“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”   1 Peter 5:8

I serve on the children’s security team once a month and this past Sunday was my weekend to ‘bounce.’

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And because I’m monitoring the lobby and hallways, I’m obviously not able to hear the sermon let alone sit with my kids.  Thankfully there is a video feed of the sermon in the lobby while I monitor the areas to rid them of any shenanigans or hoodlums (which at our church are mostly said kids) so I am easily able to catch a glimpse of the sermon.

My pastor just started a sermon series called “Everyday Faith.”  We’re going through the book of James to learn how to take what we believe about God and bring it into everyday life.  It has been a most convicting series, one that would challenge any level of faith and one that could really change lives for Christ and that morning was no different.

It was a typical Sunday of bouncing, not much going on, so I was able to hear parts of the sermon which made me wish I was in there and listening first hand.

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for [once] he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the [law] of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”   James 1:22-25

I could barely wait until it was over so I could talk to the kids to see what they thought and then go home and hear it online for myself.  But when church was over and my kids come to meet me outside the sanctuary, all I heard was complaining from Sami (my oldest) about how Sydney (2nd oldest) was not paying attention and distracting both the boys as well as people around them from the message.

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I was dumbfounded.  From what I heard it was a wonderful message, one that anyone would respond to.  How could she miss it and be such a distraction to others?

As I talked to Sydney about paying attention in church and being aware of what she’s doing and how her actions might be distracting others, God made it quite clear to me how effective His Word really is.

God’s Word is the one thing that the devil doesn’t have a grasp on.  He knows it and the power that it has, but he can’t control how it will affects us.  What he wants most in this world is to draw us away from God, and His Word, and the only thing he can try to do is distract us.  It wasn’t all Syd’s fault.  The devil was working overtime to pull people from hearing this message.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”   2 Corinthians 4:3-4

As I monitored the lobby that morning, shortly after the worship set was done and before the sermon started I noticed a friend of mine leaving the sanctuary, purse on her shoulder looking as if she were heading home.

I jokingly asked “Where do you think you’re going?!”

And she responded nonchalantly; “I’m just not feeling it today.”

I was so taken aback by her response that I didn’t even know what to say.  I thought it such a strange thing; she wasn’t “feeling it” so she was leaving and the sermon hadn’t even started yet.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been there…when I wasn’t “feeling it,” but I always found that when I’m “not feeling it” that’s when I need to be there most!  But all I squeaked out was a measly “Oh” and she went on her way.

It hit me as I explained to Syd how the devil uses us to distract others from hearing God’s message, that He distract us from hearing it as well and why my friend “wasn’t feeling it” that morning.

God was doing a mighty work in that sanctuary and the devil wanted as few people to hear it as possible.  Like a magician with slight of hand, the devil expertly manipulates us to look away from the truth, he draws our eyes away from what we should be watching; that which matters most.

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Related Articles:
Master of Distraction   (daileyfamilyministries.com)
1 Peter 5:8   (amwjournals.wordpress.com)

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