This is a message that God birthed in my heart for our local student ministry. What you are about to read consists of my PERSONAL notes. Hope you enjoy. Use as you please.
Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Distraction #1 – UNBALANCED DIET
The easiest way for you to stay distracted is for you to cheat on the Lord with other things that are far less important than God himself.
You cannot effectively serve God while dating the devil.
Matthew 6 displays this theory: – “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
Then verse 33 says: – “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
You cannot pray through on Sundays playing with the world on Monday expecting to make it to heaven someday.
It does not work this way.
You have to be completely sold out unto God!
We must have a CRAVING for the things of God.
Consider this: There are many people who have a craving for sweet things between meals. Sweet things give a surge of energy and temporarily satisfy cravings. There are many who have a few sweet things that destroy their spiritual appetite. Men have sweet things. Women have sweet things. Sweet things, whatever they are, dull our hunger for spiritual things. In fact, there are many who lose their entire appetite for spiritual matters because they are living on a diet of sweet things.
This is a DANGER and it is a DISTRACTION!
We have to keep a balanced diet of the Word. It is the BREAD OF LIFE and without this important factor in our lives, we will starve on all the sweet things that the salt (which is you and I) will fade away and dissolve.
Distraction #2 – UNGODLY MUSIC
For some who don’t believe that ungodly music is wrong, let me direct your attention to something powerful that you cannot deny.
Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Ok — honest, just, pure, love, good report
What does this have to do with ungodly music?
GREAT QUESTION … Here’s the answer … Does it glorify God?
Can you honestly say that you feel the presence of the Lord when you’re blasting your favorite playlist?
A woman singing songs such as “I kissed a girl and I liked it…”
Lady Gaga saying: “The taste of your skin … The warmth of your hungry lips … Has me so taken and I love the way you can make me dance … From miles away … When I’m with you I’m so sedated … I’m captivated by you”
THE LIKES ON FACEBOOK: Justin Beiber, Michael Jackson, Katy Perry, Jay-Z, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne & Rihana
Answer this question, how can you honestly say the thoughts in your mind are pure when listening to music from these artists when they involved dirty language, vulgar suggestions and so much more?
Furthermore – how can you honestly step onto the platform and dare to lead worship knowing good and well these lyrics are STUCK IN YOUR HEAD and still have to push aside the negative purpose of each song.
It is a DISTRACTION from the total submission to God.
We must clean out the junk from our iPods and our computers.
If God came down here in flesh and scrolled through your playlist do you think he would approve or would he be ashamed?
Truth is, He does know what you’re listening to and to be totally honest, He is not impressed but rather is probably disgusted at this point.
We want the clean things in life.
Distraction #3 – NEGATIVE CONVERSATIONS
1 Timothy 4:12 – “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
1 Peter 1:15 – “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;”
Let’s be real for a minute.
This is one area that we struggle with.
Negative conversations are nothing but DRAMA and I don’t like them. I cannot stand the idea neither can I imagine what’s so exciting about tearing down people you supposedly love, making sure everyone around you is “aware” of their wrong doings and no matter how much you’re trying to “help” someone else by giving these warnings… look, it if doesn’t build someone up, don’t even mention their name or talk about them.
What’s so crazy is that if someone is bashing another person to your face chances are they are bashing you to someone else.
And let me address this issue also, all these acronyms that people want to post on Facebook: (LMAO, FML, WTF…) you know exactly what I’m talking about … that is NOT an example of a Holy Ghost filled young person.
You have allowed negative conversation to rule your life.
Please hear my tone and feel my heart beat, when you partake in these types of conversation you fall prey to the attack of the devil instantly cheating on God when it comes to your relationship with him.
He wants nothing more than for you to speak against the positive.
He LOVES discord and he enjoys bringing division into what God has joined together.
And as long as I’m student pastor, from this point on when I hear of you talking junk and being negative about leadership, family, friends and whatever else comes back to me … I will confront you and I will suggest the negative conversation stops!
I’m not the “Senior Pastor” of this church but God did call me to lead you into a deep relationship with Him so therefore I will take that responsibility and will handle such situations as needed.
I’m not at all trying to sound harsh or rude, but I’m trying to save your soul!
Let’s keep the conversation clean and speaking of ……….
Distraction #4 – PEERS
THIS IS A HUGE ONE!
Not everyone around you is here for the same purpose as you.
While you’re trying your best to come closer to God, there will always be someone in your life who doesn’t care about what’s going on in the church and will do their very best to distract you from what God is wanting to do.
These people could care nothing about your walk with God and will do just about anything to sidetrack your mindset from what it should be focused on. Not everyone that comes to this church is here for the same reason. Not everyone desires to have a closer walk with God. Not everyone really cares to know how to be holy and live a pleasing life.
You cannot let what others are doing around you to determine what you will end up doing with your life.
Somewhere you have to make your own choice.
Don’t let your peers distract you.
If you have friends that want to run down, talk trash about and constantly sow seeds of discord about everyone else around … you need to disconnect yourself from them otherwise you’re going to end up in trouble simply because you did not avoid the distraction.
Before I go any further… if you have friends that want to engage you into areas of conversations that resolved around hatred, anger and strife then you need to find new friends and make sure they are the type that will make you better!
Distraction #5 – IDLE HANDS
It’s been said that “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”
This in general could mean a lot of things.
Example: Internet sites, Television, Movies, Texting, Laziness
What you do when you’re by yourself will always determine who will be around others.
We must never allow ourselves to have too much free time. Whatever we do, we must glorify God at all times.
Colossians 3:17 – “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Six verses later (Colossians 3:23) – “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”
Ladies and Gentlemen: There is a problem with sitting idle by yourselves and not having any source of direction and focus.
I read a quote last week that is now on my background for my phone and iPad. It simply states: “The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy is having no goal reach.” – Benjamin Mays
We must stay busy! Keep your mind focused! Don’t become distracted!
- Keep a steady balance of God in your life
- Keep watch of the music you listen to
- Keep your conversations holy and pure
- Keep people in your life who will build you up
- Keep your hands doing the work of the Lord!