What are you attracted to? We’re hypnotized by things that distract us from God. We’re mesmerized by shiny objects that distract us from growing in our faith, distract us from prayer, distract us from Bible reading, and ultimately, keep us from victorious living.
I was in Pittsburgh a month ago or so visiting my mom for her 95th birthday. I decided to go get some exercise, so I took my iPhone and went to a local gym my brother told me about. It was an amazing facility: tons of machines, some of which I had never seen at my gym back in California.
There was an Olympic-size swimming pool, saunas, and even television sets embedded in the mirrors in the bathroom. There were workout machines and free weights on two levels. I jumped on a treadmill, plugged in my headphones, and tapped on an application called Bible.is, an audio Bible that reads the Scripture to you.
I’m listening to the Word, jogging, and I look up and see TVs all over the place. The news was on one screen, Lindsay Lohan’s issues on another, some movie star’s pregnancy on another screen, The Bachelorette on another, wrestling on another, and the playoffs were on a few screens. I even found myself distracted by the size and scope of gym itself, and people-watching the other folks working out.
Then, my mind went back to the iPhone, and while my eyes were running all over the gym, faster than my feet, this is what was playing in my ear:
“You used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty Prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way following the passions and desires of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God’s anger, just like everybody else, but God is so rich in mercy and he loved us so very much, that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved.” –Ephesians 2.
Wow, what good timing! In my moment of distraction, I was reminded to embrace the gift of grace and not live like the rest of the world. But what about after I left the gym?
We’re incredibly naïve to assume that bad influences and dangerous attractions won’t affect us and our relationship with Christ. It’s insensible and ignorant to say, “I can handle it.” Obviously, not all media is contaminated, but the presence of ungodly, sexual, immoral themes in media is growing rapidly, and a recent Gallup poll indicated Americans are more accepting of these messages today than ever before. Media is devaluing the family unit and accepting sinful behavior as normal. Are we being slowly poisoned?
The media subliminally tells us what’s right and wrong, but we must let the Bible, the Word of God, tell us what’s right and wrong. Here’s what the Word of God says. “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes…” Psalm 101:3. “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things…” Psalm 119:37. “I have made a covenant with my eyes…” Job 31:1.
We have to be careful. Satan slowly lulls people away with so-called entertainment that plays upon our fleshly instincts, and we must ask God for strength to resist and focus on him instead.
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.” Psalm 1:1. The media is an attraction that can be a dangerous distraction – but it’s just one of many. When we feel ourselves being attracted to something that does not glorify God, we have to strong enough to walk away or turn it off.
How do you fight dangerous attractions and distractions that keep you from God?
Listen to this post via podcast here.