Distracted Devotion

focus

So many times I feel like my devotion to God is very distracted.

The moment I wake up in the morning, the afterburners in my mind kick on. I’m thinking about what needs to be done, what I already did, what I need to eat, etc.

I sit down to read my Bible and I’m distracted. When I pray I feel like a dog who is always chasing after whatever comes into his path. When I sing worship songs or listen to a sermon, my mind is often zipping in a thousand different directions.

This struggle with distraction really ticks me off. I hate being distracted when it comes to the things of the Lord.

So how can I fight distraction? I find the words of Thomas Manton to be very helpful.

Meditate upon the greatness of God. It is of great consequence with whom we are dealing. O if you could see him that is invisible, you would have more reverence! Imagine yourself in heaven in the midst of the blessed angels standing before the all seeing God. (Voices From the Past, 191)

How would my prayer life, and worship, and Bible reading change if I caught a visible glimpse of God? If my eyes beheld the living God who makes the angels tremble? If I came face to face with the holy, holy, holy God?

There would be no more distraction. No more wandering mind, no more weak, half-hearted devotion. My heart and mind and eyes and soul would be gripped by God.

It is of great consequence with whom we are dealing.

I may not see God, but I am still in his presence. I am still praying to, worshiping, and reading about the living God. It’s no small thing to come into his presence. We don’t just wander into the presence of God with no purpose or goal. We come into his presence to engage with God.

And he is worthy of my focused attention.

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+photo by ssh

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/ashansky Andrew S.

    Amen!

  • http://facesoflions.wordpress.com Dave Wilson

    Stephen,

    I can really relate to what you're saying about distractions. I can feel plagued with ADD when it comes to God and the things of his kingdom.

    Your post reminds me of a very gracious perspective on our wandering minds in prayer that came from a blog by Jared Wilson:
    "There is nothing magical about staying in one place or staying on one track mentally. You may begin with many words and slowly run out, but if you are drawing close to God, stay there and think. Let your mind wander and then find its way back to prayer. There is no such thing as perfect prayer. Jesus is perfect and he bears the burden of perfection in prayer for you. Walk around. Sing. Read. Intersperse prayer with devotional reading or Bible study. Talk to yourself a bit. Work out the kinks. It’s okay. God can handle “messy.” The effort of wandering prayer is dirt enough for God to breathe life into."

    Hope that encourages you as much as it did me,
    Dave

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/StephenAltrogge StephenAltrogge

      Wow, that's a great quote. What post is it from?

  • http://www.humanitasremedium.wordpress.com Russ

    WOW! that is a great message for me today. I've had a string of afterburner days.

  • Mark Zherebnenkov

    that was in my face! Thank you Lord, or reminding me again today to keep my focus on You! help me do that, please.

  • KAREN

    OH MAY I NEVER BE DISTRACTED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LIVING GOD AGAIN.THIS MESSAGE WOKE UP MY SOUL. THANK YOU.