Monday, November 05, 2007

Luke #41 – DISTRACTION: Under New Management

Luke #41 – DISTRACTION: Under New Management

“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days He did eat nothing: and when they were ended, He afterward hungered. And the devil said…” (Luke 4:1-3a – King James Version).

So, as Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story. As I sat on the roadside with my very broken down car I was having the grandest time worshipping and having fellowship with God. No phone! No car! Not a single luxury! Like Jesus Christ my Savior, as undistracted as can be! (You can sing those last few lines to the Gilligan’s Island tune…FYI.) Once all the distractions were removed there was nothing in my way so the devil decided to make it personal.

Scripture says that Satan is beautiful (2 Corinthians 11:14). Scripture also says that Satan is tricky (Ephesians 6:11). That means he will try to slip in on us. We’ve got some nutty picture in our heads that Satan is ugly; a red devil so to speak. We never see the rascal coming because he is so beautiful and wily. But, we’d better be watching because he is looking to eat somebody up (1 Peter 5:8)!

Though Jesus had escaped the crowds, his family, and the carpenter business to get alone with His Father, Satan was there the entire time. Today’s verses tell us that Jesus experienced “being forty days tempted of the devil”. THEN He was tempted some more! My point here is simple; once all the distractions were removed, Satan moved in for a personal campaign.

Listen to me closely here…the average person has far too many distractions. We need to remove most of them. I am always amazed at how close people get to the Lord on retreats, mission trips, and camps. During those times we are insulated from our normal routines and free to meet with God. As soon as that period of time is over, we go right back to the things that were distracting us in the first place. I always remind my youth at church that camp is like a butcher; it teaches them how to trim the fat from their lives. They must then go home and do it themselves.

Know this though, when we do remove the distractions or when God removes them we need to be aware that Satan will move in and be the distraction himself. That’s why we need to wear the whole armor of God so that we can stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6).

Again, pay close attention…the devil loves for us to have distractions. One of his favorites is worry; worry about money, work, our children, and a host of other things. Another is busyness; sometimes all Satan wants to do is fill our lives with so many activities that we are drowned by busyness. Another is people; we often become so consumed by the search for love or consumed with a love interest that our vision is skewed. Another distraction is material things; we become caught up in the pursuit of things—money being chief. Often we are distracted by hobbies; golf, softball, fishing, watching TV…you name it. Now we need to trim the fat! After doing that the business of distraction will still be Satan’s chief aim. Once a Christian matures enough to remove

Jesus experienced that in the Wilderness. If you will remove the distractions in your life or let the Spirit lead you away from them you will experience it too. Get ready! It will require serious sacrifice to concentrate on God with a direct assault from Satan. Jesus ate nothing, not wanting even food to get in His way. Are you prepared for distractions to move in under new management?

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