The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. -Revelation 12:9
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against…the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. -Ephesians 6:11-12
Scripture is clear that we are locked in a spiritual battle. The earth in it’s fallen state is not a safe playground. It is a war zone. There is a real enemy with real evil intent. It may be an invisible war, but it is no less real than anything visible. And this evil enemy is hard at work to deceive and lead astray the whole world. He will do all he can in his fierce rage to draw people away from the truth, reality and relationship of a God who loves us.
One of the devil’s main tactics is distraction. Often subtle, but extremely effective. And I am growing more and more convinced he is succeeding in distracting our current generation. We are daily inundated and over-stimulated with an unprecedented amount of information and sensory overload through technology, entertainment, activities, social media and media in general. We are a distracted generation…with studies showing an attention span that is less than a goldfish!
I believe this is a spiritual battle…and the enemy is winning.
Have you ever thought about how we are always too tired or busy to truly spend quantity or quality time with God? Too restless to be still and know He is God? Too stimulated to quiet our souls and spend time in solitude and silence before God? Too many things we “have to do” that are more important than spending time in his word, in worship, in prayer, in fellowship with other believers at a truly meaningful and authentically deep level?
Have you ever noticed that we have every justification and excuse possible for why we can’t participate in spiritual activities and yet we never make those same excuses for other pursuits?
We don’t make excuses about ensuring our kids education. What about making sure they are at all their practices, plays, performances, sporting events and recitals? What about the fact that we find time for entertainment, movies, going out to eat, watching sports, hanging with friends, or watching our favorite TV shows?
How is that we have time for everything but getting alone with God?
How is that we can listen to a thousand voices in a day…except for the One that truly matters and loves us most?
I believe it is a spiritual battle. He fights against us so that they very thought of reading the bible or going to a bible study, makes us feel overwhelmed and exhausted. He keeps us busy with life to keep us from breathing the very oxygen we need to live a truly fulfilling life. It’s as if he entices us to prioritize anything and everything else except that which is eternal, transcendent and holy. He works to prevent us from drawing closer to God and connecting deeply with him in a life-transforming way. He subconsciously convinces us that anything spiritual is not worth the effort when anything and everything else is so effortless…and yet in the end, so empty.
So is the effort worth it?
Well, if you consider joy, peace and hope worth it…then yes. If you consider eternal reward and fellowship with God worth it…then yes. If you consider encouragement of soul and a sense of significance and purpose worth it…then yes. If you consider the true wealth and riches of wisdom worth it…then yes.
Is the enemy distracting you from what is most important?
Put on the full armor of God. Your foe may be strong. The battle may be wearisome. But the victory belongs to the Lord…for our enemy has been defeated! We just need to be on guard, be aware of his schemes, and put our foot down spiritually! Get alone and get with God. Turn aside from the ordinary and pursue the holy. For if we seek, we will encounter God once more and find what our hearts are truly aching and longing for.
“…and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” -Exodus 3:1-5