WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 09, 2022
TOPIC: DON’T BE DISTRACTED FROM YOUR GOALS
BY T. O. BANSO
“Food was set before him [Abraham’s servant] to eat, but he said, ‘I will not eat until I have told about my errand.’ And he said, ‘Speak on’” (Genesis 24:33 New King James Version).
It is one thing to have goals; it is yet another thing to pursue them, refusing to be distracted. Success has eluded many people in life not because they lacked laudable goals, but because they could not stay focused on their goals and avoid distractions. Their thoughts and attention were drawn away from their goals and they went astray.
If you’re going to achieve anything significant in life, whether in ministry, academics, business, or anything worthwhile, you will face distractions. Nevertheless, you must not succumb to them. Everybody faces distractions, but not everybody yields to them. Even marriage, as good as it is, can become a distraction to serving the Lord if it is not properly managed. Whether you’re married or single, ensure that you serve the Lord without distractions (1 Corinthians 7:32-35).
How focused are you on fulfilling your goals? Are you easily distracted? You have to discipline yourself to focus on your goals and deal with any spiritual forces that may want you to lose concentration. Sometimes, the distractions are not bad things; they could be good things. However, you must recognize them for what they are. If they won’t take you to the destination you have in mind or are different from what you’ve set to achieve, avoid them.
In Genesis 24, Abraham sent, under oath, his oldest servant whose name is not mentioned, to go and find a wife for his son, Isaac, among his relatives in his country (verse 4). He didn’t want him to marry a Canaanite lady. The servant left and eventually, by divine arrangement, met Rebekah, Bethuel’s daughter, and chose her as Isaac’s wife. Bethuel was the son of Abraham’s brother, Nahor, and his wife, Milcah.
Abraham’s servant was convinced Rebekah was the right wife for his master’s son because she met the conditions he had set as a sign of who would be chosen. When he arrived at Rebekah’s home, from the well where they had met, Rebekah’s brother, Laban, showed Abraham’s servant and his entourage hospitality.
Genesis 24:33 says, “Food was set before him [Abraham’s servant] to eat, but he said, ‘I will not eat until I have told about my errand.’ And he said, ‘Speak on’” (New King James Version). Did you see a well-focused man? He was conscious of his mission and goal. He didn’t come to eat or for entertainment. He wasn’t a hungry man. He had come to marry a wife. He had seen the wife. But he had not yet told the family his mission and confirmed if they would give their daughter to him as a wife for his master’s son.
Abraham’s servant refused to be distracted. He knew that until he took a wife back to Abraham, he had not achieved his goal. He wasn’t ready to sit under the oak tree, relaxing like the young prophet that the old prophet deceived and he died prematurely (1 Kings 13:14-28). Don’t relax too early lest evil should catch up with you.
This servant insisted that he would not eat until he had told Rebekah’s family about his mission. They allowed him to address them because he would not allow food or hospitality to become a distraction from realizing his goal.
After telling them his mission and how God had arranged the meeting with Rebekah, he wanted them to confirm acceptance of his proposal to Rebekah to be Isaac’s wife. Rebekah’s father and brother accepted. He gave Rebekah’s and the family gifts, knowing that he had substantially accomplished his goal. Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and stayed all night. Abraham’s servant didn’t eat until he got confirmation from the family that they would allow him to go with Rebekah as Isaac’s wife.
Genesis 24:54b-59 “Then they arose in the morning, and he said, ‘Send me away to my master.’ But her brother and her mother said, ‘Let the young woman stay with us a few days, at least ten; after that she may go.’ And he said to them, ‘Do not hinder me, since the LORD has prospered my way; send me away so that I may go to my master.’ So they said, ‘We will call the young woman and ask her personally.’ Then they called Rebekah and said to her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ And she said, ‘I will go.’ So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men” (New King James Version).
Abraham’s servant remained focused even after getting the consent of Rebekah’s family. He didn’t allow further delay. He requested to be allowed to go with Rebekah, which the family agreed to after Rebekah had said she would go with him.
Don’t give in to distractions; pursue your goals. Beware of offers that are less than or different from the goals you’re pursuing. Don’t let any offer derail your mission. It is not every open door that is God’s will for you. Some doors are Satan’s traps. Don’t pursue what is good at the expense of what is best for you. Beware of relationships that are distractions. They could be relationships with some pastors, fellow Christians, colleagues at work, neighbours, etc. Don’t allow anyone to distract you.
Nehemiah told Sanballat and Geshem, who had invited him to a meeting, which was a set-up, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3 New King James Version).
Elisha was not distracted by the words of the sons of the prophets in Bethel and in Jericho from following Elijah. After Elijah had told him what he must do to get his request for a double portion of his spirit granted, he was well focused, and he got it (2 Kings 2:1-14).
Don’t be distracted by anything. No one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). If you’re here and there, you’ll most likely lose both ways. Proverbs 4:25 says, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you” (New King James Version). Are you pursuing your goals, or you’ve been distracted?
You may sometimes have to change your methods or strategies, or even adjust your goals if and when necessary. But don’t be distracted and led astray. However, if you have the wrong goals, it is useless wasting your resources pursuing them. Drop them right away and prayerfully set the right goals.
The ultimate goal is to spend eternity with God. Are you focused on eternity? Paul said, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14 New King James Version). Colossians 3:2-4 says, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (New King James Version). Keep looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: O Lord, deliver me from distractions. Help me to discipline myself and overcome anything that seeks to distract me from my goals and cause me to go astray. I shall stay focused on my goals in a world of distractions in Jesus’ name. Father, I pray that all those who have been distracted or are being distracted from their goals will be delivered and they will concentrate on their goals.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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