Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Demon Distraction

This demon sits in the foyer of the Paris theater in Epcot at Disney World.  It's a copy of one of the gargoyles on the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  I've always thought he's kind of quirky because he's sticking his tongue out and holding his cheeks as if to tauntingly say, "Na-ne, na-ne, boo-boo."  He even pulled me in to join his playful taunt.
The demon appears to be playful (and the one at Disney is), but when it comes to appearances of real underworld creatures -- they are well-known to be deceiving.  Is Satan himself not characterized as transforming himself into "an angel of light?" 2 Corinthians 11:14.  Do not be deceived -- real demons are never playful!
I'm labeling this demon "Distraction."  Do you ever try to spend time in prayer and soon find yourself lost on a rabbit trail, wondering how on earth you got there?  Have you ever found yourself sitting in church with your mind a hundred miles away?   That would be the demon Distraction at work and doing a pretty effective job, I have to say.
We might be tempted to say, "Well, being distracted is not really a sin, is it?  And, if it is, it's really not that bad."  Guess who just tempted you to say that!  When you look at a list of sins, being distracted seems rather tame and -- let's face it -- it's something we're all guilty of doing daily (at least it seems so in my case). 
Distractions appear innocuous.  After all, we're usually distracted to do good things - like when I'm doing my Bible study, I'm sometimes distracted to put in a load of washing, then to go make up the bed, then to --- the list goes on of housework that I really do need to do and pretty soon I've given up on finishing the portion of study I was doing.  Distraction pulled me away from bigger and better things than housework, which should have waited until the Lord had completed the work He had for me during that particular time of Bible study.  This is how it goes -- all day long.  This is a far larger problem than we realize (which shows again that this demon does a very good job).
I'm borrowing from an earlier piece on Distraction, because it applies so well here.  God says in Proverbs 4:25-27:  "Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you.  Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.  Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil."
Distractions, although usually innocent in themselves, can do a lot of harm to our spiritual lives.  They can keep us from seeing the bigger, better picture God wants us to see by catching our attention and causing us to concentrate on smaller, less significant objects.  Distractions can keep us from building a deeper relationship with our heavenly Father.  Christopher Columbus once said, "By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination." 
What is your spiritual goal?  Is it to know God more and better?  As our old friend Chris points out, prevail over the demon Distraction and you will arrive at that goal.  The prophet Jeremiah echoes that sentiment in 29:13-14:  "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord..." 

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