We will not run into Satan face to face most days. We meet him in far more subtle ways. In his book, “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry”, John Mark Comer describes our encounters with Satan this way: “Today, you’re far more likely to run into the enemy in the form of an alert on your phone while you’re reading your Bible or a multi-day Netflix binge or a full-on dopamine addiction to Instagram or a Saturday morning at the office or another soccer game on a Sunday or commitment after commitment after commitment in a life of speed.”
We are so busy, so hurried, that Jesus is being systematically squeezed out of our lives. And the enemy loves it. He barely needs to lift a finger anymore. Once he got the ball rolling, we did the rest. We’ve made his job ridiculously easy. “The devil made me do it” no longer holds water because we are wholly complicit.
Many of the distractions in our lives are self-inflicted. While we complain about being too busy, few admit our busyness is our fault. It’s easier to blame everyone and everything else. The hurried pace in our lives is unnatural. It’s fraying our souls and worst of all, keeping us from devoting our lives to Jesus. Anything that impedes us from serving and glorifying Christ should raise a red flag for us. When you surrender your life to Jesus, you promise to make Him your Lord. It follows then that anything we do that violates that promise is a lie. We are sinning against our Savior.
I’m guessing you rarely think of many of the distractions in your life as being sinful. I know I don’t. So much of what distracts us seems good and necessary. But is it? Can you call anything that keeps you from spending time with Jesus “good”? The logic isn’t there. Spending quiet time alone in prayer is good. Reading and studying God’s Word is good. Generously serving others in humility and without expectation of recognition or social credit is good. Patiently showing God’s love to another is good. But most of what we spend our time on is not good. It is enjoyable, self-promoting (to others or ourselves), and selfish. If distractions didn’t appeal to our desire for pleasure or self-aggrandizement, they wouldn’t be so tempting.
I’m only now realizing the gravity of busyness in my life. While I’ve done much to simplify and prune distractions, the fact is I still spend too much of my time on things that are not about my Father’s business. Instead of reading another time management book or absorbing the latest productivity podcast, it’s time we recognize our busyness for what it is and call it sin. Until the weight of that sinks in, we’ll continue doing what we’ve always done and find ourselves with too little time for the One who alone is worthy of our time.
Love is never in a hurry (I Corinthians 13:4). When you consider the very essence of God is love, you understand that walking (not running!) with Him cannot be hurried. Jesus is never distracted. He is purposeful and always on mission. Everything He does is to bring glory to the Father. This is how life is meant to be. We are to live in a patient and peaceful rhythm with our Creator for the sole purpose of glorifying Him. We do this by being alone in His presence and bringing His presence into the lives of others.
The things this world tells us are good do not distract disciples of Jesus (I John 2:15-16). Disciples are focused on Christ and Christ alone. Let’s call the distractions we’ve created and allowed into our lives what they are–sin. Let’s repent and turn away from the habits we’ve instilled in our lives. And above all, let’s live our lives in total devotion to our beautiful and Holy Savior. If we will reorient our lives around Jesus and His mission, we’ll never feel hurried again. Live for what matters. Live for Jesus.