Disintegrating Distraction by Beholding Beauty
Are you Distracted?
I think it is safe to say all people throughout history in all cultures can relate to experiencing life’s distractions. But in particular we, as followers of Jesus, are mostly distracted away from tending to our spiritual life in Christ. Before we know it, hours, days, weeks or even years seem to get swallowed up by “rabbit trail” thoughts or activities which inadvertently distract us from our original desired dreams and goals of following Jesus fruitfully and wholeheartedly.
A distraction is defined as “a thing that prevents one from giving full attention to something else”. Another definition is “unable to concentrate because one’s mind is preoccupied”.
But why are we distracted from giving full attention to our spiritual life and to Jesus Christ? Why do we become preoccupied with other things? I think there are a few reasons why, but I’d like to focus on just one and that is our Adversary, Satan.
The Masquerader of Light --
In relation to distraction, this scripture comes to mind, “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14) What does this mean? To masquerade is to “transfigure or disguise”. To transfigure means to “transform into something more beautiful or elevated.” What does Satan masquerade as? An “Angel (or messenger) of light”. The definition of light in this scripture is “radiance. To shine or make manifest especially by rays; luminous.”
So, let’s recap. Satan disguises himself for the purpose of transforming himself into something he is not, into something more elevated and more beautiful than he actually is. He disguises himself into things that are alluring, desirable and deemed as good in the eyes of mankind; including followers of Christ. He disguises himself as a messenger, shining light upon something. But upon what does he shine light on? Certainly not upon the Son of God, Jesus Christ. No. He will use his light to shine upon anything that will take our attention away from Jesus. Satan’s inferior, false light and false message serves to distract us away from Jesus himself.
Since true followers of Jesus will not out-right worship Satan (which is his ultimate desire) nor will we renounce Christ completely (which also is a part of his ultimate desire) he will settle for successfully distracting us away from a full-hearted devotion to Jesus. He will do this by slowly and subtly luring us into a life of devotion to distraction instead of a life of devotion to Jesus Christ. Satan is happy to settle for our half-hearted devotion to distractions because this means our devotion to Jesus, over time, will become half-hearted as well. And God is grieved and deeply displeased with half-hearted devotion from His followers (James 4:8, Jeremiah 29:13, 2 Chronicles 16:9, Psalm 86:11, Revelation 3:14-23).
Gazing Upon God’s Beauty --
One way I have learned to combat Satan’s schemes of distraction is to learn how to become increasingly enthralled and captivated with the Beauty of God. God’s beauty is eternal and possess the spiritual nutrition we need to draw close to God and grow steadily into a mature, whole-hearted follower of Jesus Christ. So, how exactly do we become enthralled and captivated by the Beauty of God? We often think beauty refers only to physical beauty, but there is so much more to the beauty of God. Let’s consider this scripture:
“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. “ (Psalm 27:4)
I did a brief Strong’s Concordance study of this verse and here’s what I found:
1. to dwell (to sit down, to remain, to settle, to marry)
2. gaze on (to perceive, contemplate, to have a vision of)
3. the beauty (agreeableness, delight, suitableness, splendor, grace)
4. seek (plough, break forth, inspect, admire, care for, consider)
All too often we merely glance in God’s direction, and instead we gaze our attention upon the things of the earth. And we wonder why we don’t find the beauty of God very interesting or intriguing. May we become people who gaze upon the beauty of God and merely glance at the distractions of the world.
This painting I created titled, "Disintegrating Distractions by Beholding Beauty" is an invitation to you to begin and/or continue to create a lifestyle of gazing into the beauty of God. I encourage you to take this scripture mentioned above before the Lord and ask Him to teach you how you can learn and grow in becoming captivated by His Beauty. This captivation with God’s beauty has the power to slowly disintegrate any and all devotion to distractions. (It is these distractions which Satan bathes his inferior yet alluring light upon). Leading to a lifestyle of whole-hearted (no longer half-hearted) devotion to God.
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace.” – Helen Lemmel