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Distraction Avenue

October 8, 2013

These opening passages are being employed in a somewhat unconventional manner. The first refers to the time when the son of perdition is in power upon the earth, however, the issue that it addresses is very much in play at this moment. The second refers specifically to the time of Jesus’ return, however, just like the first passage, it addresses a danger that is very present with us now.  

Daniel 7:25″And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

Satan knows how to “wear out the saints.”

Luke 21:34 “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” 

Time is a priceless commodity. A portion that has been given to vanity, can never be retrieved. 

It’s a phenomenon that all who love the Lord Jesus are familiar with. We can determine within ourselves to devote a span of time to issues of eternal significance. We can seal off all possible avenues of distraction and properly address all responsibilities in a manner that will secure for us, an uninterrupted time of being about that which the Holy Spirit has placed on our heart. The preparations can be seemingly “set in stone;” causing us to anticipate the season wherein we can devote our full attention to that which makes our heart sing. But as the moment approaches, a conflicting agenda begins to consume bits and pieces of the time that had been reserved. Distractions arise, and with an almost mentoring tone of voice, the enemy whispers in our ear “it’s alright. God knows that you have obligations. You can intercede later…. like right before bed …. when you are fatigued from the wild goose chase that I have planned for you.  The bible will still be there when these other things are finished.  You can take tracts out tomorrow.  You can go the nursing home anytime. You can visit that new unregistered church next week” He will even quote scripture in an effort to hinder us. “the poor have ye always …. go out with your friends ….. or else they might think that Christians are stuck up …. then they will never get saved and it will be your fault.” 

During the past few months, much cogitation has been given to the many ways that the enemy seeks to distract, misdirect, and neutralize us. For each person whose name is in the book of life, Satan has a customized defensive strategy whereby he exploits every one or their shortcomings in an effort to derail them. He knows precisely where we are insofar as understanding, he knows whether or not we are harboring attachment to this present world, and he knows how to utilize our circumstances, along with the people in our circle of acquaintances in a manner that will hinder our efforts to be about our Fathers business. he knows how to “speak” in a way that, to the undiscerning, may sound just like God. Few of us (if any) of us have a solid understanding of the battle that we are in. Oftentimes, the most critical battles are transpiring while we are on a “spiritual furlough” (for lack of a better term) Satan takes full advantage of every second that we squander, every misstep that we make, every contrary thought that we entertain, and every element of vanity which continues to have a hold on us. He utilizes all of these to keep us from becoming what the Lord Jesus has called us to be and from doing that which he desires to accomplish through us. Even when we have covered all of the basics, the enemy continuously seeks out moments when we have let our guard down.

For me; some of the most intense battles are when waking up. In that groggy place, between consciousness and slumber, the enemy maneuvers frantically in an effort to take control of the tempo and disrupt all that was planned for that day.  

I’m questioning whether this should be shared because 1: it touches on the private moments and 2: it’s a mild deviation from the topic at hand. Nonetheless, it’s a quality example of how the enemy can throw us off when least expected. If there is one time when my guard is probably at its lowest, it is during the intimate moments with my better half. (good grief; this is awkward!) There have been times when, at the most intimate moment, a thought would pop into my head that was so vile, so blasphemous against the Lord Jesus, that it not only impeded the moment, it cast a dark shadow over the next day. Continual repentance seemed to go nowhere as troubling questions lingered “How did such a horrific thought ever get into my brain? …. Did it cross into the area of unpardonable sin? …. Lord Jesus; that thing DID NOT; IN ANY WAY, reflect my thoughts toward you!” It has only happened a handful of times over a period of several years, however, each intrusion by the enemy, who will cross any boundary left exposed, was an intense wrestling. They are worse than sleep paralysis attacks (I’ve had a few over the years) because, at least an sp attack does not plant vile thoughts into the brain. I usually try to refrain from saying “the Lord told me” because it sounds lofty, however, in this case, seems necessary. Following the most recent invasion, the Lord granted reassurance that the thoughts were an attack from the enemy; stating words to the effect of “it’s not new to me.  Satan has been saying things like that about me from the beginning.” The words of the Lord Jesus were comforting, however, the assaults were/are still a bothersome thing. 

Henry Gruver once mentioned that this will often happen while one is prayer walking and that one “should not take it personally.” During a time of prayer walking, the intrusion of vile thoughts signifies that one has crossed into another spiritual domain. They must not be permitted to become a hindrance. In other words, when we are on offense with spiritual understanding, the enemy is reduced to trying to mess with our head. Insofar as the intimate times, preemptive prayer has proven to be an effective defense …… unless the spontaneity of a moment causes one to become careless – TIME TO GET BACK ON TOPIC!!! 

Jeremiah 14:22 “Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art thou not he, O LORD our God therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.”

Without fail, the enemy seeks to take advantage of any avenue at his disposal. Sometimes, these inroads are in the form of “things overlooked.” Other times, usually from a lack of understanding, we will hand the enemy assets by which he is able to corral us into a spiritual void of sorts. These stem from the three lusts identified in I John 2:16. A love for the things of this world which cause one to become entangled in the thorns, an appetite for fleshly satisfaction which often lures one outside the scriptural boundaries, and pride of life which will carry one into a relentless campaign of seeking promotion and then advertising it. Recently an acquaintance from across the pond (Atlantic) told about a person whom she has had to work with. This colleague boasted to her, words to the effect of “I love to be noticed; to be the center of attention. I thrive on getting in front of a large gathering, doing a presentation, and receiving recognition for my talent.” As far as I know, the man in this example does not know the Lord Jesus. Nonetheless; if not kept in check, pride can get into the heart of even the most spiritual of saints and lure them into a campaign which looks like ministry, but has, in effect, become a vehicle for personal ambition. The church at Ephesus, in its Revelation 2:4 state, must have had many who had been seduced by this allurement. A scripture must be referred to here as this issue must be placed in context; (another side track coming on)

Philippians 1:15-18 “Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
The one preach Christ out of contention, and not sincerely, 
supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
But the other out of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel.
What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached: and I therein, yea, and will rejoice.”

Here, the apostle Paul identifies the pride of life as it pertains to an office of ministry. He goes on to describe how one insulates themselves from becoming poisoned by such attitudes; by focusing on what really matters – the salvation of souls. In other words, if an arrogant self serving person proclaims truth  (not error, but truth) and, subsequently, names are written in the book of life, rejoice in the souls who have been plucked from the pit ,,,,, and intercede for the person with the contrary mindset. Not only is this profitable,for all parties, it deprives Satan a much sought after advantage.

Well; so much for trying to keep it short and passer-by friendly. One more thing is in need of addressing because many well sincere saints are drawn into what could be termed “cul-de-sacs of death.” They present themselves as wholesome pastimes or entertainment. They seem harmless; even family-friendly and noble; however, they carry folks away from consideration of things which carry over into the everlasting while countless hours, days, and weeks, pass by with no return. If attention is called to the carnal nature, the standard defense is “oh there is nothing wrong with this. It’s just fun.” 

Just an observation. Whenever a questionable topic is defended with the words “there’s nothing wrong with it,” that is a good indicator that something is wrong with it, and begs the reply of “oh …. well what’s right about it?”

Since the particular season is at hand, I’ll use football as an example. On the outside; sure, it can be fun, and, on a local level, it can be a good avenue whereby lessons good sportsmanship are learned and one is challenged to achieve maximum fitness. This isn’t the issue. I’m referring to the endless spectator element; whereby a person will spend countless hours, perched in front of a television, eating unhealthy snacks, take in countless images (which were carefully assembled by the masters of advertisement to play on the three lusts) and sit on the edge of their seat while a completely irrelevent storyline unfolds. In the end, one team is victorious, but nothing is gained. Not one lonely elderly person was visited. Not one soul was told about Jesus. (unless one counts the John 3:16 sign in the stands behind the goal post) not one devil was cast out, and not one intercession was uttered with anguish of spirit for a family member, a neighbor, a leader, a city, or a land. The price tag for endless hours of “are you ready for some footballllllll” is astronomical and non-redeemable.

This year, Lord willing, it will happen. I want to spend the entire time wherein the superbowl is being played in intercession. It may seem kind of silly, but it provides one a sampling of just how much time can be wasted on things irrelevant ….. and how much can be accomplished if that time is reallocated toward spiritual matters. 

Acts 12:5 “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.”

II Corinthians 2:11 “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

OVER TWO THOUSAND WORDS???? I have to go! I’ll strive to clean this up later as there are certain to be enumerable grammatical hiccups. There will be more observations on this topic in the future as, all around us, saints, including myself, seem to become easily distracted by every irrelevant issue that one can imagine.  

Blessings in Jesus name.

Revelation 3:3 “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.”

 

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