Satan is real, and if we ignore his existence, we are ignoring so much of what happens in our life. You see, behind many things that happen to us in this lifetime, Satan and his army are most likely behind the scenes, wreaking havoc in our lives.
We often focus on what we can see, and become distracted by our circumstances or other people rather than look beyond the circumstance and on the forces at work. We fight our loved ones, ourselves, and even God when we need to be fighting the real culprit: the enemy.
We are fighting a war. A spiritual war. A war in the unseen places. A war for our souls.
Charles Spurgeon once wrote, “Consider how precious a soul must be when both God and the devil are after it.” There is a war waging in the spiritual realm every day, every second, at this very moment reading this article. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12 that “our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” He then goes on to encourage us to therefore put on the full armor of God, so that we can stand firm against the enemy and his weapons. In which Satan’s greatest, and most likely his favorite, weapon he uses against us is the power to distract.
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How Satan Distracts Us
In the information-overloaded world we live in today, it’s not that difficult for Satan to distract us. In fact, I don’t think he works too hard in our current culture, nor do I think he is putting in overtime due to the fact that distractions are so easily at our fingertips. We are inundated with information from the moment we wake up. We are overwhelmed with every form of distraction from news alerts, bank reminders, notifications, texts, social media, and every other app our devices carry. Not to mention, the demands of our daily schedules, work, spouses, and children and their endless requests.
Satan is having a heyday in the world of distractions we live in. And every day he finds small moments of victory every time he can get us distracted and farther away from spending time with the Lord. But let me remind you of this truth: although he may have small victories in our day-to-day lives as we allow him, He is not the victor in the end. Quite the opposite; He is a defeated foe, and while he is on the opposing team, he has already lost this war. Jesus accomplished this on that day in calvary 2,000 years ago when He chose to die on the cross for us as. “He disarmed principalities and powers, having nailed to the cross, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:13-:15).
So, while Satan is defeated and his time will one day be up, let’s not hand him the victory in our day-to-day lives and circumstances while He is still “roaming the earth like a lion just looking for someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8). He uses many weapons and tactics in an effort to defeat us. We must be aware of them and pray for our eyes to be open so we can wage war against him here on earth and take the everyday victory back in our lives. For we “have all the power and authority…” (Luke 10:19) over him in all areas of our life and our weapons are far greater than his.
In order to resist the enemy, it’s important to understand his favorite weapon of distraction. Here are 5 reasons why he uses distraction as his greatest and most favorite weapon.
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1. Distractions keep our focus off of God.
If Satan can distract us, he can keep our focus off of God. One of the ways he does this is by distracting us with “good” things. Many of us say ‘yes’ to all things good, and while these good things can be church-related, do they keep your focus off of God? You can serve in your church, attend every Bible study, lead groups, but are you focusing on the distraction of ministry rather than on God Himself?
We can read others’ blogs and devotionals and be distracted with our daily routines that perhaps involve God, but our focus is not on God. As believers, let’s make sure God is our sole focus as we are encouraged to “seek first His kingdom, and then everything else will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
2. Distractions fill us with doubt and worry.
When Satan fills our minds with distractions, it can lead us to live a life full of doubt and worry because we are focused on the distraction of the circumstance around us. We begin to “glance at God and focus on our circumstance rather than focus on God and glance at our circumstance” (Jesus & Women by Kristi McClelland).
Peter is a great example of someone who showed us what happens when we allow distractions to fill us with doubt and worry. When Peter and the disciples were in the boat in Mathew 14, there was a storm all around them and Jesus appeared to them in the midst of the storm as they were afraid. Jesus told Peter to “come (walk in water) and do not be afraid” (Matthew 14:29). He began taking his first steps with his gaze not on the storm or circumstance, but on Jesus, full of faith, trusting in Jesus’ words. But in Matthew 14:30, “Peter saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid and began sinking, crying out to the Lord to save him.”
Peter was walking on water until he became distracted by the wind around him, and this is the moment he began sinking with doubt and worry. As believers, we too must keep our faith and gaze on Jesus, otherwise, distractions around us will begin to fill us with doubt and worry, and we will see our lives sinking in distractions.
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3. Distractions keep us focused on self.
With everything that Satan brings to us to distract us, it keeps our focus on ourselves rather than on God. Focusing on self is living with pride and “pride is the beginning of sin” (Ecclesiastes 10:13). When we are distracted with things, or our agenda and circumstances, it often puts our focus on ourselves first. Pride is what caused King David to go from a man after God’s own heart (I Samuel 13:14) to a man who committed adultery (2 Samuel 11) and killed the husband of the woman he had an affair with.
David’s distraction turned his focus on himself and his lustful desires, which ultimately led to sin. As believers, we need to cling to the opposite of pride and eliminate distractions that focus on self. Proverbs 9:10 says, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” We need to recognize the distractions Satan throws at us that lead us to focus on self, and instead humble ourselves as lowly, giving God his rightful place in our lives by honoring and fearing him. This will allow wisdom to lead the way instead of pride, which can be destructive as “pride comes before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18) just as it came before King David’s fall.
4. Distractions steer us away from walking in our purpose.
Satan’s ultimate goal is to make sure we are so distracted with other things that we don’t create room or space for God’s purpose to be our priority. If he can distract us from God’s voice with other voices of the world, we won’t have room to hear God’s voice.
Are you hearing from God? Do you feel perhaps He is silent? What if He actually is speaking to you and speaks to you out through out your day, but you are too distracted with the voices of the world to hear him?
As believers, let’s walk in our purpose. But we must do this by hearing the Holy Spirit’s next step. Let’s turn off the endless information buffet line flooding our minds, and limit the intake of sound from friends, family, social media, and direct our ears toward God’s voice. Let’s trade it all in, all the things of the world, and in turn, create room for God to invest His heavenly purpose into us here on earth. Let’s focus today on “setting our minds on things above, not on things of this world” (Colossians 3:2).
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5. Distractions keep our thoughts spiraling.
The more distractions Satan can throw at us, the more thoughts we give power to. God has given us the power and the instruction by Paul to control our thoughts rather than allowing them to control us. Paul tells us to “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
If we are too distracted, then it will be hard to take thoughts captive and submit them to Christ. We have so many thoughts thrown at us with all the distractions that before we know it, our thoughts are spiraling. The reason Paul teaches us to take our thoughts captive is because it’s so important to control them. Our thoughts dictate our actions, as Scripture says in Proverbs 23:7 that “as a man thinketh, so is he.”
How many times have you been afraid because you’ve been distracted with fearful thoughts, and therefore you made decisions based out of fear?
As believers, we must abide by Pauls’ teaching to be take our thoughts captive, but we first must be aware of those thoughts in our mind. We can’t just allow any thoughts in, so they don’t turn into action. Let’s not let the enemy distract us, allowing merely any thought into our minds. Let’s begin practicing by “guarding our hearts [and minds] above all else” (Proverbs 4:23) and close the door to any unwanted thoughts and distractions today.
Partner with God or Partner with the Enemy
We have a choice to partner with God or partner with the enemy by making his job easy by giving into his greatest weapon of distraction. Let’s partner with God by staying in communion with Him through prayer. This involves not just thinking about things, but actually praying about everything. When you pray about it, it leaves no room for other thoughts to enter your mind. By “praying without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17), we keep our focus on God. This is why prayer is discussed all throughout the Bible. And while we are still capable of being distracted, it will keep our focus on God.
So as believers, let’s keep on “praying at all times” (Ephesians 6:18). Pray when driving, when running errands, doing dishes, tending to children, when exercising, in silence, while working. Let’s never stop praying and partner with our God above all else and not let the enemy’s favorite weapon win.
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Originally published Wednesday, 28 July 2021.