Distractions and Diversions

A few days ago I was on my way to visit a client. At the traffic lights, I was about to turn left but was unable to due to the road being closed and an alternative route was signed. We seldom welcome a diversion when driving or in day-to-day life, as well as it being inconvenient it also usually takes more time. But, an interruption in the course of life can help us to know who we trust.


It is within the cut and thrust of life that character is built and opportunities arise to understand  His ways. Paul was hindered from sharing the Good News in the well-known story of Acts by the Holy Spirit on two occasions because God had something else in mind for him. [1] Experiential knowing is certainly a vital key in our relationship with the Lord. I’m reliably told that men do not like to stop and ask someone for directions while on a car journey to a new destination. As a man with experience in stubbornness, I humbly agree, that doing our own thing is a poor substitute.


We really do need to guard against doing what we think is right in order to get to where we believe God wants us to be. Growing up requires engagement with the Holy Spirit as well as learning from women and men who have experienced life on God’s terms. They quietly go about following the Jesus Way with no fanfare. Quite honestly, it has been our prayer for a long time that God will raise up mothers and fathers in God who by their example lead us in the ways of Jesus. Young people…………..find them!

I am not talking about those with titles in front of their names like pastor or apostle, or even letters behind their names. I have no problem with people who want to develop their theological understanding through learning but revelation is vital in our relationship with Him. This verse in Acts clarifies what I am trying to say, “The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.” [2]

When we are shaped in the right way by adversity it is a good place to lean deeply on Jesus for His wisdom and wholehearted love for us.  We will not reach maturity by doing the same old thing over and over just because it worked before. As a dear friend of ours used to say, “If the predictability factor is high, the revelatory factor is low.” This is true in our walking with Him and our meetings.


How easy it is to be distracted from the discipline of ‘knowing Jesus’ as the real point of focus if we substitute revelation of Him for information about Him.  “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” [3]


These little everyday blips or crosswinds we call distractions have the capability to knock us off course by a degree or two. Now, a degree may not seem like much of a problem. However, I read recently and checked this out with an experienced pilot that every degree an aircraft flies off course means the craft will miss their target landing spot by 92 feet for every mile the craft flies. Apparently, that amounts to one-mile off target for every sixty miles flown.

So, if we are flying from A to B, it would be reasonable to assume when we take off from Airport A that the pilot will land the craft at Airport B. Landing a few miles away from your intended destination would be unhelpful and leave us in the wrong place. This is why aircraft today have such advanced navigation systems to ensure the route is followed and the correct destination is reached. Setting off in joyful expectation in our walk with God also carries a need for purpose. We have the most advanced ‘system’ in the Spirit of God within our hearts to direct us in the best way to travel. Choosing His way helps us to grow up to be the people we were called to be! Now that is worth paying the price for!

[1] Acts 16:6ff – NIV

[2] Acts 4:13ff – NIV

[3] Romans 12:1ff – The Message