Block-out All Distractions
How are you spending your time? What are the “time-wasters” in your life? How can we block these distractions and put our focus solely on God? Let's explore this topic together in today's devotional.
“Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side." — II Kings 4:4
Among all assets that God has blessed us with, the most valuable, and most misused, is time. Everyone has the same amount of time: 60 seconds a minute, 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, and 365 days a year. A poem titled "I have only just a minute" by an unknown author and popularized by my friend Willy Jolly, gives us a good view of how we should all view our time:
“I have only just a minute, only sixty seconds in it, didn't seek it, didn't choose it, but it's up to me to use it, give account if I abuse it, answer for it if I lose it, just a tiny little minute, but eternity in it."
How we use our time depends on our attitude towards time, our focus, and discipline. What makes entrepreneurs successful or unsuccessful is how they value and effectively use their time.
The biggest enemy of our time is distraction. Distractions come in many forms. We live in a world surrounded by technology and information. We are bombarded with distractions on a daily basis through multiple mediums such as the internet, television, smartphones, tablets, etc. Wherever we turn, someone is attempting to feed us with information. These technological advances have brought many curses and many blessings into our lives. One of the major challenges we face is the ability to remain focused. These instruments tend to draw our attention from things we should focus on. Whether it’s the phone ringing at the most inappropriate time or a text message that draws our attention, we are easily distracted by these instruments.
In 2 Kings 4 the prophet Elisha recognizes that the worst thing that could happen to the widow is for her to be distracted from using the capital she acquired. Therefore, Elijah instructs her to go into her house and shut the door behind her so she could focus completely on her business and gain financial freedom.
What has been distracting you from using your assets to generate the revenue you need to achieve your business objectives? Distractions are obstacles of attention that draw you away from something of greater priority. If the devil cannot stop you from going forward he will distract you and keep you busy so that you will not put your full attention on what you have to do.
The prophet advised the widow to shut the door behind her. That is the best advice I can give you. Shut the door to any distractions you may be facing today.
There are two types of distractions: distractions that stop you completely from pursuing your vision and distractions that slow you down. The worst types are distractions that slow you down because they are often unnoticeable, but very effective. Remember, the devil does not have to stop you; he just has to slow you down enough so you do not achieve your objectives. The key to success in any endeavor is focus, discipline, and perseverance. To focus means to concentrate all your attention and energies on something, like a laser beam. Laser beams are effective because all of their energies are focused on one single function.
Let's look at what causes us to become distracted. The primary source of distractions is our own human desire and curiosity.
"Blessed is the man who endures temptations; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."— James 1:12-15
The truth is the things that tend to distract us are things for which we have an internal desire. What has been distracting you from achieving your business objectives? To overcome the distractions, you must go back to the source of those distractions. What about that distraction has been enticing you? There are three sources of distraction; the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. Every distraction is manifested through one of those sources. The lust of the eye is manifested when you are drawn by something that appeals to your visual senses. The lust of the flesh is manifested when you are drawn by something that appeals to your physical senses. To lust is to have an unhealthy desire for something. The eye is the gateway to our soul and the flesh is where our sin nature resides. When we have an unhealthy desire for anything that could negatively impact our souls or that feed our sin nature, we will always remain distracted. Whenever we attempt to focus, all the devil has to do is bring that thing to our mind or near us and it draws us away from whatever we should focus on. The pride of life is manifested when you are drawn to something that appeals to your perception of who you want to be. Pride causes us to take on more than we can handle or to take on things that are beyond our ability. My former pastor use to say that pride is the human smoke screen. This is true because pride creates a perception of ourselves that is not real and convinces us to act according to that perception. The Bible tells us that pride comes before the fall. Therefore, whenever we respond or act based on pride, we are sure to be distracted from our primary objective and failure is guaranteed. You cannot be distracted unless you allow yourself to be.
How do you overcome these distractions? Identify those areas of your life that tend to distract you from your primary objectives. Then ask the Lord to help you find ways to block the distraction. He will be faithful to grant this request as you seek His help.
Reflection: What distractions are stopping you from accomplishing your assignment?
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