Matthew 20:16b Amp
“For many are called, few are chosen.”
It is said with regard to those who do not profit by their opportunities that “many are called, but few are chosen.”
Many people are called to great and amazing things. The world should be amazed at Christians. We should be the world’s heroes. People need heroes. They need somebody to look up too. They need somebody to admire, somebody to point them in the right direction.
Every little kid loves to play superheroes! I remember my daughters, when they were younger, loved to pretend they had superpowers. Playing with their cousins in the swimming pool and all of them deciding what superpower they would have. One would be able to be invisible, while another would have superhuman strength. One of their cousins couldn’t come up with something so she just said, “Superpowers” as they were all swimming in the pool. Cute!
If we provided the world with an example of Jesus they would be encouraged and given hope!
Many are called, few are chosen.
Many are called to do great things but few will do great things, Why? Because few will take responsibility for the call. It doesn’t end with a call, that’s where the work starts. First comes the call, then comes the work, then comes the sacrifice, then comes the never giving up, and then comes the “going all the way through.”
A lot of people are called to do great things but we have a wrong mindset, a wrong mentality about what God is asking us to do.
Everybody has equal opportunity. Everybody has all the power of God available to them but not everybody is willing to do their part. One of the things we can not delegate, and I am a great delegator, you can not delegate personal responsibility.
Personal responsibility comes with a price. Time, energy, and maybe even our money. There are many distractions that can prevent us from fulfilling what God wants us to do with our life.
We have to fight distractions. Don’t allow the distraction to win. If you vier off course, get back on. No excuses. Be tenacious in achieving or fulfilling what God has called you to do. Discouragement, fear, regret, and much more can prevent us from fulfilling the call.
Doors of distraction come when you are least expecting it. Get your mind made up and stay focused. Someone calls you to go have lunch and they are paying, be ready to say, “No, I better take a raincheck because I have my mind made up to finish what I have started.”
1 Corinthians 16:9 ESV
“For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
God will open up doors of opportunity to us. Remember Many are called and few are chosen. We all have potential for success and doing great things in life. The enemy doesn’t want you to succeed with your call because it will inevitably take territory away that he has stolen. His game is to steal, kill, and destroy, so anything that is contrary to that, he will attack. His attack comes in many schemes. One of his biggest is to distract a faith-filled person from their call and their passion and purpose.
I was reading about a new crime wave in the United States. It is called Distraction Thieves, and it happens more often than you might imagine. Frequently, seniors citizens and people who are not aware of their surroundings, are the targets of Distraction Thieves.
A Distraction Theft usually is performed by at least two people, although some distraction thieves work alone. When two people work the scam as a team, it usually involves one person distracting the victim, while the other helps themselves to the victim’s unattended belongings. These crafty thieves accomplish their distraction in a variety of ways and will use every trick in the book to get inside your home. They may come to the door as a team, pretending to be inspectors, utility workers or sales people for pest control businesses, roofing companies or other home improvements.
Once inside your home, the crime will begin. Working as a team, one of the thieves will engage the victim in a conversation or phone sales pitch to divert the victim’s attention while the other thief sneaks away to swipe the victim’s belongings.
Other distraction thieves prefer to work alone. They go house-to-house knocking on doors. If no one answers, the thief may go around to the rear of the house and look for any easy way to get in. If someone answers the door, the thief will try a variety of excuses to try to trick you into letting them in your home. Here are some of the distraction thief’s most common lines: I’m here to check your pipes, check your telephone line, check the water, you’ve won a prize or I’ve lost my pet. Others will ask for a glass of water, a pen or piece of paper to jot down a note or ask permission to use your toilet.
Once inside, it’s a green light for the thief to distract you long enough to case your home for valuables and find an excuse to be alone to take what is yours.
This happens in our Christian life too. We can have good intentions to start something, and even get part way through it, and then something distracts us and we never finish what we started. We need to learn how to recognize Distraction Thieves in our own life and how to deal with them.
Distraction thieves come in many forms and causes us to chase after many doors that were never opened to us. I believe satan puts these doors of distraction before us to prevent us from accomplishing a task that God has given. Thus the title to this message: Door #1, Door #2, or Door #103! We end up with so many doors, or so much on our plate, which God never intend for us to have.
1. Distraction Thieves rob you of your focus.
This is the primary goal of a distraction. Some distractions are unpreventable like needing to help a child, but most of the distractions in our life are preventable and conquerable.
Even while I was studying and writing down some notes on this message I found myself being distracted all the time. I would be studying and then a thought would come to my mind; “I need to get something to drink.” So I would get up to get a cup of coffee and then remember I didn’t make my bed that morning, so I went into my bedroom and made the bed. While I was there I noticed some things that needed to be picked and put away. I stopped and realized I was a victim of DISTRACTION THIEVES and quickly went back to my table and started to study again. Then my phone would send me a notification and distract me to look at what or who it was. I had to turn off my phone. Then go back to work on my message. Then my dogs were outside and started to bark from someone passing by and I had to go and let them inside to prevent them from disturbing the neighborhood. You see there will always be distractions. Some we can stop, while others need our attention.
A distraction thief in church is someone getting up to go get a drink, or snack, or go to the bathroom, etc. This is what happens: Mrs. Jones decides she is thirsty. She gets up from the middle of row three and has to walk in front of all sitting in row three. All those behind row three now have noticed Mrs. Jones getting up. They are not paying attention to the speaker and their message, but all their focus is now on Mrs. Jones. They start to assess her clothes and what she is wearing. They start to wonder where she is going, all the while the pastor is up front speaking to just a few who didn’t see Mrs. Jones get up. DISTRACTION THIEVES!
2. Distraction thieves steal valuables.
TIME. One of the most valuable things God has given us is a new day. With a new day comes 24 hours. Within those 24 hours we usually have between 16 to 18 hours of awake time. What are you accomplishing during that time. Do you use your time wisely? The Bible tells us to number our days (Psalm 90:12). This means to not waste them but be wise with them.
Don’t allow your time to be stolen. Ask God to help you order your day and to stay focused. We can never make up the time we have wasted, but we sure can do something great in the gift of a new day God gives. Today is a new day! Allow God to be your all in all everyday and see what You and Him can accomplish together!
PEACE. We can get anxious and worry about circumstances in our life and this makes us lose our peace. Losing our peace distracts us onto a hamster wheel of spinning around and around and getting no where.
Another distraction peace robber is being too competitive. We are too focused on being the best, being first, or always showing you know things better then others. Let go of this distraction because there will ALWAYS be another person around who has a higher score. Just relax and enjoy the life God has given you. Some say a little competition is good for you. But I believe with some personalities it feeds the competitive monster and it only gets bigger. We are not hear on earth to compete with each other but to complete each other, Amen!
Having peace is valuable. It brings rest to our spirit.
PURPOSE. We are here on this earth to give God glory, telling others about Him, and communing with our glorious Lord. To live a life of obedience and integrity in honor of our King. Being distracted will take away from all this and steer us possibly onto a road never intended for you to go down.
Protect your relationship with Christ. Treat it as the most precious thing you have (which it is). Be determined to fulfill your purpose on this earth that God intended for you to have. As a Christian we need to remember that we have value and God planned for you to be born for His glory and pleasure. It is a privilege and honor to worship Him because He is worthy. We were also formed for fellowship in God’s family. That is why we are to go and fellowship with the body of Christ.
Hebrews 10:25 Amplified Bible
“Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.”
As a Christian we were created to be more like Jesus everyday. Think about any distraction that has changed your focus from this and walk away from it. We have Christ living within us as a born again Christian and we are shaped to serve God in any way and in any area that is needed. Serving God and others brings much joy because it takes the focus off of you and your problems. Your purpose is NOT to receive all the time. Your purpose also is to give. Are you a giver? Have you shared your heart and testimony with others?
3. Distraction Thieves prevent us from moving forward.
We all like momentum and increase. Things build on other things. Speed can build more speed. We can see it at a construction sight how the foundation has to be built first before the first floor, and the first floor has to be built before the top floor.
Luke 14:28 NKJV
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.”
Getting things accomplished, learning new things, progressing and growing in our relationship with Christ and others. Everyone has a purpose on this earth. We can get distracted from the call on our life by many things and this distraction prevents, or at least puts it on hold; progress.
LAZINESS. Do you know laziness is a distraction thief? It is! It prevents us from being who we are in Christ. I don’t think anyone is called to laziness. We are all created for a purpose. Laziness can stop your forward progress, and possibly prevent you from ever doing or going anywhere in Christ. “Well I am too tired to go to church!” “It is too hard to keep on keeping on!” “Why do I always have to do it an no body else?” Excuses, whining and complaining, got the children of Israel nowhere. If you are tired, find time to rest and rejuvenate yourself. Sometimes we need to take a vacation. That is what vacations are for: rest and rejuvenation! This is not what I am talking about. What I am referring to is plane old being lazy. Lazy with your walk with Christ. Lazy in doing anything in life.
IMPATIENCE. Impatience can prevent us from moving forward. Our impatience is a sign of pride and selfishness. It is all about you and what you want. Have you ever been driving your car in front of an impatient driver? They honk their horn, wave their fist, swerve all over, speed recklessly, just to get a head of you. This causes accidents. It causes anxiety in the person who is impatient, and also to those around them, and most of the time it never gets them quicker to where they are going. Obey the laws of the land and follow them. There are reasons why they are in place. They are there for our safety.
Are you an impatient person? Learn some self-control and not get upset when things don’t go your way. It is not all about you all the time! There might be reasons why your boss or authority in your life wants things done the way they do them. Just relax, honor their position, and do what is required with a submissive attitude. Don’t be impatient with God. Surely He knows what is best for your life.
SIN. Doing things that are not okay, is not okay! Sin immediately stops our forward motion. It separates us from God. We can’t candy-coat sin and think we will be okay either. Sin is sin. Doing something that God warns us not to do is sin. It is wrong. Now before you get all mercy and grace over this realize God loves you and has a blueprint for your life called the Bible to live by. The Bible is not a ticket to establish legalism or to be free to do as you please. God has set up important guidelines for Christians to follow.
Sin takes us down a long hard, distractive road that is destructive. It steals our joy. It hurts our relationship with God. It can cause harm to those we love. It distorts our view of what is right and wrong. It makes you see through dark glasses which creates its own world of bondage and no hope. That is why God has placed in His Word warnings and also help when it comes to sin. That is why He sent His son. To help us be set free from sin and all the wrong we have done in life.
Sin is deceptive. We might not even know we are sinning. What is truth gets distorted and we decide we are okay and give into our fleshly desires all the more.
If you are caught up in sin, there is hope. Look at your life. Are you really truly at peace and have joy? When we are doing something we know we shouldn’t do, we will not have true peace and joy. We will have turmoil, guilt, darkness, shame, regrets, and so much more. The easiest and quickest way to get out of sin is to repent: confess and ask for forgiveness and then never go back to it again. This will turn your bondage into freedom instantly!
For the sake of time these are just a few Distraction Thieves. I am sure the Holy Spirit is showing you more in your life even now. Recognize them and learn how to deal with them. How about the self-pity door or the people pleaser door just to name a few more?
From one Distraction fighter to another,
Pastor Kris Belfils