How to stay focused on God in the midst of subtle distractions
My quiet time today looked like many of the things I have been sharing as regards distraction from God. Staying focused on God will have to be much more intentional than ever before. It is not as automatic as just becoming born again and going to bed.
My favorite study Bible, you can guess in the comments section was from where I typed this out. Read on and be admonished.
Nehemiah 13: 4-9
“4 Before this, Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah, 5 and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil prescribed for the Levites, musicians and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests.
6 But while all this was going on, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Some time later I asked his permission 7 and came back to Jerusalem. Here I learned about the evil thing Eliashib had done in providing Tobiah a room in the courts of the house of God. 8 I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah’s household goods out of the room. 9 I gave orders to purify the rooms, and then I put back into them the equipment of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the incense.”
Tobiah was a proven enemy of God’s people. How pleased he must have felt to have infiltrated the very heart of the place of Israelite worship- by invitation of Eliashib the priest! In doing so he effectively displaced those things that should have been there, that played an important part in the people’s worship of God. What is being displaced in your life by the infiltration of ungodly ways or enemy action? Is it your personal time with the Lord, your attendance at church, your giving to the Lord’s work, a forgiving heart?
Satan often works very subtly. If he can insinuate himself or his ideas into the practices of God’s people, he will. If he can stop believers serving and worshiping God, he will. If he can use compromise or distraction to further his own ends, he will. Check it out, is there an enemy ‘in the house’, bringing his belongings with him? How we need to be on guard to be sure it does not happen at our invitation!
Pray that the Lord will show us anything that needs to be dealt with. As Christians we have the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit to enable us and to guide us. God is at work in us, bringing us into line with his will and purposes for us, and transforming us into the likeness of his Son, Jesus Christ. Do not resist Jesus. Resist the devil!