Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost an entire month since I’ve blogged here. This past year my goal has always been to blog at least once a week. Blogging got away from me in April. It’s been difficult to focus on God and overcome spiritual distractions within my life, too. April was very busy for me and I had a lot of school and work projects due. I was going through a time of growth, and wanting to stay focused on God.
Missed Opportunities Point to Spiritual Distractions
In April I clearly missed several promptings of The Lord. In His still small voice God announced moments to me that were so plainly in my face. It would’ve been so easy to follow through with but I just looked straight past them. I was not open to these promptings because I had lost my focus on God. I didn’t notice it was God prompting me to do something until after the fact. It hurt that I was too busy and I had completely “missed the mark.”
For example, in one of my college courses we could earn extra credit points for donating hygiene products to a local homeless shelter. My focus was on going to the store to purchase hygiene products. I was so busy with school work and other projects that I just didn’t find the time to go to the store.
The deadline to turn in the hygiene products arrived. I honestly just did not have any time to go to the store. As I sat next to my classmate I told her that I did not do the extra credit. She pointed out that I could’ve easily brought a tube of toothpaste from home, and it was in that moment it hit me.
Earlier that morning I looked in my linen closet and saw four tubes of toothpaste. I thought to myself “that’s a lot of toothpaste.” I then shut the door and went on my way throughout the day. I clearly needed to overcome this spiritual distraction in my life!
How could I be so distracted?
How in the world did I miss that opportunity, that prompting from The Holy Spirit, to serve someone else? It hurt my heart because I was making it so much harder than it needed to be. It would’ve been so easy for me to clean out the linen closet in my bathroom and donate those items.
Later that day I went home and found several more items I could’ve easily donated. My lack of focus caused me overlook the opportunity that was right in front of me.
I was so distracted, that’s how I missed it. Distracted by the wrong things. They are what I call spiritual distractions.
I was distracted by past hurts and past mistakes.
I was distracted by social media and the lives and opinions of others.
I was distracted by things that weren’t my calling and that took me away from goals that I was trying to achieve. God given goals that I feel God has paved the way for and has opened many doors.
All of this distracted me from an opportunity to help someone else, and this is not the first time this happened in April.
But God’s Grace Abounds and Allows us to Overcome Spiritual Distractions
In that moment I realized it was completely unacceptable for me to be so distracted and for me to stop walking down the path that I feel Holy Spirit is leading me down. I have let go of so much, and sometimes people would never understand what I’ve said “no” to and why. But all of these choices were made to overcome the spiritual distractions that prevented me from following Jesus. I have had to realized it was going to be a real battle to hear the promptings of The Father and to actually live it out. Especially, when there is unnecessary drama or unnecessary time being spent doing something that is not for me in this season.
In 1 Corinthians 3:13 it says:
each man’s work will be revealed. For the Day will declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself will test what sort of work each man’s work is.
One huge lesson I’ve learned is that just because you can build it doesn’t mean it’s something you should be working on, and it most definitely doesn’t mean it’s something that could stand the test of fire. I have been thinking a lot about my legacy and what I am building during my time on earth. If we don’t overcome spiritual distractions in our life then we are stunting our own spiritual growth. I want to be someone who is serving God by serving others. I want to take the time to collect hygiene items for a homeless shelter when someone is collecting those items or even when I have to do it on my own. I don’t want to build a life where I am either too busy, or too distracted, to do those type of things. I want to see the Promises of God manifested within my life, my family, and in those around me.
So I am reevaluating what I am building in my life. I’ve already walked away from some things in April because it was such an eye opening experience for me. In that process I have also recommitted my life to building some things that I have already started and that I value and cherish very much.
Are you are in a season where you feel distracted, stretched, and your disappointed because you can’t be the servant leader that Christ has called you to be?
Here are three suggestions on how you can overcome spiritual distractions in your life:
- Pray. Pray a lot and ask God what He would have you use your life to build. We can’t walk this life without Christ; can I get an amen?! Why not pray? When is it going to be the right time to pray? These are all rhetorical questions; it is always a good time to pray and the reason we are not praying is probably because of some spiritual distraction in our life.
- Prepare to walkway. Not from God, but from some things that have been distracting you from what God has you doing in this season right now. With this you will have more time and an even bigger commitment to something you might already be doing so the you can live a more God focused life.
- Go where you are wanted, appreciated, and where you can use your gifts. This was such a huge lesson for me in overcoming spiritual distractions. My husband was talking to our daughter the other day and asked her if she really wanted to work with someone that didn’t want her help. It was very eye opening for me; do we really want to pursue anything or anyone that would never utilize our spiritual gifts, or help support us to become all that God created us to be? It is our calling to use our gifts and to never linger where our gifts are being buried and denied their fulfillment.
The True Blessing
Overcoming spiritual distractions is truly never an easy thing to do; but the hardest part is recognizing when it is a spiritual distraction.
What a blessing it is to know that God is a merciful and gracious God; His mercies are truly new every morning.
What a beautiful thing it is when we have realized the spiritual distractions in our lives and we are able to live fully under His grace and do better next time. God is such a good, good, God!