Why the Enemy Wants to Distract You

From the LYWB.com Team: We love to see young writers using their gifts to point girls toward God’s truth! This post was submitted by one of our readers, Sarah Barratt. You can read the original version here.

Every day I’m in a battle.

The prize? My time. My attention. My loyalties. And most valuable of all, my heart.

My foe is cunning and crafty with many tried and true weapons at his disposal. His favorites—stress, conflict, busyness, social media, peer pressure. Each of these he knows well and wields skillfully.

He also knows he doesn’t need to attack with all of them at once. If he can use just one to successfully invade and conquer the territory of my heart, his mission will be accomplished. My heart, divided.

For me, it would be a hopeless, losing battle, if not for one detail.

I, too, am armed.

My weapons? The Word of God. The angel armies of the Most High. And a mighty weapon that is as unlikely as it is deadly. Time spent in the stillness of sitting at my Savior’s feet. It is this defense that gives me the armor I need to fight the enemy (Eph. 6:11–12). This is why, before he can launch his attack, I run to my Strong Tower, these words upon my lips.

“Lord, give me an undivided heart before You.”

Undivided.

It’s not an easy thing to be.

There are so many things pulling us this way and that. Voices trying to tell us what to think, how to feel. There’s so much to do—endless opportunities and possibilities. With all of that noise, it’s no wonder we end up feeling so empty and distracted. So . . . divided.

I’m sure you’ve felt it. I know I have. It’s that feeling of being torn in two, one part of you drawn to one thing, another to something else. It takes away our peace and joy, leaving us frazzled and confused.

The Secret to True Peace

I find it fascinating that the Hebrew word for the antonym of divided—whole or undivided—is the word Shalom. You might recognize this word because it’s most often translated as peace.

Do you see it?

Wholeness = peace.

Some of my favorite Scriptures have a few things to say about Shalom as well.

“You keep him in perfect peace (Shalom) whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isa. 26:3).

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace (Shalom)” (John 16:33).

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace (Shalom) of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6–7).

If you look closely, you’ll notice a common theme.

In God’s presence, in the fullness of His love, as we present our requests to Him, there is peace and wholeness. True peace is found in the presence of the Giver of Peace—Jehovah Shalom (Judg. 6:24).

This brings us back to the war—that daily battle for our attention waging all around us.

Your Enemy Wants You Divided

Our enemy doesn’t want us to spend time in the sweet simplicity of our Savior’s presence. He doesn’t want us to have Shalom.

He wants us divided.

Why?

Our enemy doesn’t want us to spend time in the sweet simplicity of our Savior’s presence.

Because a divided person is an ineffective person. Someone whose heart is torn in two doesn’t know what they believe or how they should act. A divided person will never be a world-changer for Christ. That’s not the person I want to be. I want to be effective for the gospel. I desire peace and wholeness.

At the same time, however, I realize there are so many things in my life that do divide and distract me. Things like my schedule and to-do list. Things like social media and the Internet, which have the possibility to steal my time and ruin my peace. None of these are bad in and of themselves, but allowing them to overtake my mind leaves me open and vulnerable for an attack from the enemy.

Our Only Fortress

I’ve discovered only one effective fortress in protecting the territory of my heart: Jehovah Shalom. When I take the time to clear my mind of all distractions and fix my eyes solely on Christ, I find that He gives me a greater joy and peace than anything else ever has or ever could.

It’s not always easy. There are days I don’t feel like reading my Bible or praying, times when I think skipping my prayer time and jumping right into my to-list would be more productive. But I’ve learned that when I feel this way, I can be sure I’m in the middle of a battle. When I don’t give in to the devil and instead press into God, that’s when He profoundly speaks to my heart and gives me a fresh measure of peace.

Is it hard to just sit in God’s presence when all the things I have to do are calling me? Yes. But it’s totally, absolutely, wonderfully worth it.

Get Undistracted

I challenge you today to stop and simply delight in the presence of God. Quiet the noise, and let His peace wash over you.

Let Him give you an undivided heart. A heart guarded by Shalom. A heart that will not be easily invaded.

A heart wholly and surely His.

Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever (Ps. 86:11–12).

About Author

Sara Barratt

Sara Barratt is a youth leader, writer, avid reader, chocolate lover, and “I Love Lucy” fan. She strives every day to know her Savior better and fall more in love with Him. A regular contributor for The Rebelution, Sara has been published on numerous other blogs including Know Your Value and The Overflow. Connect with her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/sarabarrattauthor/

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  • Mah

    I’m so glad I read this post. I woke up before dawn today and just couldn’t go back to sleep even though I was tired. I thought it was because I was worried about my exam tomorrow (it’s a difficult one). So I decided to pray and sit down to study. But I came across this article and was reminded that the best way to calm down and prepare myself for the day ahead and my exam tomorrow is by spending some time alone with God and His word.
    I opened my Bible to highlight the verse mentioned (Isa. 26:3) and the chapter caught my attention. I kept reading it and found these verses:

    “With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early; […] Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.” (Isa 26:9, 12)

    Couldn’t have started my day in a better way 🙂

    • Sara Barratt

      Mah, what a blessing this comment was! I’m so glad this article encouraged you right when you needed it! Isn’t it amazing how God does that?

      Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts! I hope your exam goes well! 🙂

      • Elisa Renn

        What did god do? She opened the website and read your post. It isn’t that unlikely to find something encouraging on the internet if you search for it. Btw don’t you think she should learn? I mean I’m an atheist so i don’t need god to be relaxed during a test I usually just studied.

        • Sara Barratt

          Hi Elisa. I truly believe God beautifully orchestrates things in our lives and that many times it’s the work of His hands and not just a coincidence. And yes, I truly hope she did study, but I ask God for help and peace all the time, even if I’m confident in my own knowledge, because without Him, quite frankly, I’m a mess, no matter my own efforts.

          As a side note, even if you don’t believe in God, He is working in your life, and He longs to know you. Thank you for reading this post and commenting!

          • Elisa Renn

            Do you care wether your believe is true or not?

  • Tiana

    This is such a great post! Exactly what I needed to hear! Thanks!

    • Sara Barratt

      Oh, I’m so glad to hear that, Tiana! Day made! Thank YOU for reading it! 🙂

  • Julianna

    This is so good, Sara! Thank you!

    • Sara Barratt

      Aww, thank you so much, Julianna! 🙂

  • Zshu

    I REALLY needed this. It is so easy to get consumed, sucked in. I want control and I forget that i need to simply obey and pray to Him and let him have control. Frustrating or having anxiety is not going to change the grade or the to do list. Thank you so so so much for writing this!!! Keep it up, can not wait to read more!

    • Sara Barratt

      Zshu, I’m so, so blessed that this article encouraged you! You’re right… it IS very easy to get caught up in all we have to do, and all we want to control. I know, because I wrote this to myself as well! Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Keep fixing your eyes on Him! 🙂

  • Sarah Fine

    A good friend sent this article to me, and it truly blessed and encouraged me! Thank you so much!

    • Sara Barratt

      Oh, I’m so glad! That’s so encouraging to me! Thank YOU for reading it! God bless! 🙂

  • Avigail

    This is so true!! Thank you! Just one little bitty note about the word shalom it’s not actually the exact same word as Shalem(whole) it’s prounounced Shalem and in Shalom the spelling is slightly diffrent here:
    שלם (the hebwer word for whole) it is prounounced with an ’em at the end.
    שלום(the hebwer word for peace) is prounounced with an ‘om at the end.
    Both words are from the same root but are just spelled and prounounced a little diffrent. It still is a great point about being whole and having peace! I love it(:
    I’m from Israel and speak hebwer fluently so that’s the only reason I know!
    Thanks again for such a great post!
    https://avigailife.wordpress.com/about/

    • Sara Barratt

      Wow, Avigail, thank you so much for sharing! I didn’t know that. I guess I should have done a bit more research. So sorry! 🙂 That’s fascinating to me though, so I’m very glad I know now! Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts! It means so much to me! 🙂

  • Eliana Massey

    Such an inspiring article. Anxiety is the enemy’s favorite tool to use against me, but I have tools too. Ones that are handed down from God. Like His word. In His word I find the kind of peace and wholeness you described. I am so greatful for this beautiful reminder. Thank you. ❤️

    • Sara Barratt

      Eliana, thank you so much! I can totally relate to what you said. Anxiety and stress are big things the enemy uses against me too. Actually, when I first saw your comment, I was anxious and stressed, because my family was running late for church. Funny timing. 🙂 So, YOUR comment was a great reminder to me this morning. 🙂 Thank you for reading it and taking the time to comment! 🙂