I believe most people are sincere in their commitment to follow Christ. We really do want to make Him the Lord of our lives and to put Him before everything else. Satan knows this as well which is why he is constantly looking for ways to discourage and distract us. It’s not the catastrophic failures that tend to doom us; it’s the small, incremental distractions that knock us off course to the point that we one day wonder how we got where we are. So often a bad day finds us looking to anything other than God to salve our frustrations. We seek comfort in mindless entertainment or destructive addictions in hopes of numbing a life that has gone off plan and seemingly has no solution in sight. We neglect our first love (1 John 4:19; Revelation 2:4), and Satan is delighted. No matter what’s going on in your life, you must never let your affliction cloud your affection.
It’s easy to become so preoccupied with the challenges of life that we forget our purpose. Jesus never called us to a life of ease, but rather warned us that we would face trials and persecution (John 16:33; Luke 21:16-19; 2 Timothy 3:12). What afflicts each of us may look very different from another. Some are born to poverty and ravaged by disease. Others are trapped in a life of slavery or addiction, while some are born to freedom and affluence yet struggle to find significance. Satan has unique ways of blurring our perception of Christ depending on the circumstances of our lives. All that is required to bump someone off the road of discipleship is a momentary distraction that takes our eyes off of Jesus.
Remember when Peter tried walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33)? He was fine as long as he was focused on Jesus, the object of his affection. The moment he glanced at the circumstances surrounding him however, he began to sink. He took His eyes off Jesus for only a moment, and the result was he was instantly overwhelmed by the raging storm around him. Just like Peter, when we focus on anything other than Jesus, we begin to drown in the reality of our surroundings. We forget why we are doing what we do. The life of a disciple is about Jesus Christ and nothing else. When we let the cares of this world cloud our vision of the Creator, we are overwhelmed. Our preoccupation with life leads to a quick and certain death.
What are you allowing to cloud your vision? Life’s petty annoyances can become full-blown barriers to seeing Jesus if we allow Satan to convince us our problems are larger than they actually are. No trouble is too big when we recognize Jesus is standing beside us. Nothing is greater than His power, and nothing can stand against His love. When we become preoccupied with the burdens of this world and allow them to distract us from living our lives wholly devoted to Christ, we buy into the lies of Satan. We forget the mission for which we have been created, and take our eyes off of Jesus. Our vision of Christ gets blurry and our love for Him wavers. Instead of your trials, focus on the One who gave everything so you might live. Remember His love for you. Remember your love for Him. Don’t let your affliction cloud your affection.