S28P9 – Our saintly duty: focus

1 John 5:3
For the love of God is this: that we habitually keep His commandments and remain focused on His precepts. And His commandments and His precepts are not difficult.

Distraction is not something that we only begin to encounter once we start following Jesus Christ. In fact, distraction maybe one of the biggest hindrances from coming to Jesus Christ in the first place. This dates back to the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve both took their eyes off God and forgot about his teaching for even a brief moment. In doing so, they fell to the temptation of chasing something other than him. Their distraction gave rise to mistrust within them, and they acted on a false belief that God was withholding some great thing from them. In fact, what God was withholding from them was not great at all. We see now that it was better not to have the knowledge of evil. Their experience and example is not so far from much of what we face today.

We are instructed in this scripture to remain focused on God’s commandments and precepts if we truly love him. This is not merely about following rules but is a prompting for us to remain focused on the character of God. See, when God tells us that we are to live or behave in a certain manner, it is because that manner is an illustration of his perfect character. Our sanctification takes us from imperfect beings to something like him. In order to make that journey successfully, we must take certain actions that cause us to change on the inside. Obedience is the beginning of that. And although it may seem difficult to remain focused on God and his character with everything in this world that tries to steal our attention, practice makes perfect. Remaining focused on God becomes easy as we make a habit of it. If we love him and his character, then we will find it less difficult to walk according to that character.

Sometimes distraction is about desire. There are days that I can sit in my office and be so focused on my work that nothing can interrupt what I am doing. There are other days when I would rather be elsewhere, but duty calls. On those days, I often welcome distraction and am ready to interrupt my work for even the tiniest thing that comes up. Perhaps we have made this a practice in our walk. Perhaps we have found difficulty in meditating on God’s commandments and precepts, and in following them, and so we desire to be distracted. If we have reached that place, it will not take long for something else to steal our attention and our obedience. Let us instead choose to love God more so that we desire to keep his commandments. Father, increase our love for you so that we may increase our obedience to that which you command.