A life without distraction

By admin  //  Devotionals  //  1 Comment

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody.” – Psalm 57:7 (ESV)

What do we perceive the victorious life to be? Only a few of us will ever imagine it as a life free from troubles, but some may feel it is a life that has all the answers. We look at some spiritual leader we respect and we believe he has it all together. ‘He understands why things occur that happen to him’; ‘he must be in tune with God and so God explains everything to him’, we think. So when we face situations that don’t make sense, we conclude that either we are not spiritual enough or maybe God doesn’t like us too much.

The victorious life is not a life without questions. It is a life without distraction. When it comes to faith, Paul was a giant. Place him beside any of the heroes of faith in Hebrew 11 and he will dwarf them. He lived for God and lived out God. He walked in the purposes of God for his life. But was his life without unanswered questions? No! No! No! He had many of them, yet he never allowed them to distract him from moving on with God into all that God had for him!

Many times in life we face things that just seem to make it difficult to move on. The bible tells us of Abram’s father Tehrah in Genesis 11:27-32. He had three sons Abram, Nahor and Haran. But one-day tragedy struck and Haran died in his presence. The loss of a loved one or other deep tragedy can so devastate us and rob us of the strength to press on. We ask, ‘Why did God allow this?’

When Jacob thought his beloved son Joseph had died, he refused to be comforted and said ‘I will go down to my grave mourning’. He lived on, but he could not move on beyond that tragedy. And this is what we see in the case of Tehrah. The bible says in Genesis 11:31 that a time came when Tehrah set out to go to Canaan (the Promised Land). I believe that it was God who put this pull towards destiny in Tehrah ’s heart  just like he would later do to Abram. God was not finished with Tehrah in spite of what he had gone through. He wanted him to press on into his place for him. But though Tehrah started the journey the bible says that when he came to a city called Haran, (a place that reminded him of his son, his tragic death and all the unresolved questions that still remained) he couldn’t move on and so he settled in Haran.  And the Bible says, “And Terah died in Haran” (v.32). It is not God’s will that we allow anything, no matter how tragic, to so distract us as to make us choose to settle down in transit and not press on into God’s promised land for us. God may not answer all our questions on this side of eternity, but he calls us to trust him and journey on with him.

The victorious life is a life focused on entering into all that God has for us despite all that we may face. Those who have lived victoriously have not pressed on because they had everything sorted out, but because they have handed the unanswered questions of life over to God. Paul puts it like this:

‘Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’ ~ Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)

He was saying ‘Listen brothers, I don’t have it all together yet. But here is one thing I do: I forget those things that are behind (the troubles, the triumphs, and the unanswered questions), I hand them over to my Lord, and I focus on pressing on to take hold of the reason for which God has called me and for which Christ has taken hold of me’.

There is a reason why Christ took hold of you and me. And there is a place to which he is taking us. There is something he wants to accomplish with our lives. Like Abram and his father there is a land he is taking us to. Let us not allow anything to distract us from pressing on into that land. Let us be determined to be all that he has called us to be. That is what the victorious life is – a life without distraction. A life focused on following Jesus, come what may!