What do you feel like today? Some days, I feel like the things in this list. Do you ever feel like…
*fear is choking you?
*your faith is waning?
*your life is pointless?
*you are discouraged?
*you’ve been rejected?
*the enemy is winning?
*you don’t measure up?
*your strength is fading?
*you’re tired of waiting?
*your lack will never end?
*negativity is taking over?
*pride has left you empty?
*you’ve lost your courage?
*you’re lost and wandering?
*you’re keeping a sin secret?
*your anger is out of control?
*some loss has left you lonely?
*perfectionism has left you hollow?
*you’re steeped in doubt and worry?
*grief has set up a tent in your heart?
*your prayers are going up in smoke?
*you have a distorted view of yourself?
*your schedule dictates your every move?
*the world offers too many shiny baubles?
*that old place of sin is calling you back to it?
*you’re missing out, others are running ahead of you?
*a friend has stabbed you in the back or deserted you?
*happiness, joy, and peace are an illusion, out of your grasp?
Do you see a common thread running through all that? A thread of distraction maybe? That’s the enemy’s pleasure. To distract you. To get you upset. “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10a NLT)
His aim is to divert your focus away from the Lord and to the lures of the world, to its eye candy. He wants you to loosen your grip on the Vine. To fall down and go boom.
Those in the old Wilderness Gang were not hanger-on-ers. God said of them, “I was very angry with them, for their hearts were always looking somewhere else instead of up to me, and they never found the paths I wanted them to follow.” (Heb. 3:10 TLB)
What are we missing when we allow ourselves to become distracted? We need to constantly renew our focus on the Lord, so that we don’t become like the Wilderness Gang. So that our heart doesn’t become unbelieving and leads us “away from the living God.” (Heb. 3:12b TLB)
We need to “Speak to each other about these things every day while there is still time so that none of [us] will become hardened against God, being blinded by the glamour of sin.” (Heb. 3:13 TLB) So we don’t succumb to the enemy’s eye candy.
All your sustenance, your joy and peace and comfort and strength and courage, are all in Him, in the Vine. Just hold on. Tighten your grip. Draw from Him. Receive all you need from Him. Then feel the rush of His spiritual DNA coursing through your heart and soul and spirit.
Jesus said, “Take care to live in me, and let me live in you.” (John 15:4a TLB)
So, hangeth thou in there! Hangeth onto the Vine today! You’re a vine hanger. Cling to your Source!