When cars first came on the scene back in the early 1900’s there may have been some things about them that would have distracted the driver, but certainly far different from 2018. The cars were creeping along at 7 to 12 miles per hour and so there was plenty of time to make a decision as one drove. However, today when one travels down an Interstates highway at 70 miles per hour or higher drivers are often warned about “distracted driving.” There are a variety of things that can distract a driver such as viewing the scenery, conversation with someone in car, or changing the satellite station, but most often the distracted driving reference is to the use of a cell phone. The term “distracted driving” implies that one is driving in a dangerous manner and puts anyone near them in harm’s way. Distracted driving is understood, but what about distracted living.
As the children of Israel were about to cross the Jordan River and enter Canaan the law was given again to remind them of the seriousness of following the will of God. As Moses repeated the giving of the law to them he said these words; “When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you…” (Deuteronomy 20:1). Moses knew that the temptation for the Israelites as they entered Canaan would be distracted by what they saw and to the point of failing to have faith in God. Distracted living from a spiritual perspective is very dangerous.
Not only was it that the Israelites would often live in a distracted manner throughout their history, but Christians can fall into this trap also. Paul wrote; “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Moses knew that the temptation for the Israelites would be to walk by sight and not by faith and that is the same temptation that exists for Christians today. Distracted living for the Christian is walking by sight and not by faith; it is being distracted by what is seen in this world and even to the failing of having faith in God. Previously Paul wrote; “While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Distracted living for the Christians is to trust more in the things that are temporal, the things that are seen than in God and the Word of God. Jesus said; “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things” (Matthew 6:33-34). One may be distracted by the social problems, immorality, political and economic problems seen in the world, and even to the point of losing faith. Christians must not live in a distracted manner, but do as the Hebrew author wrote; “looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:2). May Christians will with direction and purpose seen in Jesus rather than what is seen in the world.
by Wayne Brewer