The other morning in prayer the Lord gave me a peek into His feelings towards the way so many Christians approach Him in prayer. He then went on to show me how irrelevant we had made Him when it came to the cares of the world.
Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Mat 6:33. Sadly, many people are seeking God in the way of ritualistic habit instead of a genuine diligent heart to find Him and learn of His will. Jesus modeled prayer by telling His disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Mat 6:10. How do the words of Jesus Christ affect us today? We are to search for God knowing He is God and is a Rewarder of those who seek Him (Heb 11:6). If we are always looking for God to speak into our lives regarding our personal needs and desires, then we are really not seeking His righteousness and kingdom. I believe that unless we enter the presence of God with reverence and the spirit of the fear of the Lord, then we are simply speaking into the atmosphere with a hope that we are really speaking to God.
We all have assignments on the earth to do and none of them, if from God, are insignificant. When we seek God’s will for our lives (which are really not ours if we are His), we can be confident that we will find it. All too often we hear or perceive something while in prayer or even on the run and determine it is from God, so we go forth in the doing. Sometimes all the doing is simply a way of keeping us busy with distraction, so we miss the real assignment of the Lord. We may have good intentions, but those intentions will not get the will of God accomplished in our lives. We must take the time to read the word, pray and listen if we are to know the difference between distraction or diligent obedience.
The Lord showed me that the distractions of the saints are many. These distractions put Him in second place at best. Everything we put our minds to above God is an idol or in danger of becoming one. As an example, my husband and I decided to sell our home and purchase a different one. We have been in the selling, buying, and moving process for the past month and it has taken a real effort for us to stay focused on God while the distractions come at us several times a day. Some days I have had to ask God for His grace to get through the awaiting needs as I put Him off until a more opportune time. I have come under conviction a few times this month because of thinking that “I can fit God in later.”
When I say “put God first” what I am trying to convey is that we should make time first thing every day to build a relationship with our Father. If we are trying to build a relationship with a person in the flesh such as a spouse, friend, boss, or child we will make every effort to open channels of communication. We need to put the energy into knowing God, remembering that His Spirit lives within us and will teach, guild, counsel, and correct us if we will allow Him. Without putting God at the beginning of our day and every decision thereafter, we risk losing the Holy Spirits insight on the things we must deal with. If we lose His insight then we are not putting His kingdom will before ours.
What if it is a Godly Distraction?
What do we do when Godly distractions come into our lives, and yet they are not from God? First, just because something looks godly and may even be Godly, it doesn’t mean we have to get involved. I believe God will allow opportunities to come into our lives to test us in our faithfulness towards the call He has for us today. Not all good deeds are God’s deeds. If we jump on every opportunity that looks good, we may find ourselves pulling away from the assignment of this season. If we are pulled away, we will not be able to gain this season back. Season’s come and go; it is our duty to seek the Father’s will on behalf of our lives for today.
While Jesus was speaking with the Pharisees, He said, “Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don't know how to interpret this present time?” Lk 12:56 NIV There are many seasons and times to be aware of and all of them are important, those that are of the Lords will. If we call ourselves children of God and boast of doing His work, then we best be sure the work we are doing is indeed His!
Webster’s Dictionary 1828 online edition defines the word distraction as a drawing apart, a separation. I was really surprised to read this because in prayer the Lord showed me some of His servants were being drawn away from their callings because of the distractions. It makes perfect sense to me now. Distraction is a confusion of affairs that can lead to madness, frantic, and furiousness. Synonyms for distraction are madness, lunacy, insanity, and craziness.
If we remain on the path of distraction believing it is diligence to the Lord’s call, we may find ourselves in insane business that has no effect on the kingdom of God or for it! It is important that we seek godly counsel when we are feeling torn away from our ministry calling. There is safety in a multitude of counsel.
Diligence is the constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken. It is the persistent exertion of body or mind to finish what one has started. So many times, people begin a project and never finish it. This is because we tend to start out with a fiery passion for pursuing a thing only to find ourselves sizzling out because of the unexpected commitment that project required; this is especially so in ministry.
I have been in the ministry for 13 years, and during that time the assignments of ministry have been greater and required more responsibility, time, energy and commitment. I have had to battle burn out and fatigue. I have had thoughts of quitting more times than I can think and they usually surround a specific issue with my health and thoughts that I could not possibly remain diligent to the call of the ministry with these issues. These thoughts are demonic and are contrary to what God says. Jesus said, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Matt 19:26 and Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13.
The next time you are in pursuit of something that you believe is good and from God may I encourage you to seek His will first. Take time to pray a thing through and wait for the Holy Spirit to release the Father’s will. If you do these things, you will find yourself operating in God’s grace which will suffice to get you through instead of your own strength which will eventually wane and lead to burn out.
Heavenly Father, today I’m thankful for the body of Christ because every joint supply which means I don’t have to supply to every joint. I’m grateful for Your strength and grace to see me through a thing, and for the mercy You extend when I stumble and go off on my own. Today begins a new day, and I repent for every time I had said something was from You when, in fact, I never took time to ask. I repent for going off on my own and saying it was a “God thing” when it was really simply a good thing. Help me today to live out the words of Your Son when He said, “My sheep hear My voice, and they will follow no other.” I confess the need to hear and be sure of Your voice for direction in every part of my life so that I can truly live out Your will here on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus name, I pray.