I begin to realize that the Enemy’s greatest weapon against us comes in the form of the “Tiny Distraction.” Kind of like the “Noisy Cricket” from Men In Black, it seems so small, so inconsequential, only to have it surprise you with its power.
Charles Hummel called it the “tyranny of the urgent.” It’s the little, ceaseless distractions, the “oh, just real quicks” that constantly distract and divert our focus from God. There always seems to be time to check one more blog, to finish one more level on that addicting online Flash game, play one more hand of online poker, or hit that snooze alarm one more time because you were up too late last night reading the latest Dean Koontz novel.
And we wonder how come our Walk is so fractured, so shallow, and ultimately so ineffective?
I was lamenting today about how I’m always feeling so tired, so run down. I feel like someone who is pulling themselves up, hand over hand, along the railing of the Titanic as it goes down, trying to get to the lifeboats, but my arms are just sooo tired, so tired, and my feet seem to keep slipping out from under me.
And then, in that clear, quiet voice He so often uses, the Holy Spirit brought to my mind the admonitions of scripture to be FILLED by the Spirit, to not lean on our own strength, but God’s. To have Him carry us through when our own strength fails.
Isa 58:11 says:
“And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
Wow. What a potent image. Right now I feel like an office plant that someone forgot to water when they went on vacation, all dry and withered and brittle. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to be a watered garden, lush, green, vibrant, rivers of living water pouring through me. Where can I get me some of THAT?!
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ “ Jhn 7:38
I believe in God, but I have not been watering myself. I have not been drinking from this fountain, and, as the Bible promises, I have become a barren wasteland, dry, desicated, producing no fruit.
That’s what get me about these passages, where God’s word promises such terrible things to those who forsake Him. So many detractors and scoffers want to make these out to be the threatened wrath of an angry God ready to bring down ruin on those who don’t obey!
The fact is, we bring this ruin on ourselves. These are not promises of wrath, but warnings of inevitable consequences. God KNOWS how the system works. He CREATED US. We were created to love Him, to have fellowship with Him. There is some essential nature in us that needs His presence in our lives. Without it, we cannot truly prosper. Our lives can never blossom into the fullness he would have for us. God is trying to warn us of what happens to us individually, and as cultures and nations when we forsake his protection, his provision, and his life-giving Word.
God is telling me that the problems I am facing are a direct result of my allowing all these other tyrannical disctractions to come between me and Him. On the other hand, He’s also trying really hard to get my attention!
I am thirsty, I am hungry, and oh LORD am I ever tired. I am reminded of the words to one of those worship songs I’ve sung so many times throughout the years:
Flowing through me.
Come and fiillllll me up,
Come and filllll me uuuup!
I no longer have the strength to do this all on my own. It is time that I returned to the Source, and start letting HIM fill those places I have allowed to run dry.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. (Prov. 3:5-12 NIV)