Originally published Monday, 02 January 2017.
Now that 2016 is behind us, it’s time to start looking forward to the things ahead in 2017! Are you ready? I know that I am! But before we march further into this New Year, let’s reflect back for just a brief moment to remember the times when we allowed the distractions of life to either sidetrack us or delay progress for spiritual growth or work and ministry. Let’s start with the spiritual growth part first.
How many times did you allow the alerts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, Snapchat, or your email interrupt your prayer or devotional time with God last year? Ouch! Did you ever get distracted and want to put God on hold to answer your phone, text, email, or take a quick glance at a picture or video you posted on Facebook or Instagram the night before just to see how many likes, hearts, laughs, or comments you got overnight? And then later discover that you spent a whole hour scrolling, smiling, and responding? Guilty? DISTRACTION ALERT!
Here’s another one. How many times were you tempted to start working or posting on your social media networks before saying, “Good morning, Lord? How was your night?” I’m guilty of all of these things! Are you?
Listen sis. We serve a mighty, wonderful, amazing, magnificent, righteous, merciful, loving, and jealous God. Did you catch that last attribute? He is a jealous God. He is jealous for our time, attention, and heart…without distractions.
We have to be careful that we don’t begin to love or unintentionally idolize (love too much or put before) these things over God Himself (see Exodus 20:4-5). And it’s not a matter of when we do it (morning, afternoon, or night). The point here is that we keep things in its proper place. So if you notice that you’re allowing yourself to get too caught up in our new reality of life (i.e. fast-paced, busy, information age, technology crazed society), catch yourself and spend some time with our heavenly Father, because He longs to fellowship with you. Remember, it’s a relationship.
Don’t forget about Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Also Jesus tells us through John 15:5, “…Those who remain in me and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” We are truly nothing without Him. Let’s stay connected to the Vine.
Now, let’s talk about removing the distractions when it comes down to work and/or ministry. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts and LIVE chats, block your time and make yourself stay focused on the task at hand (as much as you can). Get it done, hun. I know things happen. Life happens. Emergencies happen. But if you can, pinpoint what you know needs to get done and stay focused once you start grinding. Don’t allow distractions to derail you from reaching your goals and getting things checked off of your To-Do-List. Amen!
I want to encourage you to not allow the distractions of life to crowd out your time with the Lord or the work that He has called you to do in this new season. Just remember that God longs to spend time with Him in prayer, devotion, meditation and study of His word. He also wants you to do what He has called you to do on this earth for Him.
So if that means getting up earlier, turning off your dings (phone alerts), putting your phone in another room, going into your prayer closet (without your phone), and eliminating as many distractions as possible as you strive to complete weekly tasks…do it in 2017, sis. Because we have GOT to get a handle on this new and busy way of life. I pray this helps you and me…this year. ;-)
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
Join me “LIVE” this Tuesday night @ 8:30pm (CST), January 3, 2017 for my monthly “LIVE” chat, “Let’s Talk.” This month, I’ll be talking about “Goal Setting for 2017.” I will also be using my FREE 2017 Vision Kit as a guide. If you haven’t received your FREE Vision Kit yet, download it here http://www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org/vision-kit-2017/ and join me Tuesday night! Hope to talk to you soon and tell a friend to join too! (I will go LIVE from my Facebook Page on Inside Out with Courtnaye. Like the page to join me).
ALSO, just want to encourage you to grab my NEW book, “IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ & Moving Forward in Your Purpose!” ORDER IT TODAY right here on Amazon.com! And if you already have it and have read it, please give me a REVIEW on Amazon.com. Thanks so much in advance.
*Tune in every Monday at 7:30am for new posts, “Like” my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/InsideOutWCourtnaye), and follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/InOutwCourtnaye. Also, share this blog with friends, family, co-workers, or your women’s group or ministry. I’d love to stay connected and help more women grow in the Lord! Thanks again and may God be with you!