The Devil’s Distractions Unmasked: What’s Really Stealing Your Productivity?
There are so many distractions in our lives today taking our time from what really matters. If we let these obstacles keep us from the promises of God instead of overcoming them with God we will fail to see the many miracles God has planned for us.
In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Paul states, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”We need to keep our focus on what truly matters, Jesus Christ, to overcome our many trials.
Let’s look at a figure in the Bible whose life made an impact on the world. Israel wanted a king like the rest of the world even though they had never been ruled by anyone but God. They chose their king based on looks and height but God chooses based on obedience to His way. God allowed for this king, Saul, to reign while knowing the future would belong to David. Even though Saul was anointed it wouldn’t be his kingdom.
Saul semi-followed God but then began to search other sources for advice. God spoke to the Prophet Samuel and told him He would anoint a new king. When Saul went to Jesse’s house and he was brought all of Jesse’s sons and none of them were who God had chosen. The new king was the youngest and still working the land. Overlooked because of cultural standards David’s father never suspected David to be the new leader of Israel but God knows the heart and knew David was a man after God’s.
Samuel anoints David king and he rules with the power of God and he lived happily ever after . . . but that’s not exactly how it happened. David was anointed king but there was a long path in between his anointing and when he actually was pronounced king. This is all too familiar with believers today. We get a promise or a vision from God and we believe it should happen the next day, week, or year and when it doesn’t we let our joy over the promise fade.
David didn’t take the throne the day of this proclamation, rather Satan had many obstacles planned to thwart this from happening. He started by intimidation. He took the enemy of the Israelites, the Philistines, and drove fear into the Hebrews. They mocked them mercilessly because they thought themselves more powerful and the Israelites were cowering in fear not believing God was for them. David stood up and believed the power of God was more than their enemies and David slew Goliath because of his faith in God’s power.
David then forged a bond with Saul’s son Jonathan and the Israelites began to see the king within David. This sent Saul into a jealousy in which he tried to kill David multiple times but failed. Saul knew even though he resided on the throne currently there was another waiting to take his place because he had foregone listening to God. For someone who was just anointed king having the current king wanting to kill you probably didn’t help you see how this promise would be fulfilled. You would easily be able to rationalize depression or doubt because the current powers on earth didn’t seem to allow for the promise of God to be accomplished.
David let fear drive him and act as a raving lunatic at the gates of Gath. He thought being recognized as the one who had killed Goliath and many other Philistines would make Achish the King of Gath want to harm him. So he acted insane to be let in but Achish saw he was insane and told the people to get rid of him. It almost seems as if David took matters into his own hands instead of letting God deal with King Achish first. He acted insane to be let into their kingdom but was then thrown out. Who knows if they would’ve actually taken him in if he acted normal?
Then David fled into a cave and cried out to God. He writes Psalms and deals with great emotional turmoil. David never gave up on the promise God had for him. His family, friends, and the downtrodden all gathered to him. God always placed a group of followers under him because he was reminding him of his future position. All of the sudden the script begins to flip, David was almost killed by Saul multiple times and was hiding in a cave, then Saul gives orders to massacre the priests for them praying with David. Then a little while later David is standing over Saul in a cave with an opportunity to kill him and he spares his life. The one who was the hunter had now become the hunted. David was in a cave being hunted and now Saul is in a cave being hunted. Their positions began to change.
David then goes back to Achish and lives there, he begins to receive leadership positions and the people begin to revere David. David leads many battles and conquers but then the Philistines reject David before a battle with the Israelites. With David now battle proven and with leadership knowledge in hand, Saul and Jonathan die in battle. David is anointed King of Judah, but Ish-Bosheth was now king of Israel. Another obstacle in the way of David uniting all of Israel under one banner.
This begins a battle between the two and Ish-Bosheth ends up being murdered and David executes the criminals. Finally the promise is fulfilled. David is anointed king over all of Israel. It took somewhere around 15 years for this knowledge to be revealed. David had to go through all of these trials and whether he failed or succeeded his heart remained fully after God and following after Him. There were so many times, like us, David could have rationalized why it was ok to give up and not pursue God’s will. He dealt with depression, anxiety, fear, worry, hunger, but he never gave up on God’s promise and eventually God led him into his position.
Sometimes we try to take things into our own hands instead of letting God’s will be done. Sometimes we doubt the power of God because we are too focused on the struggles of our lives. We need to remember when God gives us a word it does not come back void. God’s word is always true and whether the word is fulfilled in our day like David’s or in future generations like Abraham’s covenant we should always remember God is faithful and will never go back on His word.
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