“Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach.” ~Proverbs 22:17
I’ve grown to understand the tremendous benefits of stillness, slowing down and unplugging from it all so that I might hear God better. It has deepened my relationship with God and changed my life in many wonderful ways. Our souls thrive when we slow down and intentionally make room in our hearts to receive from God. But our day-to-day life challenges this type of stillness, doesn’t it? We struggle with quieting our minds to hear when God is communicating with us. When we’re not paying attention, we miss the message God is conveying or has conveyed to us.
Our enemy, the devil, uses distractions to lure our time and attention away from God, obscuring our awareness of His Presence in our lives. When we’re distracted from God, it gives the enemy a foothold in our life. “Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up.” (1 Peter 5:8 MSG) There are so many distractions at the devil’s disposal. We are distracted by our problems, worry, fear, anger, gossip, our desire for things, our cell phones, television, social media, politics, etc. There is no shortage of distractions in this world. Distractions are everywhere! Everywhere! So, what are we to do?
The world’s pull is magnetic, tempting and alluring so our willpower just won’t cut it. We need God in EVERY area of our lives, which means we need His help to overcome distractions. But, first, we must choose to seek God. “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16) God won’t force us to to spend time with Him, but once we make our relationship with Him a priority, intentionality becomes key. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35) Jesus was intentional about spending time with God, and so should we.
Over time, I’ve learned to intentionally set aside time , day and/or night, to be alone and quiet in God’s Presence. I’ll read scripture (with the Holy Spirit’s help), pray or meditate on something I’ve read. However, our time with God is personal and doesn’t have to fit into anyone else’s mold. How we spend time with God, and the amount of time, is between us and God. There’s no specific time limit or structure. We just have to figure what works best for us. The most important thing is to do it. To prioritize time with Him and His Word. To bring our hearts and minds into His Presence, overcoming the many distractions that vie for our attention. Amazing things happen when we do. Because in God’s Presence there is the fullness of joy and so, so much more. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
Prayer: Father, you are God over all I know. You are holy and magnificent. Help me overcome the many distractions in this life. I know time with you is as important as the air I breathe. Please increase my awareness of the enemy’s attempt to distract me from spending time with you. Help me to be like Jesus and be intentional about being alone with you so that I may experience the fullness of your joy. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray. Amen.