need to giving full attention to the doctrine that he’d been rooted in. The potential of becoming distracted by legalism and so many other things that others were dealing with only served to diminish his effectiveness. When you see other people who’re bringing up things that only serve to stir the pot rather than serve to build up the Body, turn away and give your attention to the soundness of what Christ has said.
Prayer and fasting is Powerful: When the disciples asked Jesus why they could not do certain things, Jesus reminded them that certain things only come by prayer and fasting. If we’ve become distracted by exploits and not really seeing the power behind them, we make ourselves less effective and able to address things appropriately; even when we’ve been given the authority to do them.
Keep your eyes on Him: When the disciples were crossing the waters and a storm arose, Jesus walked out on that water to meet them. Although Peter walked for a moment, what caused him to sink was fear and taking his eyes off Jesus. All throughout the bible God told the people of Israel to not forget Him. If we remain steadfast to keep our eyes on Jesus, we will stay connected to the ability to do anything God has equipped us to do.
Whatever distractions have presented themselves to you, I implore you to redirect your attention to that one thing that truly matters, so that you can do what it is that you’ve been called and commissioned to do.
QUESTION: Are there any other things you can do to remove the distractions? What has worked best for you?
- A Season of Fivefold Discipleship (apreachaskid.wordpress.com)
- Love as Fruit (genesisone.wordpress.com)
- How to avoid distractions and get things done (dailytwocents.com)
- Rick Warren tells Christians: Don’t let distractions keep you from doing your best (christiantoday.com)