Isn’t it strange how a well-intentioned thing can become a distraction?
This morning I was knocked flat by my Bible study. I was finding truth after truth that hit me squarely between the eyes. I was sort of reeling at all the things God had shown me. It was overwhelming, but in a good way. There was just so much in the lesson that seemed to have been written exactly for ME. I wrote and I underlined and I marveled and I repented.
As I read the commentary, I drew a box around a sentence that really spoke to me. As I was finishing the lesson, I looked back over all the things I had underlined and starred, and my eyes were drawn to that box. I admired the way it looked, the style of the lines, and realized that it would make a great little piece of clip art. I wished that it hadn’t been simply scrawled in the margin of my book, but that I had drawn it separately so that…
Wait. It’s a BOX. It’s a simple little collection of lines that was intended to draw my eyes back to the thought that it contained. It drew my eyes all right, but where did that lead? I began to admire the work of my hands rather than the Truth.
It’s crazy how innovative the enemy is. The sentence in that box was this: “Satan persists where a stronghold exists.” And he managed, for a couple of minutes there, to persist. Satan coaxed me to take my eye off the principle and set it on the peripheral. Like a movable traffic barrier, this marking that was intended to guide me in the right Way was repositioned as a roadblock to direct me elsewhere. He found a stronghold in a few hastily scratched lines—a trap I would not have even suspected. I hadn’t planned for it to be artsy, had taken no time for it. When I made the box, I was focused on the words, not my pencil, but it became something that tripped me.
How often does this happen? And I don’t mean just on paper. Are there projects that are begun in an effort to do God’s work, yet they somehow take on a life of their own and the framework of the ministry becomes the main focus, rather than the souls it was intended to reach? Do I ever get hung up on external trappings and forget that God judges my heart?
This was such a small thing, but eye-opening. It was a good reminder to discern, to constantly check my navigation, to take my thoughts captive, keep them steadfast on Him.
Am I focused on the frame or on the Framer?
Lord, keep my eyes on YOU.