The devil has many talents. He’s a great liar–Jesus called him the father of lies, in fact. (see John 8:44) Which means he can cook up the best ones. The ones we’ll be dead-sure are the truth unless we’re submerged in the Word of God daily.
He’s a great accuser. He can heap guilt like nobody’s business.
And he’s a top-notch master of distraction.
Oh, yeah. He knows that for some of us Christians, the lures that ensnare the world won’t necessarily work on us.
“Alcohol? Are you kidding? Drunkenness is strictly condemned in the Bible, and besides, it’s bad for your health.”
“Cheat on my husband? Are you out of your mind? I’d sooner die.”
“Try drugs? Well, I guess that would let you take me to hell in a hand-basket.”
Oh, no, we’re too spiritual to fall for such tricks. (Okay, we think we are. You and I both know we see that kind of junk happening in the church so often it’s terrifying. But you know what I mean. Most of us think we’re above that.)
So Satan distracts us from the most important things by consuming us with good things.
Yeah, things that are in themselves good.
Such as a sound knowledge of good doctrine. We can get so caught up in pursuing theological excellence that we miss who Jesus came to save.
Or we get so consumed by Bible prophecy that we forget our lives are here, now. And we are supposed to be about Jesus’ business.
Or we get so concerned about the best plan to grow our church, that we forget what the Church–Jesus Bride–is comprised of.
Take note that all of these distractions (and these are only a measly three examples) are good things. Good doctrine, studying Bible prophecy, and growing our church fellowships are all worthy pursuits–if, and only if, we never allow them to override our main concern.
In the end, it’s all about souls.
“for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
-Luke 19:10 (NKJV)
When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
-Matthew 9:12-13 NKJV (emphasis mine)
We forget, in our pursuits of so many good things, that Jesus’ main purpose in coming to earth was to atone for the sins of all the souls who ever lived.
We get so caught in our own agendas that we divide our forces and cripple our ability to reach this world. We even shoot bitter words at our own brothers and sisters, wounding their souls, making ourselves the enemy. (see Psalm 64:3)
Brothers and sisters, what are we doing? What are we doing?
How have we missed that our Redeemer’s main concern is souls?
Bringing souls to Jesus for salvation from sin. For healing of the deepest wounds. For strength to overcome any bondage from Satan.
All we can do is quibble over predestination or freewill; post-Trib or pre-Trib rapture; hymns or contemporary music to draw in new church members.
When all around us souls are dying, going to spend eternity in hell. Souls are bleeding in secret because this world and the enemy have struck them so many times. Souls are drowning in addictions and destructive behaviors.
God have mercy. What are we doing?
I’ve seen so many older brothers and sisters whom I respect. I should be able to look up to them. But somehow they seem to have missed this principle. Or at least, they haven’t managed to pass it on with any passion.
It’s all about souls.
We can be so quick to judge one another.
So focused on our own convictions, our own ideas, we can’t accept our brothers’ and sisters’ differences. Without taking the time to know our brethren, we write them off as the problem.
Granted, sometimes our fellow churchgoers are a problem. I firmly believe that Christians have a responsibility to hold one another accountable. (I mean, would you rather hear your faults pointed out by God when you stand before His throne? I think I’d rather hear it now from a sister in Christ who loves me.)
But we forget to speak in love. We go blundering in and pierce the souls of our own brethren. What are we doing?
I have friends I love deeply. I see areas in their lives which I think need growth. But I know them, so I’ve gotten a glimpse of their hearts. I see hearts that love God fiercely. That desire passionately to follow Christ and grow more like him. That long to see souls saved and thriving in grace.
I see a mirror of my own heart. Flawed as only each individual and God can know. But striving to follow our King and join His work.
How can I speak condemning words to them when they are just like me? How can I refuse to work alongside them?
I’m not a person easily brought to tears. But I could cry when I see a church so distracted that it cannot fulfill its main purpose–to join Christ in winning souls.
What are we doing?
How have we let ourselves become so distracted?