A while back I wrote about “Innocent Distractions”, about how easily we get distracted and unknowingly time gets taken away from God with small “sinless” distractions; and before we find ourselves we drift away from God.
I attended church on Saturday night and this “Innocent Distractions” had my thinking evolve into “Disruptions” and “Disturbances.” The sermon did not have this as a topic, but by the wonderous way of the Holy Spirit, He led me to find “Golden nuggets” in the powerful message of “The closer you get to God, the more people you will lose.” The sermon was from an extract of scripture in Exodus 32 & 33.
When you mention these words (Disruption, Disturbance and Distractions) it may appear the similar… However, the Oxford Dictionary defines the words as;
Distraction; An extreme agitation of the mind. A thing that prevents someone from concentrating on something else.
Disruption; An interruption to the regular flow or sequence of something. Disturbance or problems which interrupt an event, activity, or process.
Disturbance; The interruption of a settled and peaceful condition.
Distractions are internal
Distraction is an agitated mind, it prevents you from concentrating on something else… in this context the “something else” is God, His love, His grace, His kindness. My personal experience of this is; that it is an event happening in the innerman, a thought process or a pattern. It is a known fact that we have more control over our thoughts than what we believe. Every act starts with a thought, what are you going to do with that distracted thought? You know you have the right and authority to call it to obedience if it stands again the true knowledge of God? (2 Corinthians 10:3-6) I often refer to the intention of the heart; is it aligned with God’s heart? The intention will give meaning to the purpose, if it is aligned with the Father’s heart then let it flow, if not, well, then call it to obedience before that “thought” becomes an action. You have control over the distractions, it is an internal process you need to deal with, you have a choice to respond on the distractions, I cannot change your mind for you, you need to do it by yourself, being led by the Holy Spirit… ignore them for too long and it will subtly put a wedge between you and God without you noticing it… please read Innocent Distractions to find out a bit more.
Let us look at the passage of scriptures in Exodus 32 & 33. Moses was on Mount Sinai, in a deep conversation with God, more than just a conversation over a cup of coffee, but an intense teaching on the way forward, with detailed instructions. It was not a short “stay.” Moses was called to the foot of the mountain, and after 7 days God called him up the mountain; for 40 days and 40 nights God gave Moses the detail of the Ark, the Tabernacle, the Priests and their consecration, the key role players for the building of the Tabernacle and the Ark and the 10 Commandments were given, to mention a few.
In Moses’ absence to Israel, he was in the presence of God, learning things pertaining to Israel’s well-being and getting to know the Father’s heart. Moses left Israel in Aaron’s capable hands. But Israel’s agitated minds got the better of them and they demanded other “gods”; Aaron, Moses’ right-hand man, told them to bring all their golden jewellery (it makes specific mention of ear rings) so that he could build them a calf to worship. Without thinking twice, they did so, they even went as far as sacrificing offers to this golden calf.
Ever wondered where this jewellery came from? It was of Egyptian origin, they left the land of “bondage” with it; their minds were more than just agitated and distracted, it was still in bondage; and the mention of ear rings have some significance to it… who whispered what in their ear, who led them to their choices?
Moses was still in the Holiness of God’s presence, without distraction, savouring God’s Majesty in awe… Then there was a disturbance!!! God told Moses “Go, get down from the mountain, your people turned corrupt.” God was filled with wrath, He asked Moses to leave His presence and was ready to destroy Israel, but He had a change of heart after Moses pleaded with Him and reminded God of His promise to Abraham; this was even before Moses left God’s presence and haven’t seen what the people were up to yet. As Moses went down the mountain and noticed what the people were doing, he dropped the 2 Tablets with the 10 Commandments written on it, in anger. It demanded him to intervene and call order to the disorder, with consequences to follow.
There is a lot more detail following this, but I will leave it here for now, and will surely return to the remainder of this passage in another post.
Disturbances are external
Why external? Well, I see disturbances as being outside of your control and your direct influence as to how and when it occurs. Unlike distractions which might need a shift in thought patterns or a slight adjustment in how you respond to a distraction (yes, it sounds so easy and uncomplicated, it does take effort for it to become effortless though), Disturbances and Disruptions cause interruption to the flow of things of God, times when you have control over your mind and your innerman, but external forces call for attention; it demands more than just a shift in thought patterns. It demands you to stand up and address it face-to-face, it demands for intervention, and most of the time accompanied with intercession.
Over the past 3 years, on a few occasions, I have been confronted by people… I will not go into the nitty gritty and the specifics of it… but it was people that did not know me from a bar of soap, they still don’t, but the specifics of the confrontations were the same, with the same words being used, the same “punches” from my past being thrown, and what amazes me is that the likelihood of this people knowing each other is ZERO. What are the odds?
Every time these “confrontations” cause disturbances to my peace, it interrupts the flow I found myself in, in the presence of God, while I am earnestly seeking His face. It is more than just a distraction, it disrupts the flow.
As I am enjoying God’s peace and rest, out of nowhere the disturbance will make itself appear; for too long I have accepted it and pressed through the “disorder” to find order beyond intense focus and self-discipline.
You know the saying “Once you see it, you can’t unsee it?” I have never written about external forces, forces outside of the Kingdom of God, it is very real and something we all choose to turn a blind eye on. See, the above-mentioned confrontations did not come about because the people knew my past, nor my present… Who whispered into their ear? Who told them to press buttons that will knowingly get a response from me? Who or what is the source of the intended disturbance to the peace I find in God? God is a God of peace; it is surely not from the throne of Light; if not Light then it can only be… God will not want to see me leaving His presence, unless it is to go and call order to disorder, with the authority found in Jesus Christ.
Distractions and Disturbances are sent to break the flow of God; some more obvious than others; I am not saying go find a dark spirit behind every obstacle and disturbance; but also, don’t be ignorant to the reality of it… Who is whispering in the ear of the “Disturbance”? Our battle is not against flesh and blood; it is time we upgrade our prayer life, for too long our peace has been disturbed, for too long our pursual to holiness has been disrupted.
As I am closing, I am reminded of a few of Jesus’ words;
To His parents as a youngster; “Can you see that I am about My Father’s business?”
To the disciples on the stormy waters while He was sleeping;” Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
And to the same storm; “Hush now, be still.”
To Peter, when Peter told Him He will not suffer as He explained to them; “Get behind Me, Satan! You are in My way, an offense and a hindrance and a snare to Me.”
Be mindful of the disturbances, especially when you are about the Father’s business.
Learn to discern, understand the origin and take action… DO NOT ADDRESS it in the way of the carnal man, by burying it with carnal pleasures, the root remains and gets fertile if fed with rubbish. If it is spiritual, then address it in the Spirit, you have the authority to call it to order.
“Fear not for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My victorious right hand of rightness and justice.” (Isaiah 41:10)