Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The master of distraction

Pix from Bethel Life
I started to write this post a few months ago and deleted it. Then our senior minister spoke about "The Enemy Among us" (2 Corinthians 11:14) and I started to write it again - Deleted again.

For the last 18 years I've served as part of the worship team, playing almost every Sunday at both services.  Our church has dual Worship/Sunday School/Bible Studies during each hour and since worship takes up 20 minutes at the beginning and 10 minutes at the end of each hour, it is near impossible to take part in any of them without disturbing those in class or just not getting what was being taught.  I can't tell you the last time I was part of a class.  I suppose it was when we only did one worship hour and Sunday School followed - more than 15 yrs. ago. I used to sneak back in to sit with the family unless they were sitting way in the middle of everyone, but it is easier just to sit in the Gathering Area on one of the comfy chairs with the rest of the team.  It wasn't until they did some rearranging of the teams (I only play once a month now), that I started regularly being able to worship freely without being "up there" and didn't have the excuse of missing the sermon.  You know it was refreshing and drew me back to HimThe drawing away was so gradual - kinda like putting a frog in a pot of cold water and gradually heating up the pot so the frog doesn't know he's dying.  Not that I've done this.

Why am I telling you this?  I think Satan goes to church and looks for ways to distract our relationship with God.  He uses our excuses of being on the Worship team or Bible School leader to miss the message (aka talking with those on the worship team) or Bible Study.

He distracts us with:
  • pink hair (yes there is a lady in our congregation with pink hair) 
  • kids kicking the back of your chair
  • the Bible study leader is WAY over my head!  Wonder if they can use 3rd grade words? 
  • eating after church
  • I can't believe THEY are here!  I heard about what they did last week (gossip)
  • mentally checking out and thinking about the week ahead
  • seeing someone you just HAVE to talk to and do
  • pastor was too personal, the sermon applied and made you uncomfortable
  • was that a CELL phone going off?  Who didn't turn off their phone??? 
  • Maybe it's the person who isn't dressed the way YOU think they should
  • the lights are too dim
  • Oh, look at that cute outfit!  Wonder where they got it?
  • lights are too bright
  • hmmm, wonder if there are any more donuts left, I missed breakfast
  • is your child behaving in class after having a rough morning
  • pastor went too long
  • I wonder if they know their tag is showing
  • music is too loud  
  • Maybe he reminds you of something you did or thought and you've not asked for forgiveness from the other person or God. 
  • Does he whisper in your ear "that we can solve that issue ourselves, don't bother God again with something so trivial"
  • Jr. High kids are talking and distracting on the back row during the message
  • worship team was out of sync or they didn't do any songs you like
  • personality conflicts with someone 

 Do you know he looks for ways to destroy our effectiveness by using anger, unforgiveness, stealing our joy?

Ephesians 6:12    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (NASB)

John 10:10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.  (NASB)

So what should be done when Satan shows up?
  1. Submit to God and resist the devil - James 4:7 
  2. Recognize the lies he feeds us - Colossians 2:13-15
  3. Take our thoughts captive, don't dwell on them, and give them up to Him - 2 Corinthians 10:5
  4. Seek Him and send satan away - Matthew 6:33

Matthew 6:33   But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  (NASB)

Can you see where I'm going with this?  I usually don't write about spiritual matters, because it takes so long for me to process things, but this has really been on my heart for a few months now and I feel He has been prompting me to hit publish.  I realize that this goes too easily into our home and personal lives, but I've struggled way too long with this just at church.  What are some ways that Satan comes to church and attempts to distract you? How has God shown you the realities of what satan is doing in your life?

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