Don’t Be Distracted
Have you ever set out to accomplish a task only to have a situation come up that distracts you? There are times when I get distracted easily and fail to complete projects on time or even at all. For example, I remember working on an important assignment that needed to be completed by the weekend, and I received a call from a family member asking if I would give them a ride and grab lunch after. I genuinely value spending time with my family, and I was getting hungry, so I put the assignment to the side and went without a second thought. I came back that evening and frantically tried to complete the project on time, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen. I felt awful and was quite disappointed in myself.
Could you imagine what would have happened if Jesus had allowed distractions to keep Him from completing His assignment?
In the Gospel of John, chapter 4, Jesus was on an important assignment that required Him to go through Samaria on His way to Galilee. It was clear that Jesus knew His mission and was always about His Father’s business. Even though He was tired and hungry, He did not allow that to become a distraction. After having the extraordinary encounter with the woman at the well, His disciples came to Him offering food. Jesus’ response was,
“I have food to eat that you know nothing about” (John 4:32).
Of course, the disciples were puzzled by His response; however, Jesus never lost His train of thought as He spoke with them.
Jesus’ response to the disciples came to mind after I returned home late that evening with shopping bags and a full stomach. It is so easy to think we are doing something good but neglect what is important. In Colossians 3:2, we are told:
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
Jesus was always mindful of His assignment and why He came to earth.
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work” (John 4:34).
This was a valuable lesson for me to stay focused on what I have been called to do and accomplish my assignments. We must be disciplined, dedicated, and not distracted as we fulfill God’s purpose and plan for our lives.
It is easy to get caught up in being busy doing good works yet not doing what we have been called to do. Jesus tells His disciples that the fields are ripe for harvest, meaning there are many souls to be saved, and now is the time. We, like Jesus, must be busy with our Father’s business of winning souls for the Kingdom of God. Have you ever found yourself distracted from your true calling from God?
1 Samuel 15:13-15 13When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The LORD bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.” 14But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?” 15Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”
Saul is still blessed of God and empowered by God to defeat the enemies of Israel. He was commanded by God to destroy the Amalekites and do as Joshua did to Jericho. He knew the story of Achan (Joshua 7). Saul has been compromising, thinking that it is not all God but that he is a pretty great guy. He just built a monument to himself. And since he believed himself to be so great, he thought he could change what God has said to fit his desires.
I’ve heard this play out many times in the stories of fallen Christians. “You don’t understand the pressure I’m under. God makes exceptions for me because of my great needs. My circumstances are special.”
Saul saw the good plunder and decided God didn’t need it to be destroyed. Saul wanted it for himself. When confronted by Samuel, Saul justified his sin. Here is the main difference between Saul and David. Both are anointed, both empowered, both successful, both disobeyed, but their reaction when confronted couldn’t be more different. Saul justifies his sin. “My flesh isn’t that bad. I made necessary choices.” David repented with a broken heart. There is the telltale evidence that a heart is either after God, or turned to self as lord.
Passing Clouds – Streams in the Desert – May 15
- 202215 May
But now, the sun cannot be looked at – it is bright in the skies – after a wind passed and swept the clouds away.—Job 37:21
The world owes much of its beauty to cloudland. The unchanging blue of the Italian sky hardly compensates for the changefulness and glory of the clouds. Earth would become a wilderness apart from their ministry. There are clouds in human life, shadowing, refreshing, and sometimes draping it in blackness of night; but there is never a cloud without its bright light. “I do set my bow in the cloud!”
If we could see the clouds from the other side where they lie in billowy glory, bathed in the light they intercept, like heaped ranges of Alps, we should be amazed at their splendid magnificence.
We look at their under side; but who shall describe the bright light that bathes their summits and searches their valleys and is reflected from every pinnacle of their expanse? Is not every drop drinking in health-giving qualities, which it will carry to the earth?
O child of God! If you could see your sorrows and troubles from the other side; if instead of looking up at them from earth, you would look down on them from the heavenly places where you sit with Christ; if you knew how they are reflecting in prismatic beauty before the gaze of Heaven, the bright light of Christ’s face, you would be content that they should cast their deep shadows over the mountain slopes of existence. Only remember that clouds are always moving and passing before God’s cleansing wind.
“I cannot know why suddenly the storm
Should rage so fiercely round me in its wrath;
But this I know—God watches all my path,
And I can trust.
Spurgeon at the New Park Street Chapel: 365 Sermons
“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of God suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12
Suggested Further Reading: Genesis 32:22-32
Frequently complaints are made and surprise expressed by individuals who have never found a blessing rest upon anything they have attempted to do in the service of God. “I have been a Sunday-school teacher for years,” says one, “and I have never seen any of my girls or boys converted.” No, and the reason most likely is, you have never been violent about it; you have never been compelled by the divine Spirit to make up your mind that converted they should be, and no stone shall be left unturned until they were. You have never been brought by the Spirit to such a passion, that you have said, “I cannot live unless God bless me; I cannot exist unless I see some of these children saved.” Then, falling on your knees in agony of prayer, and putting forth afterwards your trust with the same intensity towards heaven, you would never have been disappointed, “for the violent take it by force.” And you too, my brother in the gospel, you have marvelled and wondered why you have not seen souls regenerated. Did you ever expect it? Why, you preach like one who does not believe what he is saying. Those who believe in Christ, may say of you with kind partiality, “Our minister is a dear good man;” but the careless young men that attend your ministry say, “Does that man expect to make me believe that which he only utters as a dry story, and to convince me when I see him go through the service with all the dullness and monotony of dead routine?” Oh, my brethren, what we want today in the churches is violence; not violence against each other, but violence against death, and hell, against the hardness of other men’s hearts, and against the sleepiness of our own.