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Isn’t it hard to keep focused on God? I have tried so hard throughout my life to stay focused on Him. I so often say “this time I won’t fail”, but at one point or another, something always clips me from behind, and keeps me from exceeding!! Why?!

Well, I think it has to do with what we allow into our lives that can distract us from God. Not all of these things are “bad” in their nature…in fact, a lot aren’t, but they become a problem when we allow them to distract us from looking at, and to God. You know those things I’m talking about; they can be anything from a job, car, or movie, to fantasy football, Xbox Live, a magazine, or even church. There are so many things in this world that fight for our time…and when we allow them to take too much…well…we lose our focus. The answer is not necessarily to cut these distractions out entirely (in some cases it is), but to realize that they can distract us…and we need to keep them in check.

In the following paragraphs, I have listed 10 common things that can interfere with our walk with God.

1. Money

Money. I’m sure you all could have guessed this one would be on this list. We all need it to live in this world, but we must not be owned by it if we are to be not of this world. Money itself is not an interference in our walk with God…the love of money is. I think the following passage sums this up quite nicely (its long, I know…but when I read it, I felt all of it applies to this topic): Matthew 6:19-34

19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 22“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

 24“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

 25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]?

 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

So in a nut shell, if we trust God, He will take care of us. That doesn’t mean we should quit our jobs, or not earn money…we just need to realize that God is more important, and is far more capable of taking care of us than we are. Money might be the blood flow of the world, but it is not the blood flow of those who are in Jesus…faith is.

2. Media

 Another big one; the media. This is probably one of the biggest distractions for me personally right now….I mean, just the other night, I realized I haven’t spent that much time praying this week…but instead of going and praying, I said to myself I’ll do it later because the Lakers are playing and Lost comes on in an hour.

It is so easy to get caught up in the media. And when I say media, I’m referring to the Internet, TV, movies, music, video games, newspapers, magazines…all of it (broad, I know…but hey, I’m only making a list of 10 things to here, so I can be a bit broad, right?). Like I said before, the media is so dangerous because it is so easy to get consumed in. Everywhere we turn, some sort of media is right in our face. And the worst part; it’s littered with filth. Almost every commercial on TV, and every advertisement on the Internet is trying to convince us that we are missing something, and they are the ones that can fill the need. Our young girls and women are bombard by the media with how they should look, feel, and act…movies, music, TV shows…they all are horrible influences on us because they can subliminally tell us how to live, whats right and wrong, etc. And video games…ah, video games….give me the right one on the right week, and I won’t spend a free second with God (sad….but true). I could literally go on and on about the media, and how distracting it is. The key to overcoming the media is to be wise in what we watch, read, play, etc, and in how much time we spend with it. We should always be willing to give it up, and quite honestly, some of the things we indulge in (in the media), we need to give up. If a something is pure filth, we shouldn’t be giving it any time to influence us, no matter how funny, sexy, or “cool”, it is.

3. Church/Religion

 Church, or religion. Believe it or not, these can be HUGE interference in our walk with God. Church does not do this intentionally, but we can easily let it hinder our relationship with God. Why? The main reason I see is that it can be so easy to pursue church, and beliefs about God, but forget to pursue God Himself. It is so easy to go to church to…well…go to church, when the real reason we should be going church is to refuel for our week by coming together with fellow believers to worship and meditate on God.

Also, somewhere along the way, at so many churches, people have gotten the idea that we need to pretend to be perfect at church. That if we show our weaknesses and struggles, we’ll become outcasts…and since so many people parade around in this stained glass masquerade, if one person does reveal their weaknesses, they’re so easily looked down upon. This is opposite of what church is supposed to be. Church is really the body of believers. We are supposed to help each other, hold each other accountable, pray for each other, and love one another!

To keep church from becoming a distraction from God, make sure you are pursuing God before pursuing “beliefs” about Him, or church/religion. We need to get past religion and into a relationship. It starts with you! Love your brothers and sisters, be open to people, and DO NOT CONDEMN others when they fail!!

4. Relationships

 Relationships. I’m sure you knew this one would be here. Every kind of relati0nship falls into this category; friends, parents, siblings, spouses, girl/boy friends, children, co-workers, bosses, etc. We can allow any of these relationships to distract us from God. It is our relationships that are our connection with the world, and it is our human nature to have them, but when we allow any one of these relationships threaten to become more important to us than God…well, they become a distraction. Remember, God calls us to love one another (1 John 3:11), so when we do, it is an act of obedience to God. But don’t forget about God in the process. We need to make sure we are giving God ample time everyday.

I would have to say the relationship with the most danger of becoming a distraction from our walk with God would be that of a boy-friend, girl-friend, or spouse. These relationships in their nature, demand the most time, and that is why it is extremely important that they are centered around God. If they aren’t, you will see your walk with God spiraling downward. In a dating relationship, don’t compromise your morals.

In a nut shell, relationships are extremely important, but our relationship with God is of the utmost importance. Remember that!

5. Routine

 Routine. This is a common thing I allow myself to get distracted by all the time. The most important thing is that spending time with God should be in your routine! Far too often do we just squeeze God in when we have down time (I am extremely guilty of this). Its so easy to get caught up in all the things we have to do, like work, eat, sleep, etc. I often find sleep getting in the way! I mean, if I didn’t spend that extra hour sleeping in, I would have a whole hour with nothing to do but seek God!

So make sure spending time with God is a part of our routine. And also, make sure you are willing to abort your routine, and let God have complete control.

6. Our Work

 Work, work, work. What a distraction this can be! And I’m not just referring to a job, I mean everything from a job, to leading worship, a bible study, or anything! I personally have often allowed this site to become a distraction from God. I want it to bless people, I want it to look good, I want it…I…I..I…but all that I should really be worrying about is that I am doing it as God wants me to, if I do that, He’ll take care of the rest. I love this following scripture:

38As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”   -Luke 10:38-42

It is so easy to get caught up on our duties, but the most important thing is that we do it entirely for the Lord. They are to glorify God, not ourselves. That being said, sometimes the duty we have is not as important as doing something else. We always need to be flexible! This falls in line with routines as well. We can have great motives behind our work, but sometimes we let the work become more important then “listening to Jesus”. Listen and be flexible!

7. Our Hobbies

 Hobbies. I love hobbies! I have a huge rang of them; from playing guitar, and singing, to video games, sports, andnumerous others. The dangerous thing about them is that they can consume a lot of our time. A great way to keep them in check is to do them with God in mind! Like worshiping God with music. Also, we can play video games or sports, etc. with people to develop relationships. Having hobbies is a great way to get yourself into the world to be an influence…so keep that in mind.

8. Desiring a blessing from God, more than God Himself.

 Desiring a blessing from God, more than desiring God Himself. I have to be honest, this is easy to fall into, at least for myself. It can be so easy to pray for a specific thing over and over again, but forget about spending time with God. This would be like a husband wanting that special  “perk” he gets from wife, without wanting to give any time to other parts of their relationship. Remember, its “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33), its not “first seek all these other things”.

9. Our Pastor

 Our Pastors! What!? Whats this doing on the list!?…Well, to your relief, I don’t mean your pastor exactly (at least I hope not). What I’m referring to is becoming dependent upon your pastor. This can be a really deadly interference in our walk with God. It is not our pastors responsibility to feed us all we need to be spiritually healthy…it is our responsibility. A lot of people fall into the habit of only giving God Sunday morning. This would be like only eating once a week! If we did this, we would be horribly malnourished! And sadly, this is the case for many spiritually. Our pastor is a, or should be, great leader, but he/she should only be that…nothing more.

10. Ourselves

 Ourselves. Us. The last one on the list of distractions, and possibly the most likely to distract us. We are, by nature, sinful, and if we live by our nature, we will not get close to God. That is why we need to die to ourselves, and live in Christ (Romans 6:11). But no matter what we do, there will be a constant battle within ourselves between spirit and flesh (Romans 7:15-21). That is why we need to constantly allow God to search our hearts, and purify it (Psalm 139:23-24). The first step to overcoming ourselves is being aware.

So there we have it. A list of 10 common things that can distract us from God. It is a constant struggle to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and to not become distracted by the passing concerns and things of this world. But if we are aware of what can, and does, interfere with our walks with God, we can begin to take the necessary actions to prevent them. Remember, seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

Question:

Do you have anything to add to this list?

In God’s Love and Grace,

Colton

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  • Ella June 15, 2017, 12:35 am

    Pastors!!!!! I mean u r really true.People only want pastors to pray for them,to heal them…..And the most important thing is that they never remember God unless and until they are in trouble.
    MONEY MONEY MONEY———–
    This is the most important thing that is a barrier for a healthy relationship with God in case of adults…………
    So i request all of u to pray for all your near and dear ones to pass this Barrier which leads them away from God
    And i always pray for my brother who is fully addicted to his mobile phone …..he is so addicted to social media…….please friends pray for him too,that he will study well,have a good friendship with GOD , accept him as his and savior,get rid of all his bad friends who spoil my innocent brother and glorify GOD’S name…..

  • IknowbetterButStill May 30, 2017, 10:26 am

    Mine would be money, religion, and relationships. I am constantly trying to make more money (and failing) so that I can move away and focus on the Lord. I know that I don’t need to move to focus on the Lord but the pressures of the city have me weighed down. I have a deep desire to homestead off the grid so that I won’t be influenced by everything around me in the city. I also want to get out of my relationship. My partner is not supportive at all and seems to have a hard time when I center God in my life, referring to the Bible as ‘it’ and interrupting my bible studies. Sigh. But I cannot go it alone in the city financially.

    I could be wrong but I grew up in the country and I remember things differently. Course I was a kid but I still think I can’t get away from the issues of today in the city. Everytime I try to focus on the Lord, I get distracted by bills and work and so many other things that I feel I could escape if I lived in the country. I’d still have to work hard at home and have a job but I would not be a slave to society and I could sit down and read my bible without the phone ringing from someone who needs a favor or my boss calling me on my day off or some other time-consuming thing that only I can do apparently.

    The planning, working, and saving involved distract me. Also searching for a second job to make this a reality quicker is distracting. I am ready to devote my life to the Lord even if that means that I have to stay single forever in the country. I have a relationship with him but I want a deeper one.

  • Lindsey May 25, 2017, 6:58 pm

    I have found that satan uses all sorts of things to distract us… sometimes we can be spending time in right relationship with God, and still get distracted by the things of this world… the word tells us not to be confirmed to this world but transformed by renewing our minds… I’ve had to give up things my friends have not, but we all have a different calling and purpose. For me, Social Media, Work/Money, and Saving Money have been major distractions. But when I seek first the kingdom of God, he provides all my needs. I really like this post.

  • kerry-lee May 24, 2017, 11:14 am

    Thank you so much, I really needed some direction. I often find myself going the extra mile for everyone and everything else, but when it comes to God I give him my left over. It is so wrong and I’m really ashamed of saying so, but its true and I really need to change. I will definitely make use of this list. Thank you.

  • Julia Hitt May 12, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thankyou so much excellent breakdown of distractions I will print this and share with other’s now I’m clear about distractions I face every day and they wear me out yet I’m learning to focus more on my relationship with God giving me peace

  • Colton April 29, 2017, 5:59 pm

    It’s not that they are always a distraction, it’s that they CAN be a distraction. They are actually amazing things, and completely necessary in the life of a Christian, but too often we rely on a church service or pastor to help us get close to God. If this is all we do, we will miss out on an intimate relationship with God.

  • Colton April 29, 2017, 5:54 pm

    Debbie, I can’t simply give you a yes or no answer on this, but there are certainly times where the best thing for us to do is remove ourselves from a negative relationship. I would always recommend seeking counsel from a someone you trust.

  • Colton April 29, 2017, 5:47 pm

    You can certainly use this for your Thesis! I hope it is help!

  • ligia Stapleford April 19, 2017, 9:53 am

    Thank you! I was looking for a practical list of those mundane things that distract us.

  • James green April 17, 2017, 4:22 am

    Hello Colton, I would like to thank you for posting this. All of these are definitely distraction. I am 29years old and just now understanding that myself is biggest distraction from GOD. I could keep going on and on about myself but I really would like to thank you again for this post. I will pray for you and for success in your journey with GOD! Thankyou

  • Dorothy Moore April 7, 2017, 1:07 pm

    I’m writing a thesis, and I would like to know if I can use your information? Of course giving you credit for it. My thesis is Focus on God and Let Go of Distractions. This really tells it all.

  • Betta March 16, 2017, 9:58 am

    I started my day praying today I would not let distractions keep my focus off God…I failed.As usual when the workplace negativity started I jumped right in. Afterward I felt the same remorse and guilt for not being strong enough to avoid it…again. Searching for words of encouragement I found your site…thank you!!! I have been doing all the things I thought I was supposed to do except one….diligently seeking a real relationship with God. My day has changed and my attitude has too….reading and praying about God and His grace, mercy and power is not enough I must ACTIVELY seek HIM and rely on HIM! The distractions will not stop and will only get worse and I now see that it has been my crutch to blame “them” and not look inward and question myself. Even though the things you write are not new to me for some reason TODAY I GOT IT!!! God knew what I needed to see and I know He guided me here!!! My true journey starts another chapter TODAY!!!!

  • emmanuel February 22, 2017, 10:15 pm

    God bless you,you have really minister to me through these thanks.

  • natasha January 30, 2017, 1:45 pm

    Thank you for this article. I honestly believe school as well may get in the way with following Jehovah God’s word and applying the true meaning of the Word. I really appreciate this article a lot and have learned so much.

  • Renee Jackson January 4, 2017, 5:45 am

    Very helpful and on time. I started to feel overwhelmed by being distracted so often by various things, like I was missing out on divine guidance and opportunity because of it. I’m in know position to miss out on any thing God wants to get across to me or bless me with… This article assured me I’m not alone and there are step and strategies that I could take to live in this world and keep God first… Thank You Colton.

  • Melinda Arevalo December 27, 2016, 9:41 pm

    Also thank you for this list . its right on point and the way you said we need to die in ourselves. It opened my eyes wider and it will help me on my journey everytime i wonder what it is i have to do. I know now We need to die in ourselves and our sins will die with us too.

  • Melinda Arevalo December 27, 2016, 9:34 pm

    Jst to add to my last coment . i also suffer from bipolar disorder and never really understood how serious it is . i know im not crazy and im not imagining things . I jst acted alot of crazy . i didn’t see it then but i see it now and am on a path to at least find where the road to heaven begins .We jst all need to get it done before its to late and Most of us wont cause of all the distractions the world has to offer.
    God help us all

  • Melinda Arevalo December 27, 2016, 8:58 pm

    Everything i jst read is exactly the way I’ve always felt , i feel strongly that Technology is a distraction period. It seems i only really beg for god when im introuble. But then when i call for God and dwell in the fear that only He can heal me a great peace come upon me and he always grant me that peice when i look for him and let him walk with me even if its only when im introuble. My faith lasts maybe 3days and things are going good . I feal at peice, i feel everlasting love , i feel forgiveness and i feel everything will be ok. Then i get board and wonder , whats going on in the world and i turn on the tv and my faith vanishes so does my everlasting love, my forgiveness and my peice of mind. I feel i have to choose 1 and 1 only but feel i cant and i dont want it to be to late. I suffer from bipolar disorder and are suffering from sleep paralysis. If your not familiar with sleep paralysis it is supposedly something psychological that when you are in a deep sleep all of the sudden you cant move because your paralyzed . many see and experience things like scary things like demonic things In mine i feel for the time that the sleep paralysis lasts , i feel like my spirit has entered another demention a demonic place where you cant move and i see things like figures demonic figures . I can feel them to i can feel them hitting me ,throwing punches the sound is different there to. There was one where , something blue and see through with no face and big arms was holding me down . i was in fear but not for my life , for my soul. It was holding me down .The fear in my spirit ,soul ,my mind. I tried to cry out for god and, jst the way my voice sounded like thunder but like a demonic thunder . it was the scariest sleep paralysis experience ive had. Anyhow i jst prayed with all my heart and might and my voice thunder but i pray harder and harder while i feel punches all over my body . i keep praying . like i really ment it cause i did and my voice break through the thunder and i wasnt scared anymore cause i knew god was with me and heard my cries to him. It gave me the strength to stand up and fight and hit back while this thing has my hand locked in a mercy hold. I keep praying and keep punching and this thing let go of my hand in the mercy lock and my eyes open and i wake up . run up get my bible and beg for forgiveness and pray . i stop watching tv , no radio , no music” no anger im good for a while and am doing ok but then . i get board go back to the world .That dark demention exists in the world how can i jst once and forall stay on my spiritual path to heaven, out of this world and all the misteries that exists in it ,on it and for it.

  • Debbie December 18, 2016, 11:18 pm

    Can I block someone that distracts me from having a relationship with God. Or is that ungodly? He is also a Christian but he has had such a negative impact on my spiritual life and I don’t know what to do.

  • kadian hemmings December 14, 2016, 1:28 pm

    Thanks for all the information u gave me on my question I grately appreciate it all. From now on I knew how to attack my distractions.I feel soo bless. Thanks again n have a blessed day.

  • David November 23, 2016, 7:54 am

    I too believe school gets in the way of my walk with Jesus. I have so much homework that on most nights I stay up till 11:00 doing work. I have a hard time being able to sit down and focus on my relationship with God because of this, and it’s really gotten in the way.

  • Winifred kollie November 12, 2016, 10:49 pm

    How is wanting to get close to God by going to church daily and praying a distraction?
    Why shouldn’t I count on my pastor, who is my spiritual father to help me in areas I am weak?

  • Essence October 31, 2014, 10:09 pm

    School is another major distraction as well. With so much I have to do for school ( which I’m actually falling behind in right now ) it seems impossible to focus on God. 🙁

  • Randy October 13, 2014, 12:56 am

    #3 Church? Yes Church! We are told, “do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together”. Heb.10:25. Church is very important; not just say you went, not just to refuel for the week although this should occur if you have not spent much time God addressing all of the distractions listed here. I have found WHEN I have alleviated the persistent and nagging distractions, I find myself wanting to be in church; not because I have to and not even to get refueled. I long to be there, so much so, that I don’t want to miss Sunday School or the main service, because the time I have been spending with God throughout the week, makes me want to go bless Him! I have a greater desire to learn more about Him! The more time I spend with Him throughout the week, the more I want Him. When I get to church, I want to praise Him. I have a river flowing through me and I just want to tell Him how much I adore Him. It is all a “super” natural experience when meditating on His WordI want honor that special day of the week. I want to praise Him and I long for more of Him and all because, I did not let anything interrupt that daily time with Him. I still need work to do, but the time with Him, becomes so much more grand if we protect this relationship as the most important; ever! The more you protect your relationship with Him, the more light you have and that is what draws others to Christ! I want to share on thing more that God has shown me. In the Bible, it tells us soooooooo much more about meditating on the scriptures and it’s benefits, then it ever does about “reading” it. Dear God, please use this post to encourage someone or bring them closer to you by something the author of this site or I have written. IN CHRIST NAME, I pray! Amen!

  • tin September 1, 2014, 7:39 pm

    Hello! Greetings from the Philippines! 🙂 Thank you for sharing this list with us. It has blessed me by allowing me to see that im not alone with my struggles. Indeed, people have to be open and honest and more loving so that more people will be drawn to Christ.

    Thank you for being a blessing. Sharing this to my friends. 🙂

  • Colton August 18, 2014, 1:40 pm

    Yes I have encountered my fair share of similar issues. What is really important though is connecting to the people of God (the REAL church), and being a part of that community. Loving and caring for one another authentically, and not focusing on what it or they have for you, but more so what you can do for them. We need to spot looking at church as a consumer product, and look at it as a collaboration.

  • Ellen August 18, 2014, 12:40 pm

    These are great points mentioned above. Especially 1. Money, and 3. Church/Religion. These days I feel that churches and congregations get too wrapped up in church activities and commitments that they fail to make any real time for or with God. I used to go to church that over time I grew more and more tired of. Anytime I wasn’t going for a while my friend at church (also friends at school) would ask me about why I haven’t been at church. She would then usually ask me if I was going to this or that church activity. If I was planning to attend a church activity, then I need to make sure that I am attending at least once before the event comes up. That tells me that this church was more focused on activities and gatherings, and that the worship service was even a formality; the core is the church activities. Being introverted, these church activities are not a huge priority and are even very draining if I attend too often, but their policy was members in youth group, and other social were not allowed to decide how much or how little one is to attend events. So, it was all or nothing. In my experience, these church groups had very little to do with God. For example, if the church was having an outing, the zoo, or a baseball game, and you had a choice between going with them, or your REAL friends, you would be much better off going with your friends than church. Being with a church group does not make something any better. It is the quality of the people that matter.

    I have found that from my experience, to my “feed” from God or to spend quality time with God, I need to have minimal distractions, no interruptions, if possible, and no demands about filling other people’s wants. Usually, when someone in church wants you to do something and they know that they are interrupting you from something, it would make more sense for him/her to do it himself. It will get finished a lot quicker.

    Another thing that I remember seeing in church is there is always someone or a family who needs to flaunt everything, but they feel that they have the right to condemn others for having one or two material needs. Money is a big distraction. The church is always asking for it or demanding it from members, but there are also people in the church who will criticize people who use their money for real needs, or who work unconventional hours, such as weekends. I know more people who work weekends because of the nature of the job. If everyone took Sundays off for rest, none of us would be able to do anything, including watching TV, buying doughnuts for church, eating out, going to the park, just to name a few. It needs to be looked at as a two-way street.

  • Aliah July 6, 2014, 8:34 am

    This as a major help for me as I am gorwing closer with my relationship with God. So many things you have discussed that were distractions to me in my connection and walk with God. Very helpful

  • Tiffany May 19, 2014, 3:00 am

    Thank you so much for your list. It has helped me to see some things about my walk with God that I just refused to see. Also, it helped me clearly define my distractions so that I can begin to work at them individually.

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