As disciples of Jesus, our goal is to ever be drawing closer to Him. We want to know Him better, to understand Him on a deeper level, and to love Him more. Satan has other plans. The entire focus for Satan is to keep each Christ-follower unbalanced and distracted. Sometimes he does this by insinuating himself into tragedies and disappointments we encounter. More often, Satan’s modus operandi is to subtly influence us to look away from God.
The devil needs only catch the corner of our eye to accomplish his purpose. Whenever we can be influenced to not have our entire focus on God, Satan claims a victory. He is the master of distraction, and his distractions will erode both our walk and our faith.
You would think we could see distractions coming a mile away, but experience proves otherwise. Despite knowing the warning signs, despite times of vigilance, distraction has a way of catching our eye. If you have the gift of infecting others with the joy you possess, Satan will probably look for ways to make you angry. Those who are joyful by nature do not easily succumb to sadness. It’s too obvious and diametrically opposed to who they are. Anger, on the other hand, can seep in unnoticed until it begins to steal one’s joy from the inside out. Soon, the joyful person who was drawing others to Christ by their infectious lifestyle has turned ineffective and bitter. The master of distraction has struck again.
I’ll tell you how this plays out in my own life. My primary gift for ministry is writing to instruct and encourage others to live their lives wholly devoted to God. I do this via multiple avenues and mediums, but when you break it down, I write. If you’ve known any writers or have even read about the craft, you know writer’s block is our kryptonite. Staring at a blank page or computer screen without a clue what you’re going to write is terrifying. When it goes on for days, weeks, months, or longer, a spiraling depression is certain to follow. Yet, Satan doesn’t attack me in this way. It’s too easy to see it coming. He knows the times he’s attempted to do this, the attack has been easily defeated by prayer. I pray for God to give me the words He wants me to write, and they begin to flow.
So, what does the master of distraction do? He attacks me in a much craftier way. He attacks my time. Pieces of my time get eaten away little by little until, suddenly, there’s no time left to write. Satan works to keep me from having the substantial blocks of solitude necessary for me to express my gift. He does this by placing temptations within my view. He does what he can to encourage me to pursue the “shiny objects” of this world. Once distracted, I’m no longer engaged in pursuing my craft for the glory of God.
The good news is, I’m onto this particular scheme of the devil. Because it has a thousand permutations, it won’t be as easy to defeat; but I will now be praying and asking God to help me recognize the distractions and to help me run to the arms of Christ when I see them coming. What subtle ways has the master of distraction been employing in your life? How is he smothering your gifts to make you less effective for the Kingdom? Ask God to help you see what Satan is up to in your life. Implore the Father to help you avoid the distractions of the devil and to keep your eyes focused only on Jesus. The master of distraction cannot succeed when our eyes are on God. When we are focused solely on God, we will find our victory in Jesus.