You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? Galatians 5:7 (NKJV)
We are looking at a two-part devotional titled, Being Hindered In Obeying The Truth. In Part One we looked at how believers in the early church had turned from their faith and had stopped obeying the truth, as they were deceived. False teachers led them to believe God’s grace and their faith was not sufficient—telling them they had to submit to Jewish religious customs and obey every law if they were to be saved. The apostle Paul confronted the believers in Galatia with the truth of the gospel message, and then challenged them by asking, “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?”
Today, many believers are still being hindered by false doctrinal teachings, and it greatly affects their ability to obey God’s truth. But there is another variation of deception we face as followers of Jesus Christ, and it is through distractions and diversions.
Distractions and diversions can be great tools for the enemy’s deception, as they are often based on our personal desires, and legitimate needs. They can also be through physical afflictions, including mental illness, various diseases, and even through blessings. They can be anything that takes our eyes off of God, and His will for our life.
Listen to what the encyclopedia says about the use of Distractions or Diversions in the fighting of war—“An assault should come at a time when least expected, taking into consideration fatigue, normal sleep periods, and other factors that detract from the target's alertness. Diversions are an essential element in achieving surprise. Staged emergencies, such as a mock auto accident, fire, or explosion near the crisis site, can divert the target's attention away from the assaulting elements. These distractions can be very powerful and effective in diverting ones attention!”
And this is exactly what Satan and his emissaries do in our lives—they create distractions through emergencies, financial crisis, seduction through sexual lust, etc.
Q: What is the power behind the enemy’s distractions?
The power comes from the temptation to believe Satan’s lies! Satan’s smoke bombs, and grenades, are the temptation to fear, to be anxious, to be angry, to worry, to doubt, to envy, to covet, to believe we will be satisfied if we can only have those things we don’t have. But this is not what will satisfy us! Only God can truly satisfy our true needs and give us a perfect peace (Isa. 26:3).
Listen to what 2 Timothy says about what it would be like in the “last days.”
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV)
A quick look around and we could conclude without hesitation, these are truly the last days. We are all being tempted and distracted from doing what God has called us to do—we are being hindered by Satan, and we would be wise to understand his schemes and see his lies for what they truly are.
STUDY QUESTION: According to 2 Timothy 3:1-5, what would mankind be like in the last days?
PERSONAL INVENTORY: Can you see where the enemy has tempted you to be distracted from keeping your eyes on God, and His word?
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Choose to stay focused, and keep reading your Bible. Everything you need to stay focused is in it. Purpose within your heart to read it daily and apply what you’re are reading. Pray as you read, and ask God to show you everything He wants you to understand and apply to your life.
MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for Your Word and the truth and guidance contained within it. Help me to stay focused and to identify any and all distractions from the enemy. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen…
Be Blessed, Pastor Scott