Two thirty in the afternoon and I have yet to accomplish more than one thing on my to do list. I have accomplished things, just nothing that was actually on the list. I say it is perfectly legal to write the things in that I actually did, and then just check them off.
This happens to me a lot. I am mucho busy, but never actually do anything I wrote down to do. Good things, but not “the” things.
This happens in my spiritual life as well, except in much bigger proportions. In that realm, God creates my to do list; He plans out the things He would have me to do. This is not a discussion of how we hear God. We will save that for another day.
Today is about knowing what He wants us to do and just not getting it done.
This came up in my life just yesterday.
In the next week or so, I have a speaking thing I am doing – one I am very excited about! God has really spoken to my heart and challenged me in the process of preparing. I have a draft of my notes ready and a plan for the rest. The “plan” was what I was planning to do yesterday…then I did April’s budget.
We do a budget every month at our house. We “tell our money where to go.” The idea is great and has worked for years. Recently, we moved. If you have ever moved, you know that the process can make your budget a little crazy those first few months as you get settled and figure out what “cost of living” is going to look like. In the military world, this is affected as well because of the differences in housing allowances based on location. Suffice it to say it takes us a couple of months to get it together again. We do have our emergency fund and a plan, so we get through it just fine.
Doing the budget for April, I just took a guess at what our income would be based on last month’s earnings. I did up our April budget and tried not to have a heart attack! I thought we would have more “extra” money to give us a buffer and do the fun things…and it wasn’t there. I tried to remain calm. It really drives my husband crazy when I immediately freak out. (If you were ever here during those times, you would completely understand his aversion to them!)
I remained mostly calm. We are in this together, and we had yet to look over our budget together. I was just writing down numbers. I prayed about it, and then proceeded to spend most of the morning worrying about it. Smart, right?
About lunch time, I got it. I was distracted – and I had allowed it to happen.
This was not a matter of to do lists. This was a matter of get sidetracked from what God had intended for me to do. Working on that program, the excitement about what He had spoken to me, the anticipation of that same word to others…I had lost it all because I let Satan get his foot in and distract me.
When has God ever allowed our family to go hungry? When has He ever not provided for us? And even if He didn’t provide all the money I thought we needed, why did I let money bother me? It’s His money. We are His children. He gets to decide what is best for us. My only responsibility is to follow Him. Why didn’t I pray about it and just leave it at His feet, then get up and do the things He had called me to do?
I will tell you why. I allow Satan to do it to me all the time. Those moments when we are pursuing Him, stepping out in faith, Satan tries to distract. My husband and I have seen it at times when we agree to lead a ministry as a couple. Invariably, not long before we start, we get on each other’s nerves. We get into a disagreement and figure out we are really arguing over lots of nothing. Distracted.
Thankfully, it doesn’t take me near as long these days to recognize such things, but Satan still gets in sometimes and throws me off. Drives me crazy! I’m onto him, though. Today, I am not distracted. I won today only because of Jesus. Tomorrow I will go at it again, determined to focus on my Savior and what He has for me rather than the craziness of this world.
Are you distracted? How does Satan get to you? Marriage and money are two big ones for me. Would love to hear how you deal with such things!