In this sermon, we identify four distractions used by the enemy that can prevent us from getting into the kingdom of God.
Jesus said, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62 NLT). In this statement, we see the emphasis of remaining focused on kingdom affairs and avoiding worldly distractions.
Our scripture reading was Luke 9:57-62 (NLT):
57 As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
59 He said to another person, “Come, follow me.” The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”
60 But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”
61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.”
62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:57-62 NLT).
Here are four dstractions to identify in our lives. Ask the Holy Spirit which ones you need to address.
1) Family affairs
- Dramatic family members
- Troubled marriages
- Wayward children
A family of saints will most likely work out any differences and live in harmony, but the ungodly and the righteous have no business together (2 Corinthians 6:14). Remaining in fellowship with people who hate your God will be a major distraction.
As for troubled marriages and problem children, separation may not be an option. In such cases, these matters must be turned over to the Lord. We can’t dwell on them, nor can we change another person (1 Peter 5:7).
- Weekly shows and theater
- YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix
- Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- Eating, drinking, and partying
- Amusement, shopping, and traveling
These things, in and of themselves, are not sinful, but they can become major distractions. TV shows are designed to captivate us each week and occupy our thoughts with things that don’t matter.
Socializing online can be time consuming and the vast amount of knowledge on the Internet can sweep us away. We must greatly minimize the media we take in and not let it consume us.
3) Business, education, and ministry
- Building a company
- Educational pursuits
- Ministry to God
All the above are part of life, but these too can draw us away from God; this is why it’s important to be led by the Spirit in these kinds of endeavors.
4) Money, happiness, and comfort
We’ve talked about money before. The desire to always be comfortable and happy will distract us. God is more concerned with our inner joy and maturity in Christ.
God often takes us out of our comfort zone to change us for the better. Resisting his work will lead to exclusion from the kingdom because we didn’t allow him to perfect us.
Think about these things. Are any of the above distractions in your life? Is your focus more on something other than the kingdom of God?