As I sat down to write this episode, I mentally reviewed a list of struggles and themes I feel like we all struggle with. Well, I was reading in Luke and as I continued to pray on the topic, I noticed a word that kept cropping up. Distraction. So today, instead of recounting one specific story from the Bible, I thought I would tie in several different passages to reinforce this particular topic.
Within a few chapters in the book of Luke, I noticed three different references to distractions as well as the different types of distractions we face. So, forgive me if today’s episode sounds a bit like bullet points! But for the sake of making each point relatable, I’ll also add in a personal note or experience for each. If you’re in the mood for a lesson today, you’ve landed on the right episode!
If you’re taking notes today, here is your first point: God doesn’t want you to be distracted by your past.
I’ve never met someone who is an exception to this, (except for maybe newborns because they don’t have a past to pull from yet)! At some point or another in our lives, we are all guilty of letting our past dictate our choices, define our present, or distract from our future.
The end of Luke chapter 9:61-62 say this: “Still another said to him, “Lord, I want to follow you too. But first let me go home and say good-bye to my entire family.” Jesus responded, “Why do you keep looking backward to your past and have second thoughts about following me? When you turn back you are useless to God’s kingdom realm.”
I think it’s important to note here that rather than focusing on Jesus’ rebuke, this tiny piece is more about the larger lesson Jesus is pointing out. The past can not only distract you from the future, but remedy you “useless to God’s kingdom realm”. Not only that, but Jesus even says that “looking backward to your past”…can make you “have second thoughts about following” him! That is a pretty powerful statement. I can tell you from experience that there are some seasons in my past that, although I’m thankful for how I grew in them, I wouldn’t want to keep going back to that time and that headspace. Dwelling on mistakes, on hurt, on shame? That holds NO benefit for you! Furthermore, going back to the past over and over acts as miracle grow for doubts about who you are NOW and what you’re capable of NOW. Not just now, but on into the future!
So that is the first takeaway today… God doesn’t want you to be distracted by the past!
The next point is this: God doesn’t want you to be so distracted by busyness that you miss Him. That you miss seeing how He’s speaking and moving in your life. That you miss lessons and moments He has gifted to you specifically! If you’re waiting for the biblical tie-in…I’ll read about it here, in Luke 10: 38-42 TPT…
And your final bullet point for the day is this: God doesn’t want you to be distracted by others.
Luke 10:1-4 TPT reinforces this… I thought this was the perfect point to end on today. Being distracted by the lives of other people may be the most prevalent issue we ALL deal with. Because of social media, our exposure to others is limitless and the temptation to compare is human nature. But God knew that and warned against it even in Biblical times. Specifically, Jesus said, “Don’t get so distracted from my purpose by anyone that you might meet along the way..” So often, we look around at the race other people run. It may look like a successful business, ministry, or family life. It may look grander and more exciting than what lies before you. But the fact of the matter is, God gave you your own race to run. It won’t look like everyone else’s and it shouldn’t. Today, I pray God draws your attention to whatever area of distraction you may be dealing with. I pray that He not only exposes it, but grants the discipline to become Undistracted by anything not of Him. I pray He opens the right doors, closes the wrong ones, and gives you the discernment you need to pursue Him…