People are a distraction. There’s just no way around it.
Anything in our lives have the potential to distract us.
And negative people? There are usually fewer of them than the positive people, but for some reason, I tend to turn my head towards the direction of their voice more than I even want to.
The choice I have the hardest time making is: where I decide to turn!
I was thinking about the aspect of “turning” the other morning when I was reading in the book of Joel. It says in chapter 2, “Tear your heart…and turn unto the Lord your God. For he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness…”
I spent a little more time looking up the word turn. I wanted to know what it implied and what it really meant.
Deuteronomy 4:30, and 30:10 talk about turning to the Lord and being obedient to his voice.
It says to turn to the Lord with all your heart and soul.
In 2 Chronicles 15:4 it says that when the people where in trouble they turned to the Lord and sought him and he was found!
I was finding myself turning in the wrong direction time and time again.
I was turning my mind towards the people who are negative and hurtful, turning my thoughts towards other people during my time with God.
I was turning my head (literally) towards people status updates and finding myself weary. Weary of Christians who are doing the wrong thing. Weary of people who are not turning towards God, who are not obeying and who are hurting other people.
But in doing that, I was literally putting myself in a position that made it harder to receive God’s blessings!
When I started thinking about the word turn, I realized that it is not only that I have to turn my thoughts towards God, but I actually have to turn my body towards Him. It is an action, and it is a choice that only I can make.
I know that this might sound crazy, but I work well with visual illustrations.
I was thinking about a simple game of catch.
If I am standing in front of you, facing your direction, with my body square and my eyes on you, it is going to be a lot easier to catch whatever it is that you are throwing me. If I am turned even so slightly, or my eyes are on the person next to me and you throw that same thing? I could very easily miss what you are throwing at me!
God loves to give good gifts to his children. For our family? I think he tosses them at us just for fun. ha!
But think about it. If I am looking at other people, complaining about this thing and that thing, and have my body turned…it will be much harder for me to see where God is looking.
It will be much harder for me to see what God is throwing at me and much harder to catch it.
I need to be turned in the right direction!
The enemy is subtle. He will try to have other people around me who are going to distract me. He will try and have other circumstances steal my attention.
And when he does that? He wins and in reality, I lose!
I miss out on blessings!
I miss out on connection with God
I miss out on joy!
I am the one missing out when I choose to turn myself away from God.
Now the trick comes when I don’t realize what I’m doing.
I can feel like…what? I’m still going to church, I’m still reading my Bible, I’m still doing this ministry and that ministry, I am not disobeying God!
But. Am I turned towards Jesus?
Because that is all that matters. He is all that matters.
And if I am not turned towards him, I miss out on all the things that are mentioned in Joel:
For he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness
That is what I am choosing to miss out on!
Why would I want to do that? I wouldn’t! That’s why I love how David says in Psalm 20-
Turn us again to yourself!
God! Please turn me again to yourself!
I don’t want to be facing the negativity.
I don’t want to be facing the problems.
I don’t want to be facing the distractions.
I want to be facing God and God alone.
So what about you? Is this a choice that you have a hard time making?
Where are you turned today? Are you turned towards God?
Or are you turned towards distractions?
Turn yourself towards God. You are putting yourself in the perfect position to receive everything that God is longing to give you.