Has God ever grabbed your attention with something mundane, like an object in your house, when he wants to talk to you about something? One of the ways he likes to let me know that he has something to say to me is to highlight something I see in my everyday life and draw my attention to it over and over.
So, that’s how my conversation with him about distractions started. (Hang in there with me, friend! I’m about to get a little nerdy girl on you with a word study. It’s good stuff – promise!!)
I got a little Harry Potter LEGO set from my hubby as a gift, and my attention kept being drawn to the box. In English it said, “Fun Pack”, and one of the translations said, “Pack de Diversión”. That made me remember back to my high school Spanish class where I learned that the word DIVERTIDO means fun, funny, or amusing.
Divertido (adjective, Spanish) – Fun, funny, amusing
Diverting (adjective, English) – Entertaining, amusing
Divertido reminded me of the English word “diverting”. Decades ago people used the word diverting in a positive way to say that someone or something was entertaining. We don’t really use the word that way nowadays…but it prompted me to go look up what the word divert means, which led me to look up the word distract.
Divert (verb) –
- To cause (someone or something) to change course or turn from one direction to another
- To draw (the attention of) someone from something
- To entertain or amuse by distracting the attention from worrisome thoughts or cares
Distract (verb) – To prevent (someone) from giving their full attention to something.
NOTE: I want to make sure to interject here that not all diversions or distractions are necessarily a bad thing. In fact, diversion & distraction are key tools in our momming toolbox, especially in the younger years!! See below…
After I finished looking up all these words in the online dictionary, God prompted me to do a search of scriptures about being distracted, and these are the ones I found:
Mark 9:43-48 (The Message – emphasis mine)
If your hand or your food GETS IN GOD’S WAY, chop it off and throw it away. You’re better off maimed or lame and alive than the proud owner of two hands and two feet, godless and in a furnace of eternal fire. And if your eye DISTRACTS YOU FROM GOD, pull it out and throw it away. You’re better off one-eyed and alive than exercising your twenty-twenty vision from inside Hell.
Mark 10:21-22 (The Message – emphasis mine)
Jesus looked him (the rich young ruler who said he had followed God’s law all his life) hard in the eye – and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.” The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. HE WAS HOLDING ON TIGHT TO A LOT OF THINGS, AND NOT ABOUT TO LET GO.
Luke 10:41-42 (The Passion Translation – emphasis mine)
The Lord answered her, “Martha, my beloved Martha. Why are you upset and troubled, PULLED AWAY BY ALL THESE MANY DISTRACTIONS? Mary has discovered the one thing most important by choosing to sit at my feet. She is UNDISTRACTED, and I won’t take this PRIVILEGE from her.”
YIKES! Anyone else feeling a bit convicted? Thankfully our God is not the kind of Dad who just likes to point fingers and show us all the stuff we’re doing wrong. If you feel that way in your relationship with God, I encourage you to dig deeper into grace and press into God. We are his kids and he shows us areas we can grow in not to shame us, but to help us. (You can study that further in Proverbs 3:11-12, Hebrews 12:11, Proverbs 12:1 & Revelation 3:19) The truth is that God loves giving us some hope and encouragement about our situation, even as he shows us areas where we need to grow. Check out what he shared with me next:
WHO IS THE SUBJECT?
Divert & distract are both verbs (action words, in case you need a grammar refresher). That means that someone or something (the subject, in grammatical terms) has to be DOING the diverting or distracting. SPOILER ALERT: It’s not you, because you are the one RECEIVING the action of diversion & distraction!
YOU HAVE A VERY REAL ENEMY WHO DOES NOT WANT YOU TO:
- Have a good relationship with God
- Be able to hear from God
- Notice the ways God is working in and around you
- Truly understand God’s love for you, and the grace & forgiveness you have been slathered with through the blood of Jesus
- Know and walk in the truth & freedom of who you really are in Jesus
- Truly believe that God is already and will continue to work through you for Kingdom impact, and that he wants to bless you abundantly in THIS life along the way.
SO WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
If you have read Ephesians 6 before, you are probably familiar with the list of pieces of our spiritual armor that Paul discusses. Right now I just want you to focus on two things: the Bible & prayer. Read the Message version of the following verses:
Ephesians 6:10-18 (MSG, emphasis mine)
And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no weekend war that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps. a life-or-death to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. GOD’S WORD IS AN INDISPENSABLE WEAPON. IN THE SAME WAY, PRAYER IS ESSENTIAL IN THIS ONGOING WARFARE. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
Your enemy wants to keep you from fighting and will try to distract you from reading the Bible and from prayer. So, even if you need to start small – JUST START!! And then keep at it! Here are some ideas that may help:
- Download the YouVersion Bible app to your phone or tablet. It’s like being able to carry the Bible with you wherever you go, plus soooo much more. For an easy start, you can read the “verse of the day” each morning. Switch between different translations of the Bible right from that spot in the app and read the verse in several versions. It will help you gain a new perspective & understanding of what you’re reading. You can also use the app’s guided reading plans, devotionals & Bible studies. You can invite friends to do a study plan with you and chat about it in the app. You can set an alert to remind you to have your Bible time at a certain time of day. You can even have the app read the Bible aloud to you!
- Prayer is really just talking to God. Your Daddy in Heaven just wants to hear from you & talk to you. Don’t feel like you need to get all formal and flowery in your words with a bunch of “thee & thou”! You don’t even have to be kneeling. You can talk to him in the car during your errands, in the kitchen while you cook or clean dishes, during your walk around the neighborhood…
- Get your heart & mind in the right place! Use Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, etc. to find some praise & worship music that you like. I have a couple of “channels” on my Pandora account that are softer music, and a couple that are more like Christian dance or workout music. I like to listen when I’m doing dishes, folding laundry, driving, walking, etc.
- Connect with people who are on the same path, who can help encourage you along the way. This can be at church or in a local Bible study group, or even in an online community. If you’d like to connect with other Christian moms, I’d love to invite you to join us in the Many Hatted Mom Tribe on Facebook!
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:
1. What in your life is getting in God’s way? What is getting in the way of things He wants to do in and through you?
2. What in your life is distracting you from God? What keeps you from spending time with Him? What gets in the way of you noticing the ways He is working in your life, or in the lives of others around you?
3. What do you think Satan might be trying to distract you FROM? What is he trying to keep you from accomplishing right now?