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Distinguishing Good and Bad Distractions

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
May 4, 2022 9:00 am

Distinguishing Good and Bad Distractions

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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May 4, 2022 9:00 am

It’s safe to say that our society deals with more distractions than any previous society in history. Most of us feel like we are constantly pulled in different directions. Today, Pastor J.D. talks about being a distracted people who need focus.

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Like JD Greer, the best things in our life don't come because we plan because God loves us with them. So thank God for divine interruptions.

The bottom line is that a healthy Christian life is one in which you learn to avoid unhealthy distractions so you can be open to divine interruptions say that our generation deals distractions but today Pastor Jenny shows us how distracted we are hearing us to Jesus as example, on the one hand, Jesus seemed much of the time to be so focused that you could interrupt yet on the other. He was so completely open and interruptible discerning the balance seems to be our challenge as we seek to be more like him and don't forget you can reach out to or give us a call 866-335-5220. We got resources available to help direct you in your journey with Jesus, give us a call today, but for now let's join Pastor JD chapter 10/about being a tired needed rest this week I want us to talk about me. They distracted people need focus. Talk about being focused find yourself wishing that life had one of those little do not disturb buttons like you have in your phone you just occasionally turn off.

I wish I could put one of my kids for head sometimes. Just like no, not now. We cannot watch froze again. Wish I could turn on a do not disturb sign on them. Speaking of the phone.

This is the single biggest distracting element ever conceived. It almost seems designed just to add destruction into our lives. It gives everybody including huge swaths of people that I've never met many of whom are only concerned about making money off of me. It gives them instant access to me at any point for quite often will interrupt the very best parts of my day, right at me. I use the summit out for my quiet time, which means that I have to open it up every day to see what the Bible reading your section is for the day and so inevitably for a while didn't have any my news banners or whatever turned also. I sit down to open up my quiet time see what what jeopardy to read and I just get assaulted with all these things are happening around the world and so I said to hear from God, and 20 minutes later I'm you read about the five most bizarre things Justin Bieber plants are doing is so just like it's some very best parts of our day 20 Reiki in a very important book, recommend to you today few times you see this book is all 12 ways your phone is changing you great summer reading if you're looking for something just to make you feel guilty or terrible about your life how you want to pick that up, but I'm points out that the average person in our society checks their phone 81,500 times every year, which amounts to once every 4.3 minutes of our waking lives, which means that most of you will check your phone or at least be tempted to check your phone at least eight times by the time I finish this servant distraction does not produce a happy, well-balanced or productive life.

Almost every study that's been done straight to this back get this interesting etiology of the word distraction. There was a form of torture in the Middle Ages, where they would tie a man's whimsy was arms of his legs to four different horses and send the four horses in different directions.

The French called that form of torture. They called it distraction. I kid you not.

Bettors will begin our work from what a great picture of what is happening to our lives ever feel like you're literally being pulled apart by distraction, by the way do I know I should feel great right now. Take a quick peek at the person beside you is your significant other or whatever and just have them give you sort of a thumbs-up or thumbs down about how dialed in. You typically are. This is average. This is good this is bad majority going to get average to bad I'm going to get one Christian counselor who says it distraction destroys more relationships today than anything else that comes into his counseling office distraction. He says the reason is because distraction makes real intimacy impossible because in order for somebody to fill intimate with you.

He says not whether were talking about a spouse, a child, a good friend. In order for them to fill intimate with you, they have to believe the one that you consider them to be a priority a in and in your life that you have plenty of unrushed time that is available for them and that you are giving them your undivided attention, busyness, and distraction he says makes those three things are possible which is why it kills intimacy.

It kills relationships, distractibility keeps our most important relationships shallow, including maybe most importantly, our relationship got.

Furthermore, studies now show the distraction makes is ineffective. I read a book last year by guiding Greg McCowan is not a Christian book is called essentialism in which he explains that the new cool word for distraction today is multitasking multitasking. He says, is one of the great hoaxes of our generation. We think that means I'm on top of things and I'm doing a lot and I'm really efficient.

He says what all it really means is that were distracted were not really doing anything well. The word multitasking was first invented in 1965 by IBM to describe how a computer could do multiple things at one time but the problem is that the human mind is wired up exactly like a computer and we have consciousness, whereas a computer doesn't and consciousness is pretty much designed to be in one place at one time and switching back and forth between places and task takes time and energy. For example, when the average person is sitting at the desk. They check their email every five minutes in the midst of whatever else they're doing writing reporter Kennedy or doing other stuff or whatever the problem is that it takes an average of 64 seconds to resume the previous task after you finish, which means that simply because of email alone, we typically waste one out of every six minutes in a working day so Greg McCowan says so when I hear people say they are multitasking. All I really here is my pension is scattered. I feel stressed out and I will do anything well I finally in Jesus's parable of the seeds. Jesus explained that it was distraction not doubt not disbelieved but distraction that most The word of God from burrowing down people's hearts and buried role through the bottom line if you're going to live productive spiritual lives.

We are going to have to learn to deal with distraction, so I want to explore. The only passage in the Bible where the word distraction is actually used for multiple places. The concept is there, but the only place in the Bible the word distraction is used and I want to show you what Jesus said about it freely admit to you. This is not to be the best sermon that you ever right but it might be one of the most relevant ones you've ever okay Luke chapter 10 verse 38 while they were traveling. He entered a village and woman named Martha welcomed Jesus into her home.

Jenna sister named Mary who also sat at the Lord's feet and was listening to what he said. But Martha was here the word distracted by her many task for many task work doing the dishes and straighten everything up and get the snack tray ready and go in the Greek by the way, the word distracted their means what it does in French means pulled pork. He was distracted by her many taxi Jesus had come there to spend time with her and she was be pulled away by these other things that she thought needed to be done, she came up and asked Jesus Lord, don't you care that my sister is left me to serve alone. So tell her to give me a hand. The Lord answered her, Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many many things but one thing Martha is necessary. Mary has made the right choice and it will not be taken away from her not to be really clear to soar on the same page here. To be really clear.

Jesus is specifically here. Warning Martha about being distracted from him by anything else, because knowing him as the most important thing in life.

That's the context.

The context is making sure that Jesus is in the right place, but I think even in that context, there are some important principles about distraction that we can learn that we can apply to other contacts as well to make sense. The context is prioritizing a relationship with Jesus, but the principles of aborting distraction we can apply the bunch of different relationships in her life okay personally give you one important clarification before we really dive in this report wanted to take a notes number one distraction is not the same thing as divine interruption is a very important clarification.

Talk about another problem with some of his habit. Distraction is not the same thing as divine interruption. Jesus seems to be entirely indestructible. On the one hand, but eminently interruptible. On the other. For example, indestructible. In Matthew 12 Jesus would not even let his family keep him away from what he thought God wanted him to be doing so. His family comes to him with some kind of tedious IK. Right now I'm doing what God wants me to do and I can't even be distracted by the most important earthly relationships. I have got to take me away from what God has me doing right now that's indestructible. In John chapter 4 we see that not even Jesus's own hunger could keep him from pursuing God's will.

John, for Jesus, the disciples I got hungry going to get something to eat. Jesus stuck around minister. The woman at the well, the Samaritan woman at the well. Hours later they come back from the Golden corral buffet in her wiping her mouth.

Jesus in their talk about woman and is like Jesus, aren't you hungry, aren't you starving Jesus's response was my food is to do the will of him who sent me. In other words, my food I get more fulfillment. I get more fulfillment from doing the will of God. Even then, I do from eating when my body is hungry now that is indestructible. If there is one thing that could distract me from focusing ministry. It would be hunger.

I'm not a great person to do counseling. But I definitely don't want to be across counseling when I'm angry. I people poured out the problems we might just get stop it.

Okay stop doing that. Read the Bible, pray get saved okay McPherson Jesus was so locked into God's will that not even hunger could affect his disposition, or is his motivation there in ministry, Jesus was indestructible, but on the other hand, while he was indestructible. He seems eminently interruptible.

For example, John five.

Jesus freely allows his Sabbath to be interrupted by a man who needs healing when Jesus got up that morning you healing this man was deathly not on his to do list for the day.

But Jesus perceived in this moment on the Sabbath that that God was doing something in God was asking him to do something on the Sabbath was the one day a week. The Jews felt like they should be distracted by anything work-related but Jesus explains his openness to this interruption by saber 17. My father is always at work around me to this very day, and that means I too am to be working. In other words, I recognize that God is doing all kinds of things around me and sometimes he invites me into that work and usually better than show up on my morning to do list.

It's just the way the Holy Spirit works for. He invites you into what he is doing.

That's how Jesus lived his whole life to be doing things. One thing all of a sudden some divine opportunity that he admit considering would come out of nowhere.

He stopped what he was doing in and engage in that any thought we were to follow the Holy Spirit to live the same way distraction distraction. Are you beginning to think about that in your life you're listening to Senate life with Jaden here and will be right back with more teaching in just a moment that first let me remind you, as we are learning this week does most mature in Jesus are not those working the hardest working and those that are resting most in hand.

It's not about being more busy been working. We want to help you learn how to rest more fully inherent with our team day devotional called devotions for the distracted family comes with your generous gift to the ministry right now so give us a call at 866-335-5220 or checking Now let's get right back to today's teaching she'd been distractible on one hand is one fault the opposite fault is not being open to interruptions and outputs of your life from the Holy Spirit you start to be closed off to what God is doing and what he's inviting you into this story does not mean that we are to be perpetually doing our quiet time. It's not the Mary Martha stores like always be doing your quiet time and never get distracted by serving.

When I switched it on the kids ministry is a summit gives workers what your billing put up the goldfish you to be feasting on the bread of life. That's not his point in this in this in this story. It just means that there is a time for service and there's a time for communion with Jesus and we need to know what time it is and be all and in that moment because quite often the best moments in our lives come in the form of unexpected interruptions right thing about this is apparent the best parenting moments that I've had rarely happen on my schedule, but all the ones I do put on my schedule turn out to be pretty lame, Craig is moment my kids as we all summer to grab a little about forever, and it never happens.

This is lame I get this is dumb but on the other hand, the Holy Spirit will create one that I just wouldn't ready for to be a significant moment he just invites me into the best witnessing encounters that I have never happen on schedule when I set aside time on my schedule to share Christ people it never happens. It always happens when I sit down somewhere and I might finally have got a few minutes just to read and unplug from the world and also to look up and there somebody may start talking in this report on Anita like all right this is what you want to do right now and this is where I'll go with you people that I love truly need something from me. Rarely have their moments of crisis on my schedule. You will see sweetheart your your schedule for a meltdown at 230 and well it's 230.

So go ahead and have your meltdown. The meltdowns never happen. According to my schedule my conversion didn't happen on schedule right I want to be converted in the next season of my life.

God interrupted our life was something we weren't expecting and that's a pattern that continues the best things in our life don't come because we plan because God interrupts us with them. So thank God for divine interruptions.

A man.

The bottom line is that a healthy Christian life is one in which you learn to avoid unhealthy distractions so you can be open to divine interruptions.

If I hear so I wouldn't I would summarize a successful Christian life of your taken notes. Learning to live free of devilish distractions so we give full attention to divine interruptions that the whole point today you learn to live free of devilish distraction so that you can give full attention to divine interruptions. Right. So with that with the backdoor story Mary Martha here will see what I mean. Number two distraction in the story we see is often the good keeping you from the essential. Let's be clear what Martha was doing was not bad. She was serving and take care people.

She was using her spiritual gifts Jesus's gentle admonition of her was that she would simply let the many good things.

Keep her from one essential thing that's almost always what distraction is marked this case. What she did was a really foolish trade.

Imagine if you would've asked Martha a year from that point you spent a day with Jesus. How was that day. Would Martha have told you. I don't remember much about it because I was in the back was doing the dishes and I was making sure everything straightened up. I was get the snack trays ready and she would remember any of that stuff. Yes in question, a Mary or Mary say United we have this conversation and explain this to me and then he told me this and then I felt this and then I just question it meant he directed me in this way, and also this about myself and it was amazing.

It was like change. Jesus is the Martha ices Mary took advantage of something she only had access to one-time something that now can never be taken away from her. You gave your attention a bunch of good stuff that would really gonna make that big of a difference anyway and now it's gone forever. That's always how distraction were solicited. You trade something that you only get one shot at for a bunch of things that in the scheme of life aren't that important. Life is short little intaglio tweets and Instagram social media are always there blathering on and honestly, if you find out about something going on the world. 20 minutes after everybody else who cares such a strategy of minor so much blathering nonsense out there likable and everybody else, for that was one on the news and then just tell me and I can do research whatever unbinding interesting because not several subs come across. That is just like a success with the way some time. I don't care if a woman out in Wyoming has an alpaca that can do calculus. I don't really care about that. So I'm not going to get diverted into that, let them wait do all the blather and then they can tell me what I needed to read about that stuff is always happening. But that moment gold right in front of you that moment that person right in front of you.

You only get one shot at that moment you only get one shot at them. I love how the leadership guru Christian leadership guru John Maxwell says it is hard to overestimate the unimportance of practically everything. It's usually hard for me to think about your last day it's hard to overestimate the relative unimportance in life, practically everything in the tragedy is when you let the unimportant things keep you from the things that really are important in this moment, you can never get back to the point is whatever situation God put you when be all there and know what any of it passed by the way, the writer of Ecclesiastes says it Ecclesiastes 910.

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.

I live all the missionary Jim Elliott that I quote a lot. I love how he summarize that verse wherever you are, be all there live to the hilt. Every moment that you believe is given to you by God.

That means, for example, Colossians 323 Paul says work. As unto the Lord, and not unto men.

In other words, when you're working be all there make every moment of the day and offering to God. Don't try to distract away the day with just different social media and other distractions, be they are giving your best to God and make it an offering to Nirvana fulfillment there. That distraction can give you first convince 14 Paul says when you gather with the people of God everybody should come expecting to hear from God and ready to share something from God. In other words, you come to the people of God. We all there don't come attached to something that's gonna take your mind elsewhere.

This is a time to be with God's people hear from God.

So you'll do it if you'll be all they are not be distracted with a group of friends be all there and I should take pictures of the trust on my daughters and I now does have some of the elements is not even that with her sick of it anyway. But, I just proved teenager sitting around was like nine of them ever so one of them is looking at her phone. There are friends right there. But does this group right here final why we are everybody looking elsewhere on this. Just be there with that group of people when you're with a group of people in a meeting be there and sit there with your email open phone on 20 Reiki in this 12 waiter for staging a book he says you know it when I walk in one appointment and I sit down. I put my phone there on the table even if it's face down what I'm telling everybody is having dates for the moment, but I got this here just in case something more interesting comes along so I'm ready to disengage and I just want you to know beyond your game because if not I want to be on this right here right now that is not a great way to promote intimacy or open dialogue. He says if I in the meeting and the phone is in my hand and am responding to taxes going to social media.

I am projecting open dismissiveness of the people I'm with because dividing attention is a typical expression of disdain give me their neck in this meeting be there in times of rest and solitude be all there as well know God has a purpose in solitude and silence their times. I explained last week, you're supposed to unplug and rest you trust God to guard the city and the you build the house when you're not doing a double.

Psalm 127 right.

So in those times you got to unplug and not be distracted. Tony Reiki points out the irony of the phone is that it keeps us isolated from people when were with them and then distracted by people when we should be isolated from the so whatever moment your MB all there. Whatever your hand finds to do do with all your mind. If you believe the moments were given to you by God, live it to the hilt.

Don't fritter it away. Would distractions distraction is often the good keeping you from the essential number four move on here to number three will be sick something here to those you are not yet believers or maybe your young believer in your beginning to grow spiritually distraction with the good lesson is one of the our enemies primary tools in keeping you from considering the eternal that I mentioned this at the beginning of the message but in Jesus's parable of the seeds. It was good things that the enemy used to take away the seed that the swords put in the heart and let me know when I'm up here preaching on this and you get distracted by images of porn and him and thoughts of violence. It means that all the sudden will start getting us to do list in your mind or somebody you need to talk to regularly go to lunch or some report that you got do. It's a good thing that the snatches away the word from your heart. What would you think about what happened. Now, we've kinda designed a tool that gives Satan is our enemy just unlimited access to take out the word of God.

Anytime he wants to because now Bella water people saying about me and how they feel about this some MMA like semi getting on this right here I am missing this thing is evil in and of itself. I'm just saying that it can be used for great evil when it comes to distraction because distraction says more people to help and doubt and disobedience ever had. And that's the best tool for distraction that are in use ever had in all the years there have been humans do you want to thing here. CS Lewis pointed out that is not usually bad or unbelieving thoughts that keep you from considering what's important right she is not usually bad thoughts usually good thoughts and so be on alert to distraction one last thing for many of us.

Distraction is how we keep ourselves from thinking sometimes about the things Blaise Pascal 300 years ago. Point out the irony is that we complain about the complexity of our lives, but we actually want our lives to be complex because if they are not complex that we got in the paid attention to this gaping hole that is in our hearts and that's what we hate solitude because solitude just reveals how unhappy we are. So we try to avoid it at all costs.

So we love complexity me love distraction. It keeps us from thinking about eternal things, often good things have distracted me from the central thing you're listening to Senate life. If you miss any part of this message you can listen you know it's not enough to simply go through the motions of Christianity. Most people in church know how to act the part that there's no real in their faith, our newest resource is focused on helping you and your closest community dialogue about your faith. For whatever reason, talking about our faith with our family or close friends can be awkward at times. So in addition to the blood of 15 devotionals will also include a set of conversation cards.

These are simple heart dinner table or around the kitchen island have a question or prompts on them to kickstart dialogue around important topics missing both resources as our way of saying thanks for your financial get $35 or more to support his ministry doing this mission today when you begin by calling six 335-5220 minute break and think I training or go online to get any request copies of the pair of resources while you're on the website. Don't forget to sign up his letter ministry update information on the resources latest plan is delivered straight I'm only minutes come back tomorrow for the lesion commercially teaching series here on Senate life here ministry

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