The list of things that serve to distract us from our divine priorities and responsibilities are practically endless. As a result, self interests can often compete against best interests. For example, the pursuit for more is a major consumption of time and energy for many. For others, simply dealing with the stresses of life drains their devotions. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case. For God’s Word helps us identify when distractions are destroying our productive devotions:
Distortion: Our divine priorities get easily distorted when we begin to focus on the things the world dictates as important (Romans 12:2). For example, how much do we truly need and at what sacrifice? For me, this question came to fruition when I had to decide if a job opportunity for significantly more money was worth uprooting my family from everything they loved. Unlike some, we had a choice and didn’t have to move for work. However, the pull for more money and promotion tore at what I knew was best. My flesh and faith were battling it out. After all, it’s natural to desire promotion and to even celebrate it. In fact, there are few who would ever advise passing on promotions. However, by doing just that, I have received blessings that making more money could never have provided, and my family is still rejoicing over the decision; because for them, it was never about more money and prestige. That was my distortion. Thankfully, God will reveal our distortions – the challenge is being couragous enough to obey Him so that He can heal them.
Distance: When we allow distance to come between us and God, there are plenty of distractions ready to fill the gap. How can such distance occur? Unfortunately, it’s quite easy. All we need is to get too busy. Suddenly, our prayer time gets rushed and our Bible gets read less, or simply skimmed. Going to church becomes an option based on our feelings, or substituted for “other” commitments. Then, before we know it, God’s voice gets quieter in our lives. Now, before we call foul and say this is all legalism, we must remind ourselves to the basics of maintaining any relationship – time. Time together is a powerful unifier and what we love, truly love, we desire more time with (James 4:8). Therefore, how much do we desire our time with God? The distance we allow to come between us can be a revealing indicator.
Division: The unfortunate result of allowing distortion and distance into any relationship is often times division. If truly saved, this doesn’t mean we lose our salvation, for once saved by God’s grace, nothing can snatch us from His hand (John 10:28-29). However, His devotions and desires for us can get drowned-out when we permit distractions to divide us from His Word. Thankfully, when we walk closely with God, clarity, closeness and connection will replace the distortions, divisions and distractions of the world.
Application: “Divine Devotions” – Colossians 3:2
We have so many opportunities to trust God and rely on His goodness. However, to do so effectively, we must submit and surrender our ways to His and when He speaks, we must obey. When I passed on the career promotion it wasn’t easy. However, God’s voice was clear. For me, moving would have been disobeying the voice of God in my heart and ignoring the best interests of others. In fact, to accept the position would have been a direct inversion of my priorities – it would have been all about the money. Clearly for some, God’s direction may be to relocate, but for me, it was to pass in order to trust God more. This has solidified my desire to do my best wherever He directs me, regardless of the benefits and/or promotions – for in the end, is it all for His glory, or our own?