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By James Howard

An often-overlooked enemy of man likes to latch on and hold on as tenaciously as a bulldog grabbing its prey. It is a thief that comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Many are in the grip of this diabolical evil. It will suck the dreams and visions out of your life, leaving you wondering, scratching your head, sensing something isn’t right. Beware, for this culprit is subtle.

Distraction may not seem as evil as unforgiveness or jealously or any of the like, but it is as deadly to the spiritual life. Distraction can be as time consuming and unfruitful as any other Christian struggle. It can cause a soul to go astray and struggle to find its way back to the right path.

Satan used Peter to try to distract Jesus from His mission – dying for the sins of all mankind (Mark 8:31-33). Jesus had to assess the situation and by force send it down the road to keep His mind on His goal. He had to keep His focus on the plan of God, not the distraction of Peter.

According to Webster’s New World Dictionary distraction means “to draw the mind away in another direction, to confuse; to bewilder, great mental distress.” I myself have had to deal with the mental stress and confusion that arises from being distracted from the task at hand. Often I’ve been involved in one thing and then suddenly find myself going in a totally different direction. It is the work of the enemy to get us off track of the purpose and focus of God.

Even as I am writing, I feel a pull on my thoughts to move away from the computer and do something else. The enemy attempts to thwart me from finishing the task at hand. When I am attempting to read the Word and pray, my dog will want me to take him outside, or the thought will come to me to check my e-mails or to get up and go work on a project. These distractions are designed to keep me from accomplishing my goals. Some of the thoughts can be distressing and cause mental anguish.

Here are a few steps to help overcome distractions:

First, I must realize the distraction as an attempt by Satan to draw my attention away from what I am trying to accomplish.

Second, I must call upon the Holy Spirit to help me focus and keep the task in mind.

Third, I must train my thinking so I can press on as Jesus did, accomplish the task before me, and glorify the Lord in all I do.

When I apply these steps, I am able to defeat the distractions that attempt to so easily beset me (Hebrews 12:1).

James-Howard-authorboxJames Howard is a writer with a Diploma of Ministry from Christian Leaders Institute. He enjoys reading, woodworking, and sports. He is planning a trip to Kenya to work with orphans.  

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