Caught in the Act

I’m a creature of habit. I like order and structure. Partly, I’m sure, because I’m such a performance-based personality type. How much can I get done in the time I have? That being said, I have the same routine each morning as I prepare to spend some quiet time with the Lord. Prayer, devotion, Bible reading.

Just so you know, I also happen to have a focus issue. My mind will jump ahead to the next thing on my agenda before I’ve completed what’s in front of me. This isn’t an excuse—it’s a fact. Some people call it multi-tasking. It often has the same results. And if I ever have the audacity to think God isn’t aware of this flaw, I have Tuesday’s experience as a reminder—which is one reason I thought I should blog about it. Put it out in cyberspace and there’s no hiding it!

So, Tuesday morning, I’m getting settled in my special chair. It’s big and cushy (not at all good for the back) with plenty of room for both Gracie (our Maltese) and Einstein (our bichon) to cuddle up with me. I start my usual prayer time—which is often hurried, because (like I said before) I’m already moving onto the next thing. I’d had a bad writing day on Monday—several hours of chair time with little to show for it, so I was somewhat stressed about that. It’s like when I have a couple nights of insomnia—I almost dread going to bed for fear it will continue. Anyone know what I mean?

I prayed for focus, both on my writing for the day and on Him. I also prayed for discernment (unveiling of the scripture I’d be reading,) and conviction of where I fall short. And, as is my habit, my mind drifts to my work in progress (or WIP as writers refer to it). I’d set a goal of what needed to be done before we leave for vacation if I’m to reach my end goal on time. With a couple bad writing days haunting me, I needed to reassess. So rather than begin reading from my devotional Jesus Calling, I used it to count off the number of writing days I had left. I’m fully aware while I’m doing it that it’s the middle of my prayer time, yet it doesn’t stop me. God won’t mind, right?

More than a little embarrassed, I open up Jesus Calling to the correct date—May 21st—and my jaw drops. Into the second paragraph, it states, “It is not so much adverse events–writer’s block, reaching my preset goals—that makes you anxious as it is your thoughts about those events. Your mind engages in efforts to take control of a situation to bring about the result you desire…you forget that I am in charge of your life. The only remedy is to switch your focus from the problem to My presence.”

Wow! I love it when God speaks to me, even when it’s admonishment, because I know He’s here and He loves me. It’s those gentle reminders when we’re smack in the middle of our own agenda that the love of God is so evident. It was as if my dad was standing over me saying, “Now, Jennifer. We’ve talked about this before. When will you remember that I never give you an assignment and then leave you hanging. I’m here!”

God will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). However, we often get so caught up in our lives, our agenda that we can’t feel His presence. And that’s what the enemy wants. I know that my lack of focus, fear of failure and performance-driven personality are all buttons Satan uses to divide me from God.

What areas of your life does Satan use to pull you from God’s presence?

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