Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost an entire month since I’ve blogged here on my little old space on the inter web. This past year my goal has always been to blog at least once a week, and I even developed a system that made that happen more often than it used to. But I guess blogging got away from me in April and it’s been difficult to focus on God and overcome the spiritual distractions within my life, too.
April was very busy for me and I had a lot of school projects due, work projects due, and just a busy life in general. One reason I know I didn’t blog was because the posts I had written for the month of April just weren’t speaking to my heart at the time. It seemed I was going through a time of growth, and wanting to stay focused on God and what He had already placed in front of me that I just didn’t want to post what I had prewritten for this moment in time.
As it opens up to a new month my heart is actually very full. My eyes are fixed on the next big event, or the next milestone in our family’s life. Over the next two months (May and June) we will celebrate five birthdays, mother’s day, father’s day, and a High School graduation. Honestly, it is going to be a blessed and full time in our life that really is going to keep me busy; and if I’m not careful will put a strain on my intimacy with God.
But one thing that struck me in April was how I clearly missed several promptings of The Lord, in a still small voice fashion that God is known for, these moments were so plainly in my face and so easy to follow through with that I honestly just looked straight past it. My eyes weren’t open to these promptings because I was too focused on some spiritual distractions in my life, and I had lost my focus on God. I didn’t notice it was God prompting me to do something until after the fact, but it still 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 for a local homeless shelter. I was so focused on having to go to the store to purchase hygiene products, and I was so busy with school work and other projects that I just didn’t find the time to go to the store to pick anything up, or even order something on Amazon.
Before I knew it the deadline to turn in the hygiene products was here and it was the same day I had a big video presentation. I honestly just did not have any time to go to the store, so I didn’t and I chose to miss out on an opportunity to serve God and others. As I sat next to my classmate I told her that I totally did not do the extra credit and 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 literally looked into my linen closet in my bathroom and found four tubes of toothpaste and I thought to myself “that’s a lot of toothpaste.” I then shut the door and went on my way throughout the day.
How in the world did I miss that opportunity, that prompting from The Holy Spirit, to serve someone else? It honestly hurt my heart because I was obviously making it so much harder than it needed to be, and because 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 but for my lack of focus I was unable to connect the need with the opportunity that was right in front of me.
I was so distracted, that’s how I missed it. Distracted by the wrong things, not that they are bad things, but they are not for me in this moment in time. 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.
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 it was all because these things were spiritual distractions 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. Maybe I am entering my mid-life crisis or something, but I have been thinking a lot about my legacy and what I am building during my time on earth. 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.
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.
If 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 then here are three suggestions on how you can get back on track:
- 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.
- Be prepared 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? I feel it is our calling to use our gifts and to never linger where our gifts are being buried and denied their fulfillment.
Overcoming spiritual distractions is truly never an easy thing to do; but the hardest part is recognizing when it is a spiritual distraction. Like I had mentioned earlier that I didn’t know I was distracted until after the fact when it was too late.
What a blessing it is to know when you are distracted before it’s too late and you don’t have to miss out on an opportunity to serve God and others.
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!
P.S. My FREE gift to you this week is an 8×10 digital print of the verse 1 Corinthians 3:14. This scripture print is great for placing around your home and to help you memorize this scripture. Just click this link to download: 1 Corinthians 3:14 Scripture Image Download