As I mentioned my first message on Doors of Distractions; “What’s Behind Door #1, Door #2, or Door #103” that “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 20:16b). God has a purpose for each of us that He wants us to fulfill. In fact the biggest and most precious thing is our relationship with God. We should be growing in Christ daily and the devil wants to distract you from it.
There are so many things that demand our time and energy. Some things can’t be avoided like going to work or caring for a loved one, but most of the distractions we face CAN be avoided if we would just deal with them properly.
In this message we will look at some distractions and how to deal with them.
1 Corinthians 16:9 ESV
“For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
Many adversaries! Many things that will try and distract or even prevent you from walking through that door of opportunity to distract you from effective work and growth!
Let’s look at some possible distractions and how to deal with them.
Just say, “no” and have self-control to get back on focus with your life. Be determined to accomplish what you know God wants you to accomplish. There might be times when you have to say no to a friend or loved one. It’s okay.
Sometimes we need some alone time and just close and lock the door, turn off the TV, phones, electronic devices, and just hide away with God and spend time with Him. We may need to do that with other things in our life to get things done too.
Twenty years ago cell phones were only for the rich, and even then they were only to call out and receive calls. There was no such thing as a “smartphone.” Just smart people who knew how to use the phone, LOL. If you wanted to get a hold of somebody you either had to call them on a land line or wait until you saw them the next day at school or work and discuss what was needed. It’s okay to have self-control with our phones. The only time you shouldn’t turn off your phone is when you know your parents or your boss need to get ahold of you. (Smile)
“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.”
We need self-control in all areas of our life. Self-control is our friend that keeps on track. Self-control will help us not get distracted in our call and to obtain the prize God has waiting for us.
2. Guard your heart.
2014 will be a season for you to set a watch and guard your heart. (Bill Burns “A Year of Prophetic Alignment and Divine Fulfillment” Jan. 17th, 2014)
The Bible refers often to the “Door of your heart.” We ask Jesus in our hearts as Lord and Savior and then what? The door of your heart gives access to virtually everything. That is why we read that Jesus is knocking at your door.
Rev. 3:20 NKJV
“ Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
I like that; “If any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” This is what happens when we ask Jesus in our hearts to be Lord of our life. We are not only saved from eternal damnation, we have the King of kings living inside of us and we taste and see that He is so good. We commune with Him because we have allowed Him access to our lives. You see asking Christ in your heart is just the beginning. Then the relationship starts and the communing and growing in Him begins.
Psalm 141:3 – 4 NIV
“Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies.”
I did a message about guarding your heart on my blog. It was under the title; “Revival of our Hearts.” You can read it in its entirety at www.KrisBelfils.wordpress.com
Proverbs 4:23 (Amplified Bible)
“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”
Some guards to place in front of your heart from “Revival of the Heart” https://krisbelfils.wordpress.com/?s=revival+of+the+heart:
Don’t give your heart away so easily.
Fix your eyes on Jesus!
Listen to what you are saying.
What are you feeding your heart?
Exercise to strengthen your heart.
Don’t lose heart.
Don’t Harden Your heart.
(From Revival of our Hearts by Pastor Kris Belfils)
Sometimes we need to guard our hearts of getting too involved with other people and their problems. There is only one Savior, and that is Jesus Christ. We can get distracted by trying to save everybody we meet.
We waste a lot of energy by trying to solve the world’s problems and neglect our own. Sometimes we think, “I need to do this ministry, or be with that person!” Yes, there are many times we need to reach out to others but not to the exhaustion of yourself. Even Jesus hid away and spent time with God. One thing is so true; there is only one Jesus and we are not Him.
Sometimes we tend to sacrifice instead of obey what God wants us to do in our life. God is looking for obedience. As we get our priorities straight, we will be less distracted in life and be more affective for God’s kingdom and to others as well.
3. Trust God.
Trust God to answer your prayers and concerns.
Trust God that He has a plan to work out circumstances and relationships.
Trust God that His word is true and that He will fight for you.
Trusting God helps prevent the distraction of trying to figure things out on our own. This brings peace.
Proverbs 3:5 – 6 NKJV
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
We can trust God in all things. Trying to figure things out on your own is a huge distraction thief. Right in the middle of building your tower you can have something come up that can prevent the construction from happening. Don’t worry, don’t fret, just take it to God and trust that He will show you what to do. Don’t waste valuable time trying to reason or work it out. When you ask God for direction, trust He will give it to you. When He does, be obedient to His direction and keep on keeping on.
I have talked about “Self-inflicted Imprisonment” and how we can put ourselves in a prison by how we think of ourselves and others. This can prevent us from growing in Christ, fulfilling our call, and isolate us from true friendships and fellowship. Be aware of sabotaging yourself. We can be one of the biggest distractions to our success. The way we think and reason can create chaos. Too many rabbit trails can derail your efforts.
We can sabotage ourselves by thinking wrong thoughts or lies. What are you thinking about yourself? Most of the time we think negative thoughts about ourself. We might think we will never measure up so why even try. Remind yourself that you are a new creation and the old self has passed away and the fresh and new has come. Jesus set you free. You don’t have to walk in bondage any longer.
Refuse to allow self-sabotage to distract you in your life with Christ.
Self-pity will absolutely stop your progress from moving forward. Avoid it all all cost. Feeling sorry for ourself doesn’t get things done. It only puts you in a pit of no hope. Self-pity is a form of pride. Being in self-pity places the focus totally on you instead of what you are called to do.
Your self-pity can prevent you from reaching out to others and then, what you were suppose to do for them, never happens. Self-pity is a vision robber. You will never accomplish your dreams because self-pity skews your view. if you sit around always feeling sorry for yourself. What a lonely place to live on the corner of poor me and what about me!
Matthew 16:24-25 ESV
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
We are to deny ourself. In other words, deny what your flesh wants. Deny wishing you had more or was prettier, or that no body cares about you. These thoughts are all lies and they prevent us from truly following Christ.
Dead people don’t have rights (Gal. 2:20). We don’t even have a right to feel sorry for ourself. Remember what Jesus did for you and paid the ultimate price for your salvation. Let’s not ignore it by feeling sorry for ourself. We are a new creation and we have hope, and joy, and peace, and so much more! There is no time to wallow in self-pity when God has called us to greater things. Self-pity brings you down and depression will always be present. Be determined to keep your focus on good things and what your purpose is, Amen!
I saw this prophetic word and felt it very appropriate for this Door series message and specifically this point of self-pity.
“Refuse to allow discouragement to undermine your sense of well-being and effective life experience. Stay balanced by not giving your emotional reactions too much weight or attention. In your evaluation, there are steps you can take to improve your current situation, but there are also things that are beyond your control. Do what you can and trust Me with the rest, says the Lord.”
by MARSHA BURNS
6. Perfectionism and a People Pleaser.
Thinking we are less-then will put us on a hamster wheel of trying to be perfect. If you are a perfectionist chances are you have to have all your ducks in a row, you have to always be perfect in your endeavors or you won’t try anything because you might fail. There is peace knowing in our weakness God is strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
This verse should liberate any perfectionist! God’s grace is always sufficient for you in any circumstance, any challenge, any endeavor you may face. It is okay to not be perfect because then it gives God the chance to shine and be strong in your life. If you try to shine all the time you are actually taking God’s glory from him.
Paul boasted all the more in his infirmities (physical or mental weakness). God wants to be strong in you and in all that you face. We tie His hands when we try to do things our way with the mentality of always needing to be perfect. We will make mistakes. It is a fact of life. When a perfectionist makes a mistake, it is very difficult for them to live with, thus they have a hard time coping with their life. Self-hatred is usually present because they hate themselves for making the mistake.
Listen, God doesn’t want us to live like this. That is why He sent His Son to take away the pressure of always being perfect. Lean on Christ’s salvation He has died to give you and allow yourself to relax and just be you; an imperfect vessel saved by God’s grace!
Being a people pleaser is a close relative to being a perfectionist. Approval addiction is running ramped in the world today. I know as I was an Approval addict most of my younger life. If someone didn’t approve of what I did or say, I would change it so they would approve of me. I didn’t want to do anything wrong. I didn’t want people to think bad of me. This lead to a life of turmoil and stress. Every time I would try and get man’s approval and didn’t achieve it, it would feed my self-hatred. I always thought there was something wrong with me and that I never measured up. God showed me through some mistakes in my life that no matter how hard I tried to win people’s approval there will still be people who disapprove of me. Why? Because people always look at the outward appearance and judge what they think you are. God never does this. He always looks at your heart. It was freeing to know that God knew me better then I knew myself. Because of my frustration of always having someone disapprove of me I got to the place where I really didn’t care what people thought of me or my actions. If God approved, that is what was real, not my addiction of wanting people to like me and approve of what I did. This whole process God brought me through birthed the song I wrote: “Cross of Grace.” The bridge of the song states: “My self-worth is in Your cross. It’s where I belong. I’ve found my home. I’m not alone you are near. I have found my place behind your cross of grace.”
If you are an approval addict there is hope. You have to let go of what you think you want people to think of you. We have to let go of what you think people are thinking of you. When God approves of you, and He does, that is all that matters. Now, I am not saying to go out and do what ever you please. For one thing God wouldn’t approve of you then. What it does mean is that you are free to be yourself. God made you and He is pleased with His creation. It doesn’t matter what others think of you because God doesn’t make mistakes in His creation.
Rest in knowing you are God’s and He is yours.
Do yourself a favor and be aware of Distraction Thieves and guard against them from now on. Be wise to the distractions from the devil, from others, and from yourself. Relax and enjoy your life God has given you. No one can enjoy your day or your life, only you can. Stay focused, love the Lord, and be thankful for all that God has blessed you with.
Don’t get distracted running to Door #1, Door #2, or Door #103. Really know if the door you are in front of is what God wants you to walk through. Ask yourself, “Is this a distraction or is this something God wants me to do?” This will save time, energy, and possibly our sanity! We always have many choices behind different doors. God is not a game show host of “Let’s make a deal” behind different doors. No, He always directs His children in the path they are to take.
From one focused child of God to another,
Pastor Kris Belfils