Dangers of Distraction Dangers of Distraction

Posted by Elisha Joyce on January 12, 2017 in Faith, Prayer

Today we kick off a new series called “happiness quest.” We’ll be looking at Matt 5 which is a prescription for reaching biblical happiness. To start us off, our guest blogger, Elisha Joyce, discusses something that often plays against our happiness: a distracted heart. But, as she shares with us today, when we offer up our distraction to our Good and Faithful Father, He faithfully restores our joy.

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
– Jesus (John 14:27)

I’m reading this great book called “Blue Like Jazz” by Donald Miller and in the opening of my current chapter it says,

“The aim of the devil is not so much to lure me with evil as it is to keep me distracted.”

Hold up. What?

I read this once.

I re-read it.

I read it again.

I closed the book in my lap and I repeated it to myself,

“The aim of the devil is not so much to lure me with evil as it is to keep me distracted.”

Distracted is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as follows:

1) mentally confused, troubled or remote;

2) maddened or deranged especially by grief or anxiety

We can distracted by everything, and nothing – am I right? Distracted by things that just “have” to get done, like shopping and cleaning and the kids’ sports schedule. Distracted by finances, people’s attitudes, stuff lying on the floor and the things we “must have” to make life more efficient.

Far more powerful, however, are the distractions that stem from deep within our hearts – the distraction of our desires and of our fears. We can get distracted by food, distracted by sex. We can be distracted by our “need” to be successful, rich, and beautiful by the world’s standards. We can be distracted by our desire for love, intimacy, praise, friendship, worthiness in another’s eyes. The list of desires that distract our hearts is endless!

In Luke 21:34-36, Jesus was very vocal in warning us against getting distracted. He said,

“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighted down with dissipation (i.e. unrestrained indulgence in physical pleasures; wastefulness; diversion), drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.”

Did you catch that?

If we are not careful, our hearts will get weighted down in wastefulness, diversion, drunkenness and the anxieties of life…

i.e. if we’re not careful we will get distracted.

With that in mind, now listen to this next warning in 1 Peter 5:8. It says,

“[My daughter] keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour.”

If you’ve ever watched the nature shows where a lion is on the prowl, you know who the lion always succeeds in getting: the distracted animal. A distracted animal is, plain and simple, easy prey, isn’t it? The animal’s obliviousness to the dangers of the wild puts the animal right where the lion wants it; and, the minute the animal has it’s head down the lion swoops in and overtakes it in an instant, and death closes on it like a trap!

On the other hand, the animals that are on alert – the ones that keep watch, keep their heads up, have focus, and keep their ears perked up – these are the animals that never fall prey to the lion. Alert animals sense the lion coming before their ears or eyes confirm the lion’s presence. It’s not that they forgo doing things life requires either… I mean, an animal has got to take a rest and drink once in awhile! But even in those moments of rest at the watering hole, the animal remains alert; and, at the first sign of danger, the alert animal runs as fast it can from the scene. Even in an instant where the lion gets close enough and attempts to take them down, their alertness gives them an advantage and they often succeed in beating the lion off.

So, I go back to the quote that started this whole thing off: the aim of the devil is not so much to lure us with evil as it is to keep us distracted. I’ve never thought of it that way, but I can’t argue with it… especially because, if I’m honest with myself, my seasons of distraction is where I’ve found myself most broken. Distracted seasons have been aching seasons. Why? Because a distracted heart is a wandering heart; a distracted heart is a worried, often sad, heart; a distracted heart is a fertile ground for sinful choices; and, if the adversary can get us into sinning (i.e. doing anything that separates us from our God), we’re easy prey for an unproductive, unfruitful, spiritually dead and broken life.

So, what’s distracting you today and leaving you feeling confused and broken?

Trouble in your marriage? Catty friends? Pride? An ungrateful boss? Finances? Sickness? Maybe you’re distracted by things – by having too much or not having enough or the desire for new or different?

Whatever it is, here’s the cure: take it all to Jesus.

The good news is that we have a Father in heaven that, even before we come to know Him personally through Jesus Christ, He LOVES US and wants to protect us from the wilds of this world. No matter what distracts us and steals our peace and joy, God is bigger than all of it. Right now, right where you sit, He wants you to hear him saying:

“My beautiful girl, just take My hand! You are not alone. I am here and I will defend you. Sit right here – you be still and let Me heal your scattered mind and burdened heart. Know that I am God – know that I see you, that I love you and that I have great plans for you. No matter how threatened you may feel – no matter how far down the path of sin distraction has taken you – I CHERISH YOU. Bring it all to me – and TRUST ME. I am the mender of the broken roads – and in Me you can find the peace and abundance you crave.”

Don’t go one more minute distracted and out on your own.  

He wants to save you. He wants to take your burdens, cover you, remove the distractions and give you a pure heart that will SEE HIM. All we have to do is run to Him…

And He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23).

Elisha Joyce

Join the conversation and please share what you think!

Elisha Joyce

2 comments... (add a comment)

  1. Yolanda Trujillo

    My distractions are visible…Lord save me!

  2. Bridgett

    That was perfect! EXACTLY what I needed to hear this morning and this season of my life. In fact, I was fighting distraction ten times while reading it! Thank you Elisha, thanks for sharing. This met me dead on where I am right now.

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