Psalm 27:4 – One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.
THEME OF THE DAY: A SUBTLE TACTIC OF THE DEVIL. Duke Ludovico of Milan asked Leonardo da Vinci to paint the dramatic scene of Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples. Working slowly and giving meticulous care to details, he spent three years on the assignment. He grouped the disciples into threes; two groups on either side of the central figure of Christ. Christ’s arms are outstretched. In his right hand, He holds a cup painted beautifully with marvelous realism. When the masterpiece was finished, the artist said to a friend, “Observe it and give me your opinion of it!” “It’s wonderful!” exclaimed the friend. “The cup is so real I cannot divert my eyes from it!” Immediately Leonardo took a brush and drew across the sparkling cup obliterating its beauty. He exclaimed as he did so, “Nothing shall detract from Christ!”
Get the famous artist’s last words – “Nothing shall detract from Christ.” Fast forward into real life; our lives right now. May we boldly claim in our current walk with the Lord those very same words, “Nothing shall detract from Christ”? Friends, the devil does not need to lure us into overt and gross sin. We are not going to wake up tomorrow and say, “I think I will go rob a business” or “Today, I am going to commit murder”. And I don’t believe a single one of us is going to run away from our spouses to commit adultery. The devil knows such blatant temptations will be met quickly and decisively by most Christians. But he does something more subtle which will produce the same result. And what is that tactic of him so successful that many Christians are not only victimized by it, but live their profession of faith under its spiritually-draining grasp? The very thing Da Vinci would not allow in his famous painting – distraction from the Person of Jesus Christ. Whatever the sin might be – stealing, murder, adultery or worldliness – the result will be the same; a distancing from the Lord Jesus; broken fellowship with Him that will reduce our Christianity to mere form but no life. We will still go to church, probably read our Bible some (we won’t study or meditate upon it long) and we may practice some form of prayer before meals but prayer won’t be a delight and consistent. If anything is distracting us from spiritually seeing Jesus in the Word, in prayer, and in church, our Christianity will be dry, joyless, external, and not the least bit attractive to those observing us. It won’t even be attractive to ourselves! And distractions taking us away from encountering and experiencing Christ abound.
Space doesn’t allow us to list all the many things drawing us away from the spiritual reality of seeing Christ. However, here are two suggestions to help us fight this tactic of the devil. First, get alone with the Lord and ask Him to reveal the things in our lives causing us to be distracted from Him. From that list, do two things. If they are distractions from too much worldly activities and involvements that distract us from the Lord’s Day and time in His Word/prayer with His people outside of the Lord’s Day, clear the schedule. If we are serious about knowing and walking with Christ, we will cut out worldliness and replace those slots with “Wordiness”. If the distractions are mental, like in church, begin putting more of the Word of God in our minds by reading and memorizing it so the Spirit of God can give you “ammo” to fight mental distractions. The next thing to do in order to defeat distractions preventing us from seeing Christ spiritually and regularly is to ask and keep asking God to make David’s desires in today’s scripture our desires. And as we do, be serious with God. He wants us to desire Him above all things. As this prayer begins to be answered, and we start really enjoying the Lord, we will be sensitive to the pull of devilish and earthly distractions and fight them off quickly and consistently. Once we taste how good the Lord is, not in what He does, but in who He is, there is nothing under the sun able to consistently distract our eyes and hearts from Him.
PRAYER: “Lord, may I never allow the things of the world to become distractions that dim and soon divert my view of You.”
QUOTE: “Spend more time in the world than in the Word and you will lose sight of Christ and to lose Him is to lose all”