Echoes From the Campfire

Too many men had lost their lives because they weren’t paying attention to where they were going.”
              –Bobby Cavazos (The Cowboy From the Wild Horse Desert)

    “You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.”
              –Psalm 119:114 (NLT)
Ain’t that the truth!  Take your eyes off the road for a few seconds; take your eyes off the goal for just a little bit.  Take your eyes off heaven and…well, you get the picture.  Distractions are dangerous!  To be distracted can bring destruction–physical and spiritual.  Drive down the road just a bit and glance around and you will find that there are plenty of distractions.  Billboards, signs, lights, stores, people are all there to cause a distraction, and then there is that thing you hold in your hand that you’re constantly looking at, yep, your phone distracts.  It not only distracts if you use it when driving, but go anyplace and it is the phone that holds people’s attention.  Dangerous!  Don’t let it or anything else, distract you from getting to where you’re going; make sure your focus is on the Lord and getting to heaven.
    One way we get distracted is through troubles we face in this life.  Another way is to get caught up in “church fads” and not understanding nor paying attention to the doctrines of the Scripture.  Guard the truth, guard the teaching of the Word; in other words, guard the doctrines.

              “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”
                        –John 14:1 (KJV)

We are content to read Scripture for its general effect upon us.  We are inspired, uplifted, and it makes us feel good, but we do not take the trouble or time to study the meaning and importance of the Word.  When we read Scripture, we should take the time to reflect on stating the doctrine.  Distractions can cause us to not take the time; we are too busy.  Or we will do our duty, read a little devotion, and say I’m through for the day and go back to the phone or whatever else there may be to distract us.
    There is a great need in our world today to take time to get with the Lord.  We need to take time to be quiet before Him, reflect on His Word.  Think of the disciples.  For three years they never stopped to think on what the Lord was saying, because He was there with them and they depended upon Him.  They were troubled at His words that He was going to leave them, and He took the time to tell them not to be troubled.
    He takes the trouble to read our minds and thoughts in order to answer our questions before we have ever asked them and He gives us consolation before we have ever given expression to our needs and unhappiness.  The Lord is there waiting for us to get quiet and seek Him instead of being distracted by the things around us.  Lloyd-Jones is correct when he says, “The greatest need of men and women in this world is the need of what is called ‘the quiet heart.'”
    We have to face life.  There are certain ills, issues, problems, obstacles which simply cannot be avoided.  There are things that are bound to happen; there are the tragedies of life.  Therefore, there is a need to determine to seek a quiet heart.  The world suggests escapism, optimism, fatalism, psychology, right attitudes, cults, and a host of other things.  These things, in themselves, are distractions for the real source of our need–a quiet heart before the Lord.  The Word of God confronts us with our troubles and them calms and brings peace in the midst of them.
    The trouble is not the physical flesh, or the worrisome mind; the trouble is the spirit.  The devil and his arsenal in the world seeks to keep us distracted from seeking the Lord and dwelling deep into His Word.  Remember, “the Holy Spirit dwells within us and reveals and explains things, and energises and empowers and enables us.” (Lloyd-Jones)  The more we are into God’s Word and have the foundational truth in our hearts the easier the Holy Spirit can work in us.