Overcoming Distractions

Overcoming Distractions

But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” – Matthew 6:6

Have you ever been distracted? The other day I was driving behind a lady who was texting. She was definitely distracted, because when the light turned green she didn’t go. When she finally started driving, she was swerving all over the lane. Her distraction became my distraction because I was stuck right behind her and getting more frustrated by the minute. Have you ever been on a date with your wife, or enjoying some special time with your kids, when you receive a phone call? You don’t answer it because that would be rude.  You peak to see who it was from and suddenly you are obsessively wondering what that phone call was about and the fact that they didn’t leave a voice mail is driving you crazy! Every day is filled with distractions, but the worst kinds are the ones that take us off point in our daily walk with Christ.

One of my favorite devotionals is the one by A.W. Tozer entitled “Tozer on Christian Leadership.” Each month is focused on a certain aspect of a leader’s conduct and character. The month of April, for instance, is devoted to the subject of prayer. Cultivating a healthy prayer life is essential for any person who is called to be a in place of spiritual leadership.  Be it at a church, a home, a ministry, or a Sunday school class, having a healthy prayer life is essential for being affective and led by the Lord in the areas we are called to lead. I think the Devil knows this and for that reason, I believe, he tries to distract us from seeking the Lord in prayer any way that he can. Tozer has some great insights on this subject in his April 8th devotion. I decided to share it today.

“Among the enemies to devotion none is so harmful as distractions. Whatever excites the curiosity, scatters the thoughts, disquiets the heart, absorbs the interests or shifts our life focus from the kingdom of God within us to the world around us—that is a distraction; and the world is full of them. Our science-based civilization has given us many benefits but it has multiplied our distractions and so taken away far more than it has given.”

The remedy for distractions is the same now as it was in earlier and simpler times, viz., prayer, meditation and the cultivation of the inner life. The psalmist said “Be still, and know” (Psalm 46:10), and Christ told us to enter into our closet, shut the door and pray unto the Father. It still works….

Distractions must be conquered or they will conquer us

“So let us cultivate simplicity; let us want fewer things; let us walk in the Spirit; let us fill our minds with the Word of God and our hearts with praise. In that way we can live in peace even in such a distraught world as this. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you” (John 14:27)”

Tozer ends his Devo with this prayer:

Lord, help me to cultivate simplicity, to be satisfied with fewer things and to find the inner peace that You can give in a life of prayer and meditation. Amen.”

 I love the line in his Devotion: Let us cultivate simplicity! In our day and age simplicity is not something that comes easily or naturally. We live in a complicated world. So simplicity is something that needs to be cultivated into our lives. I think the thoughts that follow that statement give us insight into how simplicity is cultivated:

  • Let us want fewer things
  • Let us walk in the Spirit
  • Let us fill our minds with the Word of God and our hearts with praise

I want to encourage you to learn to cultivate and maintain the disciplines of a healthy inner life. One of the greatest disciplines we can learn as followers of Christ is how to walk in the Spirit, which involves developing sensitivity to His voice in our hearts. The more that we learn to hear His voice and respond to His voice in our hearts the more focused and exciting our lives become.