Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Overcoming Distractions

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Tuesday, August 13, 2013:  Nehemiah 5:14-7:73

2 that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they thought to do me harm.  3 So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?”  4 But they sent me this message four times, and I answered them in the same manner.  Nehemiah 6:2-4 (NKJV)

How do you handle distractions?  You have soooooooo much to do, and it's all really important.  There are deadlines to meet.  Yet roadblocks crop up all around to get you off track.  DISTRACTIONS.  

Here's the worst part.  If any of these distractions were really important, then forget all else and DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO.  But, usually the distractions are Satan's ploy to get you sidetracked on lesser things.  They are frivolous dead-ends that cause us to lose heart and end up staring at the wall while the Titanic sinks.  

Satan sent Sanballat and Geshem to lure Nehemiah off task.   They sounded so reasonable.  But Nehemiah had enough discernment to see through their request for a meeting.  He gave a simple yet profound answer:  "NO!"  "I am doing a great work, so I cannot come down."

How do you handle the distractions that daily come your way?  So here are a few suggestions:

1. Make a DECISION.  Get really clear about what God wants you to do.  I am big on lists (just ask my wife).  You must be crystal clear about the task you are to do.  Write it out.  If you don't know your job, you will fall prey to the first distraction.
2. Stop CARING.  This probably sounds un-Christian to some people, but let me explain.  What I mean is "stop caring what people think about you."  They will make enormous demands on you that NOBODY could fulfill, and then condemn you for not doing them.  Remember: it is God you need to please, not men.  If Nehemiah had tried to please Sanballat and Gesham, he would have ended up dead!
3. Do the WORK.  Show up!  As one coach said, "The first key to victory is showing up at the game!"  How many times do we sit in the chair but our minds are in Alaska!  We're either re-living the past or playing out the future.  Anything but doing the job before us -- building the wall.
4. Find your RHYTHM.  No one can work non-stop.  You must take a sabbath.  It may be a 15-minute break or a one-day holiday, but you MUST find your correct pace.  This is what it means to "work smart."  

Nehemiah had to overcome the distractions that sought to de-rail him from his God-given assignment.  You and I must do the same thing.  This is the difference between a mediocre, lack-luster life, and a life that is lived to the full.  Jesus promised us FULLNESS. "Satan does not come except to steal, to kill, and to destroy (to distract).  But I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it to the full." (John 10:10)

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