Meaning of distraction: Distraction is the process of diverting the attention of an individual or group from a desired area of focus and thereby blocking or diminishing the reception of desired information. Distraction is caused by the lack of ability to pay attention; lack of interest in the object of attention; or the great intensity, novelty, or attractiveness of something other than the object of attention.

WOW!! the process of diverting the attention of someone! How often does this happen to you or someone you may know? I want to ask, how many of you wake up every morning and the first thing you do is check your phone? Is it emails, messages, social media, or the weather?

This may bring a sting to some but it is not intended that way. When I was at church last week, I was trying to give my full attention to the message brought by Jimmy Evans but my phone kept going off. These were not messages coming from my kids, family, or work since I am not currently employed but it was from brothers that were in church and some that were not. How easy is it to get distracted from hearing a message, praying, worshiping, or giving God the time He deserves? I want you to know I am not and will never judge anyone as that is not for me to do. I always show love and always will. I know at times I have done the same just because I listen to something or see something and get distracted.

I want to go back to the first question I asked about: what is the first thing you do in the morning? If it is picking up your phone how is your day going to go? Think about the last few days or even months and remember if God leads you each one of those days or if you had obstacles to climb over? Why is it that we can say we hear God, walk with God, hear from God, and speak His Word if we don't always do what He is calling us to do because we are distracted? How easy is it for our kids to come into our room or wherever we are reading the Word or praying and want us to do something or best of all ask what's for breakfast, dinner, or I didn't do my homework? When we are at work and God is speaking to us can we hear Him if someone comes into our office and starts to talk about the game last night? Think about all the distractions in your life.

What can we do to cancel all the distractions going on around us and give our attention to God? I am only asking as I see this more and more at the church, sitting at a restaurant, trying to talk or pray with someone. It is like people cannot take the time to talk anymore but rather are moving fast towards something else that they have to do. I am not bashing any churches but when I am standing or when I have sat down I see people texting or on social media looking to see what others are saying or doing. How do we give the message that is being spoken at any time if we didn't hear the first part of it? How do we know what we are missing if we can’t listen for 30 min without picking up our phone?

Have you thought about where the distractions come from? They are not coming from God. They are all coming from the enemy that does not want us to be spiritually lead and fed. When we seek God or are in His presence, has our phone gone off or something else? Have you taken up the shield of faith? Listen to the verses about distractions as they come from every direction.

Ephesians 6:16 – “in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

1 Corinthians 7:35 - “This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.”

Psalm 55:2 – “Give heed to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted”

Luke 10:40-41 – “But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;”

Colossians 3:2 – “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”

Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Galatians 5:7 – “You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?”

Psalm 119:37 – “Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways.”

2 Timothy 2:4 – “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”

Matthew 7:13 - “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.”

John 14:1 - “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.”

Think about the scriptures and see what the Holy Spirit is telling you or convicting you of. Have you thought about how we are all soldiers in the army of God? Have you thought about how we are to walk through the narrow gate? I ask again, have you taken up the shield of faith as it says in Ephesians 6:16, or have you read verses 10-20?

Ephesians 6:10-20 - “10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

I have been to a few games to watch my son and I want you to imagine that you are at the basketball game. There are three seconds left in the game and we are down by one point. Someone from our team has just been fouled and your phone goes off or you were recording or your phone just dies. Did you miss the free throws? Did we win or lose the game? How fast was that distraction and when did it come? It is very difficult to overcome distractions when you have lost the fire in your heart or the Holy Spirit cannot fill you with fire. I want you to stop and lay everything at the Lord's feet and ask him for the discernment to know when that distraction is coming. I don't want you to lose your sight of God for any distraction. We are his children and we fight for the Kingdom. Don't let the enemy distract you. Rebuke him daily and focus your eyes, heart, mind, and thoughts on God. I pray a blessing over each of you and ask for God's favor over all of us daily.

Let God lead you and may you give your life to serve only him.