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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Are You Distracted or Focused? Blessings Lie With Focused!


Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Do you ever get distracted? Of course you do! We all do. And because we do, we have to learn to get focused. People who easily get distracted are also people that listen poorly. They are people who have a difficult time learning. They are people who struggle to work from the beginning to the end of a project or task in a reasonable time frame. Getting distracted and not paying attention is also the provoker and igniter of many relational schisms.

There was a time when God needed Moses attention and he did not want him to be distracted. We read about it in Exodus 24:12 (NKJV). "Then the LORD said to Moses, "Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them."

Moses is a new leader. Not young in age but young in leading God's people. I'm sure his mind was often spinning concerning the things God asked him to do. God wanted to give Moses the Ten Commandments and asked him to come up to the mountain. In speaking to Moses, God said, "Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them." Look at those words and you will notice something funny. God said, "Come up to the mountain... and then continues by saying, "and be there..."

Why did the Lord say "Come up... and be there...?" Just go back to the last time you sat down to read and mediate on God's Word or when you went to spend time in prayer. Did you find your mind drifting to other places? When you were in church, did you find your mind drifting to other places? When you’re talking to other people or better yet when they are talking to you, do you find your mind drifting to other places? That's probably why the Lord said, "Come up... and be there." 

When it comes to God, being frequently distracted turns a personal relationship with God to religion. You all know what religion is. It's going through the motions of religious obligation and almost wanting to be distracted because it's so boring. That is what religion is—mindless religious experiences.  Most people I know who grew up in a religious church know exactly what I am talking about.

Having a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, is anything but mindless or religious. When you receive Jesus into your heart, the Holy Spirit comes to live in you and He opens your eyes to see the world through God's eyes. He opens your heart to help you learn and understand the scriptures. He helps you pray anywhere and at anytime to truly engage with God. This isn't religion—it's relationship!  And like any relationship, you have to keep from being distracted. With God it's even more important to do so, so that it doesn't become mindless religion but maintains that personal intimacy.

God doesn't want us going through religious motions which is exactly what we are doing when we come to Him but aren't with Him. It's about the same as when your wife is talking to you but you have your mind on the television or business or the football game or whatever. She knows she doesn't have your attention and there is no real communion going on. But then the husband wants her full attention in bed later that night.

Being distracted can get us into trouble with our boss, with our spouse, and in a multitude of ways. Becoming focused and keeping our mind on what is set before us actually builds character over time. Proverbs 4:25-27 (NLT) "Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.  Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil." In this case, evil isn't just sin. It's the distraction that causes you to wander.

Whether it's with God or with those we are supposedly with—are we really there? Are we listening and paying attention? Are we there to make the moment work? Let's learn from God! "Come... and be there!"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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