Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Are Distractions as Dangerous as Demons?

In Luke 11:24-26 Jesus tells about what happens when an evil spirit leaves a person's body.  The body or spirit is left empty and if it isn't filled with good things then the evil spirit or demon will return and the person will be worse off than before.

We discussed this in Sunday school class a month or so ago and we discussed that when you come to know Christ you turn away from evil things, sin and then....what?  Shouldn't we fill our lives with good, Godly things?  Yes! 

How about those of us who have been Christians for a while.  I was raised in church, although I don't feel that I came to really know and understand the truths of Christ until I was a young married mom. 

My thoughts are that distractions in our lives can be just as dangerous as demons in that we lose focus on Christ and don't make time or room for the Holy Spirit to fill us and work in our lives. 

Demons overtake a person and fill them with evil.
Distractions fill time, take space and energy - that should be used for the glory of God.

Because I am distracted am I missing out on God's leading and the filling of the Holy Spirit? 

James 4:3-4
And even when you ask, you don't get it because your motives are all wrong - you want only what will give you pleasure.  You adulterers!  Don't you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God?  I say it again:  If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.  NLT

Revelation 3:20
"Look!  I stand at the door and knock.  If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.  NLT

God is knocking on the door of my heart!  He wants me to make time, take time, make room for HIM!

What are some distractions for ME? 
TV, Facebook, worries (about life and what others think of me), books, magazines, internet, hobbies

**This is MY list.  Please don't feel that I am judging you!**

Now, lets take a look at my list. 
TV - there are some good things on TV, some ok things on TV and some horrible things on TV.  Even if I am watching a "good" thing, could I be doing something better? (serving somewhere, encouraging someone, reading/studying God's word)
Facebook - I spend a lot of time on facebook.  If it wasn't for facebook some days I wouldn't talk to an adult all day.  But that's no excuse.  There's a lot of trash on there.  Stuff I don't need to see or read.  And I probably post nonsense that I shouldn't (because I'm human too). 
Worries - Those are things that I need to give to God.  NOW!
Books - I try to  read decent books.  I love a good mystery.  I read a lot of non-fiction Christian books.  Couldn't my time be better spent reading the Bible?
Magazines - except for a few homeschooling, homemaking magazines (Eternal Encouragement, Keepers at Home, Practical Homeschooling) and my knitting, quilting magazines....mainstream publishing is trash.
Internet - Everyone knows there is a lot of trash on the internet.  I have a habit of surfing just to surf.  Not good.
Hobbies - I knit, garden, sew.....those are all good as long as they don't become an obsession.  I love to write but I need to be writing about good things.  Things that edify.  Sometimes that's a struggle.

Now that we have discussed my list of distractions, take a second and pray about the things that distract you.....

Is there a time and purpose for idle entertainment?  I think so, but not at near the frequency that we (myself included) tend to indulge.  God made us to WORK....if we are women he made us to work at home and for his kingdom.  God set aside one day as a day of rest, but lets make sure that our rest is really restful and not distracting from God's kingdom. 
Can some of the things (maybe all the things) I've listed above be used for God's glory?  Sometimes.  I'm sure we could go through the list and think of ways my distractions could be used to further the kingdom.  Am I using them that way?  Rarely. 
Can distractions take my focus off God?  Absolutely!  Even if something starts off to further the kingdom, sometimes it gets misled or lost.  Sometimes good intentions end badly.  It happens to everyone!  That's why it is important to regularly evaluate the purpose behind the things we do.  Each season of our lives is different and different things will be important at different times.  We/I need to seek God and make sure that our/my pursuits are lining up with His will for my life (and mine won't look like yours - we are unique!)

I Timothy 4:4-5
Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks.  For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer.  NLT

What does this mean for me?
Well, it means that other than to post a daily blog post (I'm trying to focus more on my actual writing and less on meaningless facebook status updates) and a quick check of email daily I won't be on the internet.  I am going to keep a list of things that I honestly need to check on (bank details) or research and do that on Saturday or Sunday but I am limiting my time.  If there isn't much on that list I may read some of my favorite blogs.  I'm probably going to avoid facebook for a time.  The bullying and hate that is passed around there is amazing and honestly I don't need it in my life right now. 
I'm also going to make time with God a priority.  I just started a study on Faith: Joseph's Journey by Sandra Lea Hardage (review coming soon) and am making time to work through that as well as my daily reading, study and Sunday school prep work.  The littles are starting Awana tonight so they will get some memory work and I'm going to work on it with them.  I've never been good at memory work and that is something I am committing to work on.
I'm going to try to spend time with people face to face.  I've been depending on this little black machine to control my interactions with people.  That's not good for me.  So that is a priority for me and the kids.
I'm still going to be reading, but I'm going to be putting limits on my daily pleasure reading (no more getting lost in a book until suppertime - at least not regularly!  lol)
I would go crazy if I quit knitting and since I make gifts and practical items I see the purpose in that hobby.  Actually limiting my time on the computer will make more time for that.  We need some curtains!!!!!

This is my journey.  I encourage you to step back and make sure that your path with God is heading in His direction.  Mine wasn't and I'm committed to getting it back on track. 

Please comment (if you are comfortable) with what distractions are filling your life and how you plan to refocus. 

Have a blessed day!

1 comment:

Kelly Z. said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us, Carie. I agree that distractions are just as dangerous and steal so much from our lives, which I willing let happen! The distractions of my life are: facebook, novels, and tv. I'm going to write the title of your blog on a sticky note and put it on my computer. This will help me to be accountable, at least with the computer.