Distractions: Kicks of Satan or Taps from God

Kicks of Satan or Taps from God

I usually attribute distractions as kicks of the enemy rather than taps from the Lord. Why does it always have to be a negative? Could it just be more about love and leading than Satan’s trying to run me into a ditch? Might it be that God is really in control and He is truly leading my steps? What if the majority of our interruptions are simply God’s invitation to Himself rather than interference from the devil?

Distractions from My Timeline

Distractions from My Timeline
When I’ve set things to happen according to my timeline and by my timeframe, I have to confess, I can blame the obstacles and obstructions on the enemy. It’s easy to say, “Just stop it, devil,” when things don’t happen my way. I’d have to admit that anger is more commonly my response than gratitude. But recently, when I was speaking with a friend, I saw their obstacle in a different light. Of course it was in someone else’s life and not my own, right (hehehe)? But I think my seeing was for an expanding of my own general view of life.

Life is full of distractions and diversions. It is the nature of living life. I was never promised a path of no resistance. Actually, I am guaranteed quite the opposite. But what I am looking at this morning is the source of our obstacles. Could these detours be divine in nature? Could they be a slight tap from my Lord to say, “Hey, can you come over here? I need some FaceTime.” This realization would certainly cause me to view distractions with less resistance. And because I am His child, does God not have the right to divert my steps? Isn’t this especially true when these obstacles might just be for relationship with Himself? It certainly is!

Distractions Who Are They From

Distractions Who Are They From
Here is another view of the same thought. If God is sovereign and I am living in His Will, then all the bumps in my road are His. Even if the enemy claims they’re his own, the reality is that they are God’s. If God is sovereign, then nothing escapes His grasp, knowing, and control. So how about this novel idea: all my distractions don’t always have to be negative. Why can’t they be His love? Here’s an exposing reason! “Because I have to get this task done, God! And NOW!” Ooo, this is such a check on my heart. Is He truly sovereign and does He control my time? Or is my agenda more important than His Will and our relationship? Ouch!

I want to live in His hands. I want to live surrendered to His path. And I want to live hearing His tender whispers to gain my gaze and time. It is easy to get caught up in my “much to do about nothing” moments. I can spin my wheels of “my agenda” and “need to get things done” while losing the point of life­—HIM! I have a long relationship with doing. And I come from a long line of doers. But if my doing is from MY DOING, it is only leading me away from Jesus, not to Him.

Uphold my steps in Your paths, That my footsteps may not slip.
Psalm 17:5 NKJV

I think it is a good time to write about the Doing of the Doers. I’ll do that in my next post.

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    • sue

      This post is more than an “ouch” to my spirit, it is a “punch” your prayers of “wanting to live in HIS hands, surrendered to HIS path and hearing HIS tender whispers to gain my gaze and time.” are leaping and oozing into me. John, your very descriptive sharing of “losing HIM” by focusing only on what we need to get done, is truly from the Holy Spirit and reminded me that I did hear HIS voice calling me away from the negativity that was assaulting me.

      HIS calling me away to peace and calm, instead of focusing on the negative reaction, is even more precious this morning and makes me even more grateful. I too have a long relationship with doing so I’m anticipating more love and wisdom but also the reality of another punch to my blind places in your next posts. Keep drawing to HIS will and ways, for they are life and health to me. BLESS YOU

      p.s. I was led to go back to your last post yesterday and shouted HOORAY that Martha is going to have a conference in August!!!!!

      • shulamite

        Wish this was a one time lesson but I’ve had to ride this merry-go-round a number of times. The wonderful thing is that a returning of my heart and gaze back to Jesus brings me back to Him.
        Love you Sue, yay August indeed. More soon about it.

    • Susan Taylor

      I needed to hear this. It went straight to my head. I think some Christians give Satan to much power. My understanding is God aaaaaaaaand Jesus has total control over every step I take and you too. Opps I left out the Holy Spirit.

      • shulamite

        Bless you Susan, grateful it spoke right where you needed it to. I hope you enjoy Monday’s follow up as well!

    • Pauline

      Timely? More than that, John. I have been pushing this away (my agenda vs. His) and though it is beginning to rule me, it has been justified as God-honoring and ministering to my family: cleaning.
      I have all my chores: daily, weekly, every other week, monthly, every other month, every six months, seasonal — on a spreadsheet (that I know by heart now); some, multiple times a day: kitchen surfaces, microwave, bathroom fixtures.
      It’s become a real compulsion because, e.g., if, on Wednesday I’m too tired to clean everything out of the fridge and check for expiration dates on items there and in the pantry, I get up early the next day to do it because Thursday is dusting and laundry.
      Besides a 40 hour a week job, cleaning is at least 18 hours a week but I rather enjoy it.
      My alone time with the Lord is before work and in the evening (bonus is while the floor is drying or my oven racks are soaking and the like — not being facetious; sad but true). Some “Face-time!”
      So even though I don’t believe this will all change over night, I thank God that He used you to wake me up, search out and surrender to HIS agenda. I don’t think things will fall apart if I skip windows and baseboards on Monday. Maybe I’ll even delete my list (cringe).
      Will you please pray, John, if you think of it, ’cause these habits did not just emerge last week. Father has my will, finally; now to let His Spirit control me rather than my “list.”
      To one who follows from one who is listening – love you, John!

      • shulamite

        Amazingly, “to list or not to list” is not the question, it is all about surrender and listening to God. I would have to say, the Spirit usually tells me when it is not for, with, and by God. I am not a pleasant to be with. When MY AGENDA is disturbed, I get easily aggravated and angry. HULK SMASH! The law of the strict list is usually more rigid than God allows for me. Though I have shedules I adhere to, I can always get interrupted by a Word from the Sponsor.

        • tammy

          It’s probably already been said…somewhere or the other – but 😉
          I’ve come back off and on to this post because He’s led me to pray for Pauline along the lines of her list making. I’m sure this is because of my great love for and one time greater need for LISTS. (I still love them, still make them when led – and still sometimes when not – work in progress you know) As I stopped here this morning it occurred to me that list making – mine anyway – is much about feeding my pride. Oh, I’m sure there are other implications too but this morning He said pride.
          Checked off items on my lists show I HAVE accomplished something. He really drives this point home as He reminds me of the many times I DO something not on my list but add it anyway just so I can check it off. Ahhhh the great gift of repentance! Father, as I (we) begin to create lists that are not of you – prompt me (us) to repentance instead. Thank you for the gift of showing me how my lists can be a source of pride. Bless You for forgiveness. In Your Name. Amen.

          • Pauline

            Thank you so much, Tammy, for praying and for His words you spoke into my life. You are right: pride. If someone told me that they cleaned their oven for an hour every week — even if they didn’t use it, using a toothpick for small spaces, I’d say they were nuts. Well, that was me. And it got checked off!
            Did you notice the past tense? I had to miss a day of work recently because I pulled a muscle in my back and couldn’t even stand upright, much less clean. I spent time on and off the heating pad, reading, then finally, repentance, as the Holy Spirit brought your words back to me (didn’t like them the first go-round).
            My back wasn’t healed right away, but there was no anxiety that it was Friday and I hadn’t even washed out our trash bins. After a good night’s sleep, before going to work the next day, I just wiped down the counters, swept and out the door. (Unlike 1 hour before work and 2 hours at night.)
            There are still things, of course, that need to be done on a regular basis, but more common sense rather than obsession — more Holy Spirit, less pat on the back.
            I am praising God that He has broken this bondage and, more important, given me family, like you, who dare to be truthful; who encourage and pray, with love.
            You bless me, Tammy!

        • shulamite

          Oh and yes I will certainly pray for you as I do for myself: That I may be led of the Spirit!

    • sue

      John, this is what I love about these posts, they take me back, (over and over) is what i need!!!!! However, the main issue for me is that the Holy Spirit can drive HIS agenda into me and yet I’m not left hopeless, alone, defeated. Just last week the Holy Spirit spoke that the triune Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is never defeated. THEY always win and these posts bring such encouragement even to one who is on the merry-go-round is still being renewed moment by moment. YES, back to HIM. Blessing and Honor and Glory to HIM!!!!!

      • shulamite

        So grateful they are an encouragement to you Sue! He leads us in triumph and off the merry-go-round. 😉

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