TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Back in May, we briefly talked about online advertising tracking. If you’re comparison shopping toasters, be ready… you’ll be bombarded with advertisements for toasters for six solid months. Let’s face it, Friends…. We online browse at our own risks these days, especially with cookies tracking our every online movement. And sometimes things seem to show up without explanation…
Yesterday, on my personal profile, I shared a link to an item that has been cyberstalking me for several weeks: a faux diamond solitaire that is being hugged by a gold balloon dog. It looks exactly like it sounds. And I’m baffled by the idea of why 1) anyone would buy it and 2) why the Facebook advertising department thinks it’s something I’d have even the slightest interest in purchasing. Trust me — I have never ever, at any point in time, thought faux balloon animals were a fashion statement. I don’t know-how in the world this place found me.
But that’s the whole idea… To put things in your path that will get your attention. I use Facebook for my business so I’m on the site all the time… I know how easy it is to be distracted by things… but this particular advertisement has definitely caught my eye. Not in the way they hoped it would, but they did succeed in getting my attention.
Similarly, Satan likes to use things to distract us. Harmless things. Innocent diversions. Things that in the big grand scheme of things aren’t really a big deal, but they redirect our focus away from Jesus. And sometimes, we fall into the trap… Satan’s mode of operation isn’t always meant to make us sin or behave badly. Sometimes, it’s just that open door of distraction that interrupts our prayer time… That keeps us from worshiping… Those “I’ll just watch for five more minutes” videos that waste our time when we meant to watch a sermon instead… But suddenly, an hour has gone by and we can’t remember why we opened YouTube in the first place.
Remember, when Satan can’t destroy you, he’ll distract you. And he is the king of creating “Shiny Object Syndrome,” or SOS, especially when we are trying to keep our eyes on Jesus. Isaiah 26:3 reminds us, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Satan doesn’t want us to have that peace. So when we fall victim to SOS, we find ourselves as Peter did when he tried to walk on the water to meet Jesus. As long as his eyes were focused on Jesus, he walked on water. But the moment he was distracted by the wind and waves, he panicked and he sank (Matthew 14:22-33).
And I’d say the last few months have proven the power of distraction. We’ve been distracted by COVID-19. The benefits of masks. The downside of masks. The economy. Unemployment. Social distancing. And just when all that began to level off… Riots to distract us. Debates about the funding (or defunding) of police. Arguing over who is to blame. And just when we think 2020 can’t be any weirder, Kanye West announced he’s running for President. Everywhere we turn this year, we have a new distraction. Plus, many churches are still closed, and while there are online options, that lack of formal structure requires some self-discipline… and opens the door for more distractions. And the result of all these distractions in our culture? More anxiety. Alcohol sales on the rise. Drug use. More suicides. Because when we lose our focus on Jesus, we forget that He is the one true source of peace and hope.
None of us are immune to it; we all have to be aware. In a way, it’s exhausting. If you ever read the Harry Potter series, you’ll understand— imagine Professor Moody screaming, “Constant Vigilance!” in your head over and over. But, that vigilance is important because we can’t let our guard down! The moment complacency gets us, we are a prime target for distraction. But just as we have to recognize our personal sin, we have to quickly recognize the distractions and get back on track.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for the peace He offers when we keep our eyes on Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you navigate the distractions and prevent you from falling victim to the Shiny Object Syndrome that shifts your focus from Jesus.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.