Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Avoiding Distractions

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV)

New drivers are always told to fix their eyes on the road.  Don’t get distracted.  I once was driving students to a retreat and was trying to change cassette tapes (it was a quite a few years back!).  Suddenly I heard a rumble and looked up.  I was in a ditch going 55 mph. Fortunately, or perhaps miraculously, the only thing hurt was a tire. The tragic subway derailment in New York recently was the result of the conductor not paying attention to how fast he was going.  

Getting distracted can be dangerous and often deadly when driving.  The same is true spiritually.  The Hebrew writer instructs us to fix our eyes on Jesus.  In other words, don’t be distracted by anything else.  When our eyes are fixed on something, it is the focus of our attention.  

One of our enemy’s most strategic weapons is distraction, getting us to turn our focus away from Jesus to something else.  This is not to say that we are not to do anything other than keep our attention on Jesus.  When I am driving, I can still carry on a conversation with someone in the car, but I still keep my eyes and mind focused on the road.  If I get too involved with the conversation, however, then my focus becomes less on the road. Like the time I was driving home from a concert years ago and talking with a student.  I was so engaged in our conversation that I failed to notice we were heading in the wrong direction.  I drove 45 minutes the wrong way before ever noticing we were going north instead of south.  

The goal of the devil is to take us off the path, get us going in the wrong direction and eventually destroy us.  His attempts are not always flashy and they don’t have to be.  Simple distractions are very effective.  

What can easily distract you from Jesus?  Is it school?  A relationship?  A bad habit?  The stress of life?  Whatever it is, know it can be spiritually dangerous, even deadly, to you if it leads you to turn your attention from Jesus.  

Today, fix your eyes on Jesus and stay intent on keeping them there. Only then can you be assured of staying safe on the road that leads to eternal life.

© Jim Musser 2013

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