So you are wondering who in the bible got distracted?
You are probably looking at these stories for one of two reasons. Either you are trying to figure out how to stop the distraction from happening, or you are looking for ways to get back on track after a distraction.
Distraction comes in all forms and from all directions, but the result is the same each time. Distraction takes us off course, it either prevents us from experiencing something God has for us or puts us in the wrong position. Getting back on track from being spiritually distracted isn’t difficult, but usually requires us to get intentional with our time and attention.
Biblical Definition of Distraction
A distraction is something that takes your attention away from what you’re supposed to be doing. … Distraction comes from the Latin dis-, “apart,” and trahere, “drag.” So distraction is when you’re dragged away from your task.vocabulary.com
In the bible the word distraction doesn’t appear very often. Here are some examples…
But Martha was distracted with much serving…Luke 10:40 NKJV
The word used here (περιεσπᾶτο) in the Greek literally means to drag all around, to draw away and to be driven about mentally. Often that’s what a distraction can feel like…we are being drawn away from purpose, or unable to focus.
And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction1 Corinthians 7:35 NKJV
The word used here (aperispástōs) in the Greek means without distraction, or the opposite which is full devotion. Paul is instructing people about marriage and saying that things of this world can distract us from being fully devoted.
Examples of Distractions in the Bible
You can read about Samson in Judges 13-16. What you will find is a man who had a destiny and let his relationship distract him from his purpose.
Samsons identity was established in God, and his nazarite vow was a part of who Samson was.
It is important to remember that who you really are, your identity will always be a point of attack from the enemy. Samson was no different, the key parts of his vow were constantly challenged by Delilah. She continued to distract Samson from his identity and convinced him to give away his secret.
You’ll find in the bible that there are a number of people that were distracted by relationships. Lust and sexuality is a massive distraction for many people. David was no different.
In Davids story however he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.2 Samuel 11:1
David was king, and his responsibility was to be at war with his men. Instead he stayed in Jerusalem, and because he was there it created an opportunity for him to be distracted.
I don’t believe it was the first time he had been up on that roof, and he probably knew exactly who Bathsheba was because her husband Uriah was in Davids army.
David got distracted and then made the situation worse but murdering to cover up his mistake. When we get distracted and make mistakes we are out of position and try to cover up rather than go to God for forgiveness and help.
In the garden of eden everything was provided. It was utopia. The serpent was able to distract eve when she was isolated. He lied to her and convinced her that what God really said wasn’t true…she got distracted and made a mistake.
We need community, sometimes it’s the people around us that help keep us on track.
Jesus had come over for dinner and there was a number of people doing a number of different things. Martha got distracted by all of the business and wasn’t paying attention to Jesus. Sometimes I think she gets a bad rap, things need to get done. However, she let the business distract her from Jesus who was there in the room.
Distraction Comes in Three Basic Forms
There are a number of different manifestations for distractions, but they essentially come in three basic forms.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.John 10:10
- Distract you from your identity. Your identity will constantly be challenged because the enemy knows if he can convince you of something other than who you are in Christ he will get you off course.
- Speed you up or slow you down. Timing in the Kingdom of God is critical to most things. Often distractions come in this area because we are impatient. The enemy, however, will also try to get us to act too soon, or not soon enough out of fear and insecurity.
- Present you with a counterfeit. Often right at the point of breakthrough, the enemy will try to distract us with a counterfeit. It will look like the perfect job, the perfect relationship, the perfect outcome or an answer. But all of these things will also involve a compromise, like dating a non-christian or taking a job that moves you away from what God is doing in your life.
What to do When you are Feeling Distracted
- Your identity is paramount to who you are and becomes a filter. It is critical that you figure out your identity it is and then anchor it to your heart. Every time the enemy comes at you and tries to convince you to do something that is outside your identity it becomes easier to stay on track.
- Your identity creates a truth to combat the lies. When the enemy lies to you and tells you things that are not true you can go back to your identity and live in that truth.
How do I figure out my Identity? Great question…we have a post all about it HERE
- Written notes and reminders actually work. The bible talks about reminders throughout scripture. God got the people of Israel to build monuments to remember Gods works, He also told them to write the vision. Jesus initiated communion as a way to remember Him. Reminders are a real thing, and they work.
- Put a reminder in your phone
- Place reminders in your office or car
- Wear something that reminds you
We also have a post about overcoming spiritual distractions…HERE
Sometimes our distractions need a remedy in something physical. You can check out these “Not Today Satan Tank Tops” and keep yourself on task with a reminder.