Sidetracked

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I get sidetracked. Distracted by things that don’t really matter. 

Let me give you an example. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine was going through a very difficult trial. She needed prayer. Lots of prayer. At the same time, another friend was in the midst of a hard battle. She also needed prayer and encouragement. And I knew exactly where my focus needed to be. I knew I needed to pour my energy into these situations and be there for my precious friends.

Then out of nowhere, everything started falling apart on me at work. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. So there I was in the midst of a crazy battle of my own, that was exhausting me and consuming all my mental and emotional energy.

Then later I realized Satan’s game plan. My problems were very small in comparison to what my friends were going through.  But Satan was using that to sidetrack me. I had gotten off track and caught up in my own battle, and I was allowing that to hinder me from fighting the battle for my friends. 

“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” Hebrews 12:1-2

The race of life is not an easy one. It’s an obstacle course like no other. Ever played Mario Kart? You are out there racing your little Mario dude, then out of nowhere a big red shell knocks you off the track. BAM! Sidetracked!

I makes me wonder how often this happening to Christians, and we don’t even realize it. Satan is constantly throwing things at us to distract us. His goal is to take us out of the race. And he knows exactly what to throw at us to make us stumble. Distractions come in many forms…Temptations. Addictions. Comfort. Busyness. Complacency. Stupid junk.

Usually my hurdles fall into the “stupid junk” category. I exhaust monumental amounts of mental energy on stupid junk that doesn’t matter a hill of beans in the long run.

See, we are always fighting in a spiritual battle.We need to learn to look at the obstacles we face through a spiritual lens. 

Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

So how do we do keep from getting sidetracked? How do we stay focused on what truly matters?

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2

We fix our eyes on Jesus.

It always comes back to Him. 

So what does it mean to “fix our eyes on Jesus?”

We get alone with God. We sit at His feet. We spend time with Him–in prayer and in His Word. Then He shows us where we need to focus our attention. His Word illuminates the weights and obstacles that are hindering us. His Word lights  up the path so we can see clearly where to run.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Jesus is the truth that sets us free from the weights that entangle and slow us down. He is the key that sets us free to run the race He has set before us.

Where we focus our thoughts will determine our destination.

So look up. Fix your eyes on Jesus.

Keep running the race. Don’t get sidetracked!

“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:25-27

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