The Spirit of Distraction. Distract, divide, conquer. When it comes to distraction, Satan is a master– it’s the most sly and least expected tool in his arsenal, the perfect bait to lure Christians from the Lord’s Flock.
As we grow closer and closer to the End Times, distractions become more and more prevalent in our modern day society. Through simple diversions and constant programming, Satan easily turns our hearts from Jesus as he shifts our focus on the trivial, temporal matters of this world.
Yet Jesus told us that this world must pass away, and if we hope to keep our peace, we must keep our eyes upon Him. Our Lord does not want us to get caught up in the whirlwind of mortal distractions and lose sight of our true purpose: His plan, which will make us draw ever-closer to Him.
But what are Satan’s distractions of the twenty-first century? There are several, but here are the big four:
1) The worries and cares of this world (Philippians 4:6-7).
As Christians, we love to be involved with our friends, our family and the goings-on of society as a whole, but there is a fine line between involvement and distraction. It’s easy to become too focused on what’s happening on this Earth. Satan encourages us to become too wrapped up in political upheaval, corruption, legislation, social causes, and other societal problems. When we become too bogged down in the issues of man, we lose sight of our Lord. As we get closer to End Times, the world around us begs for help. Tragedies demand aid, politicians demand action, and before we know it, God has become an afterthought.
2) The deceitfulness of riches– searching for purpose in money, material possessions and the American Dream (Matthew 6:20-21 & Philippians 4:11).
Just as a spoonful of honey will convince any dog to eat rat poison, the promise of the American Dream makes turning away from the Lord taste that much sweeter. There’s a reason why Jesus once said that it is difficult for the wealthy to enter His Kingdom.
Just the pursuance of money and material wealth requires vast amounts of time and energy. In order to make money in our society, we often have to spend years of our lives training and studying for a specific profession, and then we have to begin at the bottom and climb out way to the top in order to see an ever-increasing paycheck. Then add in the energy spent managing the money, its addictive effects, and there’s little room left for the Lord. The American Dream is so distracting that it has become an idol– your job, your career, and other moneymaking opportunities are dangerous.
3) Lust of the eye (Galatians 5:16).
The mid-2000s saw another takeoff in health and beauty, and these days, you can’t walk a mile without seeing some sign of it. The health and fitness craze– the pursuance of living and being young forever– are nothing more than obsession with beauty. Vanity distracts us all from growing closer to God. The obsession with fit bodies, perfect skin, and constantly posting pictures of ourselves on social media has forced our attention away from what really matters. No matter how hard you try, your body will only last for the blink of an eye, but your soul is forever. When you put all of your energy into making your body strong and fit, your soul begins to wither inside its shell. Your shell is a distraction from His Light.
4) The pride of life (James 4:6 & Peter 5:6 & Matthew 23:12).
There’s a reason each generation has become more and more invested in the self, and social media is a prime example of this. As our society becomes more and more focused on individuality, competition and pride masquerading as self-improvement, we turn ourselves into idols. Anything that leads to arrogance or boasting, from getting into a prestigious school to running a marathon, can be a dangerous distraction as the hour of the Lord’s return draws near. The only true self-improvement is in bringing ourselves closer to the love of the Lord. Instead of spending our thoughts planning future successes and writing out drafts of Facebook posts, we should humble ourselves and focus on spreading and understanding His Word.
The only way to avoid Satan’s luring distractions is by keeping out eyes on the Lord. We must stay under His protection through prayer, meditation, and studying His Word. We must not allow Satan’s sweet sins to lure us from the Flock.
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