3 Ways to Avoid Distraction

Monday April 29, 2013

They seem so much like friends…but they turn out to be enemies.

Distractions are fun and inviting, and then I glance at the time. Then it dawns on me how they’re really wolves in sheep’s clothing.

I don’t know what your distraction du jour is. There are so many inviting ones today. Social media has to be right at the top of the list, but there are plenty of other things that can pull us away from what’s best.

How to avoid them?

Pastor Larry talked about King David on Sunday—about his big distraction. The one that pulled him from his marriage and his Lord and led him to commit murder.

In the moment of distraction, no one says, “Uh oh. This is the big one. It’s going to ruin things.” That’s the thing about distractions; we don’t see the flashing lights and the big red flags, or we’d never go there.

So I find myself reminding myself of a few things. In fact, King David’s story teaches a few valuable lessons about pushing back…and where to keep our eyes.

2 Samuel 11:1 sets the scene for us. The time of year reminds us of the first way to avoid distraction:

“In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army…But David remained in Jerusalem.”

1. To avoid unhealthy distractions, stay focused on your job, your mission, your calling.

“At the time when kings go off to war,” David sent the men out with Joab and remained in Jerusalem. David forsook his duty; his place was on the battlefield, leading his men. Instead, he stayed home with all the war widows…and expected not to be tempted?

2. To help dodge diversions, plant yourself in community.

Alone, in the evening, David went up to the roof. If his men and Joab were gone, who did he expect to keep him accountable? Apparently, his left his wife sleeping. That’s not to say we can never be alone, but consider the city at this point. From his rooftop David had to know he wouldn’t see his fighting men on every corner, and his best advisors were in the field. Alone, at a vulnerable time? Not a good idea.

3. Remember, distractions need our help to be distractions.

We have to “bite.” For something to truly distract us, we have to slow down, do a double take, pick up the phone, step away from the hubby and kids… Pray (daily) for the strength to avoid temptation and to focus on what God wants you to focus on.

I find David such an inspiring character. Yes, he was flawed…as we all are.

Did David suffer consequences of his fall? Definitely.
Did God abandon him? Definitely not.

From the house of David comes the One who forgives and loves. The One who gives me the strength to step away from whatever is pulling me from Him.

Psalm 43 is called “a psalm of David.” In this psalm, I hear David’s plea to be taught and strengthened by the Father. And I echo that, each day:

“Rescue me from my enemies, LORD; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. For the glory of your name, O LORD, preserve my life. Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of his distress.” (vs. 9-11)

He is there.
He will bring us out…from distractions, large or small.
He will rescue, hide, teach, lead—for His glory, to show his faithfulness.

Distractions, begone. I turn to Him!

I'm linking up with Laura, Michelle, and Jen today.

Photo credit


Jerralea said...

I love studying the life of David. You are so right, if David had been doing his duty, he would have been with his troops and not watching Bathsheba.

I love that the Word promises with every temptation, there is a way of escape. (1 Cor. 10:13) We just have to be willing to take that way of escape!

Alicia said...

Oh, Laura, I've been battling distractions of all kinds lately as the spring swing kicks in and I'm pulled between the kids' crazy schedule and the end of the school year stuff- seems my nutty whirl makes me distracted all day long. Thanks for this encouragement straight from the Word. And for the sweet encouragement at the Overflow earlier this week.

Unknown said...

I am easily distracted sometimes -- in tasks and in life. Praying for both of us this morning, that we would fix our eyes and our hearts fully on you.

Laura said...

Laura, I don't think I've ever thought of David's story quite in this way but it makes perfect sense, doesn't it? I think, as I get older and more comfortable, this becomes even more dangerous. I think I should be wise to these things so I grow careless. I wonder if it was the same for David? Good thoughts, friend.

Jean Wise said...

This is really good insight into the David story. I know I have to be fully aware and awake to stop myself from being tempting into that rabbit trial. good post!

Pamela said...

I read truth here. We have to bite. We do choose to make something a distraction. Ah...I'll be thinking (and praying!) about this.

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