Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity, Devotional, Faith

Don’t be distracted

Some time ago, I felt God give me a very clear warning – to be on my guard against ‘distraction’.   When you are working toward a God-given vision, distractions will come and not every distraction immediately looks ‘wrong’.  Sometimes a distraction can come in the form of a compliment (which massages our ego) or in the form of an interesting invitation.  And sometimes it comes (more obviously) in the form of a fiery dart

In the book of Nehemiah, we are given some very clear principles on how to avoid distraction.  In chapter 6, Nehemiah was busy rebuilding the temple wall.  He had a clear vision and mandate from God but Scripture tells us that Nehemiah’s enemies tried several times to distract him from finishing the wall.  And they used many different tactics. There is much to learn from this story

Invitation

When Nehemiah’s enemies, Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem discovered that Nehemiah had nearly finished the wall, they issued him an invitation.  We do not know how the invitation was sent, but we do know they requested to meet with Nehemiah in the plain of Ono.   As leaders, sometimes we are sent flattering invitations and to avoid embarrassment, we can say yes to things which distract us from the calling God has given us.  But Nehemiah was focused on the job he was meant to do and he had a sense that these people were planning to do him harm, so he turned down the offer.

Insinuation

Nehemiah’s enemies were not going to take no for an answer. Scripture tells us they continued to try and distract him and in fact, they sent him an invitation four times.  When this failed, they tried a new strategy – insinuation.  They told Nehemiah they had ‘heard a rumour’ that he was planning to build a new kingdom and make himself the king.   Nehemiah had the strength to simply say, ‘there is no truth in your story’ and once again, he declined their invitation to meet and discuss it.   This obvious distraction only strengthened Nehemiah’s resolve and he became even more determined to finish the project on time.

Intimidation

When insinuation didn’t work, Nehemiah’s enemies tried to intimidate him. Nehemiah was warned that he should lock himself in the temple as his enemies were going to kill him that night, but Nehemiah knew he could not run from danger and he also knew that if he went into the temple (a place reserved for the priests), he would be violating God’s law.   Through it all, Nehemiah remained intentional and focused on his goal, to get the wall built.  Scripture tells us that the wall was completed in just 52 days and his enemies realised the work was done ‘with the help of God’.

If you are a leader, can I encourage you to be aware of distractions?  I believe the enemy is trying to draw leaders into distraction and to divert them far away from the vision God has given them.  The enemy can do this through flattery, as well as by sending people to attack our character or intimidate us.  But staying intentional in all we do, focusing on the plan and the promise, will help us to see it through to its fulfillment.

Can I encourage you today too, to remain focused on the plan and the vision God has given you and like Nehemiah, to not be led astray by distractions.

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Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity, Evangelism, Faith

How should you vote on Thursday?

We have received some letters and questions from UCB supporters recently, asking for advice on how vote in Thursday’s EU Referendum.

As I am a French citizen,  I am not able to vote, so I do not have to personally make a decision.   However, I wanted to briefly explain some thoughts on our responsibilities as believers.

We are surrounded by many voices and opinions and it can be very confusing. There are strong opinions on both sides of the #EUReferendum from Christians and it is true that we really need God’s wisdom.    Some may even be thinking that it is ‘just one vote’ and it won’t count, but I believe every vote counts and it is important that Christians use their voice in political decisions.

But how should you vote?  Well, simply, some choices cannot be delegated.  We can seek counsel from friends, but I believe it is our individual responsibility to research the facts with an open mind, to pray and to allow the Spirit of God to guide our decision-making.

As Christians, we should look to have a Kingdom perspective.   We should look to the outcome and ask which outcome will give us the most opportunity to reach people with the Gospel.

I don’t think one person can tell another person how to vote, but if we keep a Kingdom perspective in mind and ask God to give us His wisdom, He will guide us to a good choice. God’s Word reminds us in James 1:5; ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you’.

Decisions are sometimes quick and easy and other times very hard. As you head to the polling stations on Thursday, my prayer is that you will be well informed and ready to vote with prayerful discernment.

Whatever the result, the UK will be different and let’s believe for a great outcome that will facilitate the extension of God’s Kingdom in many lives.

Let’s continue to pray for our nation and for God’s Will to be done.

 

 

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