1 John 5:21, "Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God's place in your hearts."
Media, fast cars, facebook, cell phones, music, jobs, school...
Our world is full of distractions. Most Americans have one speed... GO! If you ask just about anyone what they've been doing lately, they'll reply with this one simple word: "busy".
Everywhere we look, we can find something to distract us. I don't know what it is about television, but if that t.v. is on, it has a way of drawing us to the screen even if we don't particularly care for what's on.
Not too long ago, God gave me a little insight about things that distract me from what my real purpose for being here is. He showed me how it's so easy for me to get distracted from what truly matters.
Matthew 10:39 says, "If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it."
God began dealing with my heart and showing me that although the things I wanted in my life weren't bad, because my entire focus was on them, they were becoming distractions to me. My desire for a husband and children was starting to distract me from the fact that my ultimate purpose for being here on this earth is to glorify God. It was all too easy to forget that this life is just a blink of an eye in comparison with eternity.
Matthew 6:19-20 says, "Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal."
What God began to show me was that He needed to be first in my life and that nothing else should distract me from Him. In all essence, nothing else should take His place of importance in my heart.
I love what Hebrews 12:1 says: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
How do we do that? Thankfully verses 2-3 have the answer: "We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people, then you won't become weary and give up."
When we fix our eyes on Jesus, the distractions of life begin to dim in comparison.
As God dealt with my heart, He brought me peace that I hadn't known in a long time. When I realized that the things I had been focusing on were really just distracting me from what really matters, I was able to rest in knowing that I didn't need those things to be complete. All I needed was Jesus to be first in my heart.
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, His response was, "...'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.'" Matthew 22:37b.
More than anything else, God has to be number one in our life. Anything that will take His place in our hearts needs to be put in its rightful place and stop taking His place. The Bible is so bold as to say to, "keep away from" such things.
The question is this: What fights for first place in your heart? Everyone has something or someone that comes first. Is it God?
Now that God's shown me the distractions, He's also shown me steps as to the direction He is pointing me in. He's showing me the narrow road. It's the road less traveled. It's the road that is more difficult to walk. The good news is it is the road that leads to life and the road that ends in true satisfaction.
So, we all know the church answer as to why we're here... to glorify God. Now, I'm asking, what is He telling you to do personally?
This walk with God is a true adventure. I truly believe part of God's purpose for me is to write. What has God called you to do for His Kingdom?
Whatever it is that is fighting for first place in your heart, if it isn't God, keep away from it. For a very long time, my dreams had first place in my heart. I wasn't told to get rid of my dreams. I was told to give them up to God, though. They needed to be put in their rightful place.
God has so much more for us than what we can think up on our own. He has a purpose for us being here. Are you ready to fulfill that purpose?
Dear Heavenly Father,
The most important thing is that You are first in my life. The greatest commandment is that I love You with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind. Help me to do that. Anything that distracts me from that purpose, I pray You help me keep away from such things. Anything that is fighting for first place in my heart, please put it in its rightful place and take Your rightful place back. I ask this in Jesus' Name.