Former procrastinators, when you consider Nehemiah’s refusal to come down off the wall he was building, do you think, “But I’m not doing a great work”? That’s enemy talk. If God has directed you to it, it’s a great work. It’s important for His kingdom. Your faithfulness is important. The purpose of distraction is to move your thoughts away and then your feet – your behavior – so that you take a different path and do not complete the work He’s called you to.
We live in a society that majors in distraction. TV, social media, email, cell phones, activities lure us to paths we’re not called to follow. We can use these things to great advantage, but it takes discipline to control them and not allow them to control us. Some say we have an enormous appetite for distraction. I confess if something doesn’t jump out at me, I look for a distraction. “What can I google now?” With endless lures to ensnare scattered minds, we must be on guard like the armed men rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. We need to notice where our thoughts and feet are tempted to go and keep them on the wall.
Not all enticements are from enemies, but uncontrolled, they can make the enemy of our souls quite happy as we come down off our walls and wander away. Nehemiah refused to be diverted.
- Lack of armor makes us vulnerable. We act out of our own strength. Ephesians 6:10-18
- Cares of this world. Some are legitimate responsibilities – job requirements, families, etc. Some are not – devotion to the latest fashion or decor, etc. Matthew 6:31-33.
- Lack of trust. Thinking I must do things myself, I take on more than God directs. Or I forget Him in fear. Proverbs 3:5-6.
- People’s approval. It’s hard to say no. Or, I know I can do this well. Or, nobody else has come forward. Galatians 1:10.
- Idols. I value something more highly than I ought, and let it replace what I should be doing. Considering the attention we give them, have we moved media and electronics into idol status? Jonah 2:8, Galatians 4:8
- Fear or Dismay. I’m inadequate, overwhelmed. I Chronicles 22:13, Psalm 143:4.
- Laziness. I just don’t want to work. Proverbs 6:9-11, Proverbs 20:4
- Fatigue. Little energy. Isaiah 40:29
- Hunger, pride, significance. The devil tempted Jesus with these; but Jesus refused to be diverted from His mission. Matthew 4:1-11.
So much news, information, entertainment, so many duties and choices. The Lord gives discernment as to what truly merits our attention and what is a distraction that will send us in futile directions. We’re designed for the refreshment of rest and play. But are you, like me, tempted to use that excuse to “follow worthless pursuits”? Proverbs 12:11.
A pastor asked us…
What tempts you to come down off your wall?