Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Lord I'm Coming Home"1 (Lyrics)
1 Corinthians 7:35 – And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction. (NKJV)
As I was putting the vacuum cleaner away, I noticed that the retractable cord was not retracting as it should. It went only so far and then came to a halt, leaving several feet of cord still lying on the floor. I gave it a little jerk and stepped on the rewind button again, but nothing happened. I went to check out what was going on. It turned out that a little cat named Earl Grey had discovered this moving cord to be a great distraction for him as he held it tightly between his little paws.
Today's Scripture, written by the apostle Paul, is part of a message on the subject of marriage. He was warning believers that though marriage could be a good and wonderful thing, it could also be a distraction to them in regard to serving the Lord with an undivided heart. Paul was wise enough to understand that not all distractions are sinful, for almost any good thing in our lives can become a distraction that can displace God from His rightful place: first place.
Hobbies, friends, children, television, books, technology, money, and much more can easily consume our time and energy. What started out as a good thing can become a distraction in our spiritual lives. Prayer time is set aside. Corporate worship gives way to that sports event that is being aired live. Reading and study yield to more interesting things. God gets sixty seconds of our time before we go to sleep at night, after spending two hours playing games on our iPad, and so the scenario goes. The good things of this world can infringe upon our relationship with the Lord, often before we know what has even happened. As one person has penned, "When the enemy sends distractions, they never look like distractions until they are finished distracting you." Another gives this wisdom: "If the enemy can't destroy you, he will distract you."
Earl likes to grab hold of my vacuum cleaner cord. It is a fun distraction for him, but distractions that displace our heavenly Father in our lives don't leave us entertained for very long. Instead, they bring about a disruption in the closeness of our walk with Christ and the Holy Spirit. Pretty soon, we are not hearing that still small voice of wisdom, assurance, direction, and comfort. God seems farther away than He once was. We wonder whether He even cares. Worry and fears begin to creep in as our minds focus more on them than on the One Who is able to calm us and give us peace and rest amidst our daily struggles. The One from Whom we have been drawn away is patiently and quietly waiting for our return. "Come near to God and he will come near to you." (James 4:8 NIV)
Let's think carefully about who or what it is that we are drawing near to today.
Prayer: Father God, You and You alone deserve first place in our lives. Grant us wisdom and strength to keep our lives centred upon You amidst all the good and evil distractions that this life sets before us. May we walk wholeheartedly with Jesus each and every day, always drawing closer to You. In His name, we pray. Amen.