Stop Chasing Rabbits
Jeremiah 24:7 “Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.”
I decided to wash my car. As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the hall table. I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the trashcan under the table, and notice that the trashcan is full. So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the trash first. But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the trash anyway, I may as well pay the bills first. I take my checkbook off the table and see that there is only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go to my desk where I find the bottle of coke that I had been drinking. I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. I see that the coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. As I head toward the kitchen with the coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need to be watered. I set the coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers. I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, we will be looking for the remote, but nobody will remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers. I splash some water on the flowers, but most of it spills on the floor.
So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do. At the end of the day: the car isn't washed, the bills aren't paid, there is a warm bottle of coke sitting on the counter, the flowers aren't watered, there is still only one check in my checkbook, I can't find the remote, I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys. Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.
We've all been there, we're all guilty of letting distractions pull us away from things we're trying to do. Even when I write my blogs I'm easily distracted as I try to get my thoughts on paper. Although most of the time distraction just keeps us from staying on track with daily routines, distractions can also be a problem when it pulls us away from time with God.
As Christians our strength comes from spending time with Jesus but satan does not want us to find that connection so he will send things our way to distract us. We'll call those distractions bunnies because like bunnies multiply, when satan releases the distractions, they can multiply without us even realizing it, as seen in our opening story.
It seems like just as you sit down to open your Bible, satan releases the rabbits. The phone rings, the kids wake up, your spouse needs something, your stomach growls, you remember you have to call someone, pay some bills, check your emails, do daily tasks on your games on your phone, and let's not forget Facebook. The favorite choice of distraction. You're just going to see if you have any new messages and suddenly an hour has passed. The rabbits have multiplied, and you have lost the time set aside to spend with Jesus.
I'm not sure we can entirely erase all distractions from our minds, we don't work that way but there are things we can do to help keep our focus on Jesus when we sit down to open His word and talk with Him. A good start is to put your phone in another room on silent, if you know it will take your time away. Proverbs 18:17 says it clearly, “seek God early.” Before the kids need you, before you tackle the day, seek God, spend time with Him, get some daily Manna for strength, and pray, pray God rebuke satan's power to distract you.
Jesus tells us in John 6:35 that He is the Bread of Life. Like we need physical bread to feed and sustain us, Jesus is the spiritual bread we need for strength to face this world and satan. When we spend time in devotions and with Him, satan becomes unhappy and that's why he releases the rabbits that pull us away from Jesus and makes us weak. Although spending time with Jesus all day is needed why do you suppose the psalmist says early in the morning? Exodus 16:31 tells us that God instructed the Israelites to collect the manna each morning because as the day went on the sun melted the manna, making it useless. As we go through our days, we begin to lose strength and become weak. When we fill up on Jesus in the morning, Jesus promises in Isaiah 40:31 to give us strength as eagles.
In the book, Desire of Ages pages 390 and 391, we read, “As our physical life is sustained by food, so our spiritual life is sustained by the word of God. And every soul is to receive life from God's word for himself. As we must eat for ourselves in order to receive nourishment, so we must receive the word for ourselves. We are not to obtain it merely through the medium of another's mind. We should carefully study the Bible, asking God for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that we may understand His word. We should take one verse and concentrate the mind on the task of ascertaining the thought which God has put in that verse for us. We should dwell upon the thought until it becomes our own, and we know “what saith the Lord. Pg 390. By looking constantly to Jesus with the eye of faith, we shall be strengthened. God will make the most precious revelations to His hungering, thirsting people. They will find that Christ is a personal Savior. As they feed upon His word, they find that it is spirit and life. The word destroys the natural, earthly nature, and imparts a new life in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes to the soul as a Comforter. By the transforming agency of His grace, the image of God is reproduced in the disciple; he becomes a new creature. Love takes the place of hatred, and the heart receives the divine similitude. This is what it means to live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” This is eating the Bread that comes down from heaven. Pg. 391”
It's a simple recipe. Time alone at the beginning of each day with Jesus and Bible study and prayer is as important to every Christian as flour is to a bakery or a cow to a dairy farm. We need daily time with God to not only build our relationship with Him but for our strength to fend off this world and all the devil throws at us. The devil doesn't want us to have that time so he will give us distractions.
Today, and everyday make time to partake of the Bread of Life, don't go chasing the rabbits until you have been fully satisfied and strengthened for your day ahead. Once you have, you'll find most of the distractions will have taken care of themselves. Remember God is good all the time and all the time God is good.
Have you been able to further your study through 1 John, maybe look at the lessons I have been providing or reading through the passages. Hopefully you have found some new blessings as you let the Holy Spirit talk and share with you. Today let's continue through 1 John 1:8-2:2. As always you can find the link to follow what we are studying.
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