Tag Archives: distractions

Numbers 24, 25, 26, 27; Mark 8:11-38

And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?” Mark 8:16-21

I can see in the natural, even if I do need glasses; but sometimes I don’t always see everything there is to be seen in the spiritual world. I don’t always understand the parables that Jesus spoke to the ancient world (without reading His explanations) and I don’t always appreciate the stories that He speaks into my own life. I don’t always comprehend what He is trying to do in me, what He is trying to teach me. I don’t always perceive His purposes, His heart. I don’t always grasp His goodness, His faithfulness. I don’t always see HIM.

There are times when I am so lost in the temporal, that I lose sight of His glory. I am so distracted by the never-ending needs of my kids, so preoccupied with the demands of work/ministry goals, of keeping the house clean or by getting meals on the table, that I forget the amazing ways that God has moved in my life, even before I was truly a believer. I overlook the miracles He has done through me and the miracles He has done for me. My spiritual-sight is sometimes unfocused. And in those moments, I don’t recognize Jesus in the little things; I cannot see Him clearly through the haze.

And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” Mark 8:27-29

Countless foretellings concerning Jesus were made over the generations before His birth; prophecies meant to help the people be ready for the coming King when He made His entrance. Even the diviner Balaam’s eyes were opened for a fleeting instant by the Spirit of God coming upon him and he “saw” Jesus (Numbers 24: 15, 17-19).

When Jesus did come to earth, many people witnessed His miracles and still couldn’t identify Him. Some people saw Jesus for who He was, is, and is to come with spiritual eyes and recognized He is the Savior, the promised Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One. But, even those followers experienced spiritual blindness at times, unable to see past the literal, into the eternal.

And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Mark 8:22-25

I have to hold onto the belief that Jesus understands that there are times when I am going to be unseeing, that He continues to offer me grace in spite of my weakness. I have to hold onto the hope that like He did for the blind man, He will lay His hands on me and restore my sight, washing my eyes and allowing me to see clearly.

Yesappa, Thank You for opening my heart to Your sacrifice on the cross, to Your grace and mercy, and inviting me to be Your daughter. Please open my eyes {wider}, so that I am not blinded by temporal distractions, so that I might see You clearly and always remember everything You’ve done and will do in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, ESV Through the Bible in a Year, Mark, New Testament, Numbers, Old Testament

2 Samuel 24, Galatians 4, Ezekiel 31, Psalms 79

Writers block, Distractions?  NO, I do NOT have any of those.  My brain is constantly spinning and life is going on around me, people are moving by at fast paces, children are laughing in the background, families are arguing in the stores, men are begging for food on sidewalks, I am on the side of the road taking photos of a car bumper  lying in the middle of the highway all while cars are zooming by,   I am waking up late/missing the bus for the kids  thus finding myself smack dab in the hallway of the school still in my pajamas searching for my child’s folder that his brother had taken by accident; and all the while..LIFE GOES ON…I whirl right by as soon as those moments are past.  I HAVE to get to my appointment and then to the store to get the stuff to make the things so family can eat so they will go to bed and then I can have quiet and rest.  This week has been a whirlwind of events ranging from : 1)having yet ANOTHER birthday , 2) receiving a very hard to swallow pill of a phone call regarding my child, 3) having someone from my past (whom I thought had been left there) confront me trying to cause  temptation to resurface within me, 4) hearing that another friend whom had fallen deep into sin was now wanting to make changes in their life and was asking for my family’s insights and prayers. 5)having to explain to someone the reasons behind a firm decision I had made knowing it was none of their business but if I did not share it they would not stop asking me “why, why, why?”  THE NOISE, THE VIVID SCENES carved deep into my heart and brain.  Where do I find solitude and peace???

I was invited two days ago to attend a celebrate recovery event to listen and support a friend whom had been asked to share her  testimony of God’s working in her life.  I found myself still there after she was done speaking and decided to go into one of the smaller groups because another friend was there so I figured I could support her because why else would I go in?  I DO NOT have ANY issues.  I’m involved in church, I write for a Christian Bible blog, I sing on a worship team, I have a lot of good friends and am “on the right track.”  My past has some ups and down, sure, but that is over and done with now.  As I sat listening to others share, something happened within me that for the first time in 33, YES COUNT THEM, 33 years, God completely knocked me over the head, brought me to my knees in a moment of complete vulnerability and I confronted some very deep things that had been thrown to the wayside and overlooked because of my deep rooted PRIDE that I had forgotten about!  I had chosen to not admit that I was struggling in these areas, but somehow believed I could mask it for so long and it would magically not weigh me down.  There were no alter calls or any pressure to share by any of the others who were there, but I felt God’s pricking on my heart.   As I obeyed, I released guilt, sorrow, pain, pride, envy, anger, stressors, thoughts of “what will others think of a,b, or c”.  There I sat  in one breath feeling completely renewed and suddenly in my human state was  fearing that the direct acknowledgement of  these issues would surely reveal that I was a hypocrite in some manner of speaking and could never be used by God again.

I do not have an astounding across the board theme and story depiction for these four chapters I am writing about today, but there is ONE thought and 3 verses that stood out to me!

  Psalms 79:8-9 “Oh, do not hold us guilty for our former sins! Let your tender-hearted mercies quickly meet our needs. For we are brought low to the dust.  Help us, O God of our salvation! Help us for the honor of your name.  Oh, save us and forgive our sins for the sake of your name.”  2 Samuel 24:25 “David built an altar there to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.  And the Lord answered his prayer, and the plague was stopped.” 

My “plague” that has burdened me for so many years and eaten away at my inner being HAS BEEN STOPPED.  God can and will continue to use me just as he used David amidst his wrongs and JESUS is the answer to “Where I find my solitude and peace”.  No more whirlwinds and scurrying by missing out on the heart of the matter just to ensure that the surface of it is “completed”.

Precious Father, I am unworthy of your mercy and grace, yet here I sit being surrounded by it and your never-ending love.  You have taught me that eloquence and “perfectionism” is not a requirement to be used for your glory.  You simply desire me, in my brokenness.  For that I am eternally grateful.  Use me, lead me, guide me and slow me down so that I do not find myself having to scrape off a mask  again just to see what I am missing around me.  Amen.

Live2Love4Him4Ever

~Erica

Although I’ve known of this song for years, it speaks direct louder volumes to me today!

 

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Filed under 2 Samuel, Ezekiel, Galatians, Psalms

Numbers 7; Psalms 42, 43; Song of Songs 5; Hebrews 5

As a deer thirsts for streams of water,

so I thirst for you, God.

I thirst for the living God.

When can I go to meet with him?

Psalm 42:1-2 (NCV)

I am thirsty. Thirsty for more of God; more of His tangible presence.

I am craving extra time spent in His arms, enveloping my heart with His compassion. I am longing to bury my face in His scent – purity, sacrifice, love – and feel the glowing warmth of His Glory. I am eager to hear His voice, whispering in my ear, booming in my spirit. I desire to see His benevolent face, His grace-filled eyes, and His tender smile. I yearn to taste and see more of His goodness.

The distractions of life, of motherhood, of the busyness of piled up to-do lists, and the enticing lure of smart phone, computer, television…, cut chunks out of my day. Interruptions make upheaval out of my attempts at quiet time, exclamations in the middle of my prayers. Most days I don’t have a single moment to myself to think, use the bathroom, or shower, let alone be still and know. Exhaustion, an ever constant, yet unwelcome companion, leads to falling asleep moments after beginning to meditate on the Word.

I often feel spiritually dehydrated, and left wanting more of His Living Water. My lips are parched from thanklessness issuing from my mouth; my tongue is dry from a lack of praise. My eyes gritty from being in the desert place. My ears not fully tuned into the whispers of His voice, hearing only fragments of truth amidst the enemy’s lies. My skin dried up, mummy-like, desperate for His healing salve.

When I am able to find my way to the river, when I am able to meet with Him, I dip my toes into the waterside, feeling His refreshing. Wading into His compassion, forgiveness ripples and flows around me, currents of mercy tugging at my legs. Sinking deeper still, I am able to drink in His Holy Water, tasting His perfect draught, baptizing in His love.

My heart is flooded with gratitude, and my mouth is filled with worship. I am soaked in His affectionate whispers and drenched in His Truth. I am renewed, revitalized by His answers to prayers. I am encouraged by His Word. I am restored.

My thirst is quenched.

And, yet, I still want more…

I am thirsty. Thirsty for more of God. When can we meet again?

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Hebrews, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Numbers, Old Testament, Psalms

Exodus 4-6; Matthew24:29-51

Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies. ~ Exodus 5:9

Has it ever happened to you that while you are waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled, the enemy attacked you again and again trying to distract you with pain—physical, mental, emotional, financial, etc.—so that you’d take your eyes off the promise and begin to focus solely on the pain you’re currently enduring?  These past several weeks, I’ve been dealing off and on with physical pain.  My husband and my friends have been very good about reminding me that these are just attacks from the enemy and he’s only attacking me to distract me from all the promises God has made to me.

It’s easy to get distracted and think that it’s not going to come true.  But Jesus warns us not to get distracted and lose focus.  Jesus told the story of the servant who gave up waiting and began doing things against his master’s will.  Jesus said that the master “will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of,” and will not reward the servant, (Matthew 24:48-49).  The enemy knows how the story ends and he wants to distract us.  Just as Pharaoh, upon hearing that Moses was sent with the message to let God’s people go, increased the pain of the Israelites, the enemy will try to increase our pain to distract us so we will have no time to focus on God’s promises.

My prayer is that I will keep God’s promises ever before me, no matter what the enemy tries to throw at me so that I will not lose focus, but will keep my eyes on the prize.

heatherpotts5

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Filed under 66 Books, Exodus, Matthew