June 29, 2016
Dump the Distractions
Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first … Jesus said to him,
“No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:61–62
One of my life-long weaknesses is my tendency to be distracted, or to like so many things it can be hard to choose just one. My high school chemistry teacher told me I would have a challenge deciding on a career because I enjoyed so many different things. Thankfully the vocation of pastor requires a general interest in a variety of topics and comfort with a variety of circumstances and personalities. However, when I do need to truly focus on just one thing, it can be quite a challenge after a while.
What is just a challenge in my work habit, can be devastating in our spiritual life. Our Lord calls us to follow him, yet we get distracted, delayed, and burdened by the clutter of lesser concerns that compete for our attention. If our phone is anywhere near us in time of prayer or devotional we hear it emit its various signals and think, “I wonder who just posted on my FB page?” “Who is that text from?” “What’s the score of the game now?”.
Sin itself is a distraction for discipleship. By the grace of God in Christ’s death and resurrection for us, we stand forgiven rather than condemned by sin. Yet the flesh that still clings to us diverts us from the way to which Christ has called us. We lose focus on our spiritual vocation of being Christ’s disciples and our witness in the world is weakened.
Thankfully, Jesus was not distracted from the cross by the temptations of Satan, the protests of his own disciples, or the taunting of His enemies as they challenged him to “come down from that cross if you are the Son of God”. He dumped the distractions because He loved us enough to follow through on His Father’s mission to redeem the world.
What or who is distracting you from a more faithful walk with God? Divest yourself of any diversion that gets in the way of your discipleship. It is not to earn your salvation, for that is by grace alone through faith. Rather, we focus on following Jesus so that we can glorify His name before others, and better serve our neighbor. If we call ourselves Christians, then anything that doesn’t glorify Him before others is a destructive distraction. Dump it.