<<notice, concentration>>

Our devotion can subtly be diverted from God, yet He lovingly allows events and crises to regain our attention. He, not Satan’s negative slant on the world, or our own self-centredness, is to dominate our thinking. We know Satan schemes against us are to "steal, kill and destroy" but are urged, “Don’t give any place [undue consideration] to the devil” (Jn 10:10; 2 Cor 2:11; Eph 4:27). While there are earthly responsibilities we must fulfill and necessary things we must give attention to, they must not be at the expense of our eternal well being. Both priority and balance are necessary. Martha missed out on receiving spiritual input from the Lord because unlike Mary she was not listening intently to what He was saying (Lk 10:38-42).

Endeavour to live in such intimate fellowship with the Lord, being responsive to the Holy Spirit, that the enemy doesn’t get any more than a passing glance. Jesus, when confronted with a distraction commanded, “Get behind me Satan” and moved

Be sure to give attention to what is truly important rather than just the immediate or urgent

on (Mt 16:23). While there is a place for spiritual warfare, ‘putting on’ Jesus should be the focus – bringing Him into the situation so it is too uncomfortable for the devil to stay (Rom 13:14 Gal 3:27).  

Often when things don’t go our way we give honour to the enemy by rehearsing life’s problems to anyone who will listen and resort to self-pity. When David realised he was thinking unbeneficial thoughts he gave himself a ‘good talking to’ and turned his attention back to the one who could help (1 Sam 30:6; Ps 42:5,11). Turn your attention away from what you don’t want and towards what you desire, because your body readies itself to act on whatever you decide and so we become like whatever dominates our thinking (Prov 4:23). Having a healthy, positive mental attitude does our whole body good (Prov 17:22). What gets our attention, captures our heart and influences our lifestyle. The Bible’s counsels us to think about what is good and wholesome, don’t feed junk into your mind (Mt 15:18-20; Phil 4:8). Being negatively orientated prevents having our minds transformed by the power of God, and seeing the possibilities of faith and abundant life in Him. Also, do not spend time in non-beneficial conversation, rather consider the essential issues of the Christian faith and live out its message (Tit 1:14; Heb 2:1; Jas 1:22). We would do well to live by the words, "Pay attention to what I say..." for "Whoever obeys [God's] instruction prospers..." (Lev 25:18; Prov 4:20,21, 16:20).

David said, “I have put the Lord always before me…I will bless the Lord at all times” (Ps 16:8, 34:1). Although he made some serious mistakes, God said, “He is a man after my own heart” (Act 13:22).

What catches my attention – passing fads and fashions or things of enduring significance?

Jesus advised people to focus on getting their own life right, rather than trying to sort out others (Mt 7:3). To the crippled beggar Peter said, “Give us your

full attention”. In anticipation, he expected a handout; instead, he received a hand-up to wholeness (Act 3:1-10).

Attention seekers are motivated by a love of self. The Bible counsels, be careful not to put on a good show to be honoured by others – it is only empty recognition, rather we are to concentrate on serving the Lord (Mt 6:1,4,5,16,18, 23:5; Col 3:23). Attempting to be the central focus by impressing others
affects a persons whole manner of life, what they say and do (Mk 12:38-42). It is good to have high standards, for as believers we represent the King of kings, yet the motivation should be to bring Him glory, not draw the attention to ourselves by our lavish fashions and lifestyle or the provocative clothing worn by some females to be seen by men.

See also: attraction, focus.