Nothing is more frustrating to me than starting my day with a long to-do list, a blank calendar to get things done and an attitude in which to accomplish them, only to find myself at the end of the day without a thing on that list done! What happened? Where did my day go, and why didn’t I get anything done!?
Maybe one of America’s biggest failures when it comes to fighting against Satan is distractions. Getting distracted happens to all of us, and no matter how hard we try, there will be days that we won’t get the to-do list done and more pressing issues will arise that we have to address.
Overwhelmed and distracted, that’s right where Satan wants us.
So many things to doing that asking God what He wants us to accomplish really isn’t an issue at all, since pausing for prayer would take up too much valuable time! Listening and talking to God long enough to hear what His instructions are seems to be the last thing on everyone’s to-do list. Busy, busy, busy!
Some of you may be asking, “Could distractions really be a scheme of Satan’s or is it just a natural consequence of being too busy and unorganized?”
Let’s take a look at Neh. 5:1-5 and see if we can get some insight:
“There was a widespread outcry from the people and their wives against their Jewish countrymen. Some were saying, ‘We, our sons, and our daughters are numerous. Let us get grain so that we can eat and live.’ Others were saying, ‘We are mortgaging our fields, vineyards, and homes to get grain during the famine.’ Still others were saying, ‘We have borrowed money to pay the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards. We and our children are just like our countrymen and their children, yet we are subjecting our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters are already enslaved, but we are powerless because our fields and vineyards belong to others.’”
It goes on to say that Nehemiah was outraged. Their own countrymen were selling each other, charging interest and taking advantage of the weak while others were in a desperate situation. Thankfully, Nehemiah called them out on it and set them straight.
Instead of doing what God had called them to do (build the city wall back to protect themselves), these countrymen diverted their efforts and used their time for themselves, to gain monetarily. I’m pretty sure they weren’t taking time to pray and ask God for guidance on what they should be doing that day. If they had, God would have told them to pick up a hammer and get to building!
You see, Satan knew their weakness (greed), and he showed them an opportunity to make money. This was not the time to work business deals. Deals that were not pleasing to God anyways. It was a time to focus on the task at hand and get to work!
This distraction not only cost them time in building the wall, it also enslaved men, women and children, took food away from hungry bellies and impoverished others. Ultimately, it cost them more money in the end (Neh. 5:9-11).
Think about “in the end.” At the end of life, what will you have accomplished? What will you be able to point to that allows you to say, “I did that for God”? Will you have regrets? Will you be able to say, “I did my best, Lord, and I am proud to have worked alongside you”?
See, distractions may seem pretty small at first, but in the end, they stop us from accomplishing a lot, and specifically, what God has called us to do. Which, in fact, is Satan’s whole scheme. Distraction = God’s will never coming to fruition.
Don’t let yourself get side tracked by less important things. Take time to talk with God and listen for His direction. Only then will we hold distractions at bay and accomplish big things for God and His Kingdom.