We will never hit the bull’s eye until we know what the target is. The kingdom of darkness designs distractions to detour us from our course, to get us off track. If he gets us off course—focused on something other than our assignment—he doesn’t have to be concerned about whether we will produce fruit.
Distractions are one of the devil’s most frequently used devices against us as believers. This method is successful because believers are so easily distracted. When too many things compete for our time and attention, we must decide what things will get our attention and where we will devote our time. We cannot simply give our time and attention to the things that scream the loudest or we may miss the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.
In Hebrews 12:1-2, Paul exhorts, “…Let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]” (AMP).
We have to turn our eyes away from things that are a distraction. Refuse to even give them a glance. We should look away from anything that competes for our attention.
The definition of “distraction” is something that draws you apart, pulls in a different direction, diverts, fills with different considerations, to harass with cares. The devil will design things to draw and pull us in other directions—any direction that leads us away from the plan of God. Sometimes these distractions can be “good things,” but they just aren’t the things God has planned for us.
Another purpose for distractions is to fill us with different thoughts—thoughts about anything except what God has promised us. Titus 3:9 says, “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law; for they are unprofitable and worthless” (NAS). When we get involved in meaningless controversies they can escalate into heated arguments. The Bible says it’s unprofitable to get involved in these conversations because they are designed to distract us from what is profitable and worthwhile.
Finally, the last method the kingdom of darkness uses to distract us is to harass us with the cares of this life. It is so easy to get into the habit of worrying without even realizing it. The world around us constantly bombards us with things that give us a reason to worry. But Jesus said, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?” (Luke 12:25,26 NLT).
Once we realize what distractions are designed to do, we can begin to recognize them more speedily. We can ask the Holy Spirit to help us recognize distractions before we are drawn into their trap. Then they will lose their power to get us off our God-given course.