The art of distraction

In talking with several different friends this week, I’ve been reminded of  the age-old scheme of the Enemy “the art of distraction.” It is just like the “game” we play on little kiddos when we get them to turn their head, so we can either take something off, or put something on, their plate at the dinner table. They fall for it nearly every time, and thankfully since its a game, when they realize it, we can all laugh. 

Well, unfortunately, the Enemy is playing this same game on us, and all too often we fall for it too-just as innocent little children. He plays like this…God burdens our heart with a clear calling. We get excited about it, start moving in that direction, and then the Enemy jumps out in front of us, waves his little carrot, and aims to distract us with some little thing that isn’t what we just learned was God’s clear calling/purpose for us. Often it is a “good” thing, and could even be considered noble or worthy, but it is NOT what God called US to. He may have called another person to it, but he did not call us. The Enemy tries to get us all worked up, frustrated and/or discouraged about it. Then, several days, months, weeks or years later, we finally realize that we just wasted a whole bunch of time being frustrated about something that wasn’t the BIG thing God called us to. We realize we’ve fallen prey to deception once again. 

James 4:7-10 says (emphasis mine), 

“7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

In reading James 4 this week, I was encouraged by the reminder that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us. Sometimes I forget that each time we say “no” to him, it makes it harder for him to crack us and “win” in our lives. Each time we train ourselves in saying no to the Enemy and yes to God, we become stronger in the Holy Spirit. 

Lord, help us to resist the schemes of the Enemy and to embrace the strength of your spirit. May we lay down our own crowns and humble ourselves at your feet, that YOU may lift us up and make us mighty in your sight.

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