I met a young man at a farewell party for an amazing friend. At the party the young man was asking questions about pursuing a deeper walk with Jesus. I was impressed with his honesty and enthusiasm for God, and we had a really good conversation. Today he emailed me and asked what to do about all the distractions you encounter while you are waiting on God?
His email warmed my heart — struggling with the distractions is the first sign that you are seeking God in earnest! So the following is what I wrote back to him. This must be the fifth part of the intimacy with God series!
Distractions are the first obstacle to overcome. Congratulations: you’re on the road to greater intimacy with God! I struggled terribly with the distractions until God gave me three simple ways to push through.
Some of the stuff you’ll find your mind wandering to are daydreams & nonsense. That stuff isn’t a problem, it will just get in your way. You must simply give it over to God during the time that you are trying to wait on Him. Some of the stuff that will come up is actual stuff that you need to take care of. Keep a notebook handy to jot down that stuff. God sometimes gives me good ideas, or solutions to problems in this place. But again, if you let it derail you, it will just stand in your way. Some of this stuff are fears and ugly stuff. Some of that is bubbling up from inside you, and some is being thrown in by the enemy. Again, just give it over to God, don’t get condemned over it, and don’t let it make you give up.
The three things you can do to push through are: Keep a notebook at hand to jot down notes. Keep focusing your heart and mind on Him by giving Him everything that comes up. Press your mind and heart toward Him with intentionality and don’t give up.
Sometimes the stream of things roaring through my mind is overwhelming — at these times I focus on turning over every bit of it to Him. It begins to feel like a huge data ray that I am beaming right at Him. But in this way I am focusing everything on Him, He is able to draw me closer and at the same time, He is able to take care of all of it.
Over time the focus gets easier. You’ll develop the ability to focus on Him and everything else will still. Most of the time. For me it’s like coming into a small cave inside myself. There’s a fire burning there, and I can feel the flames flickering, leaping, subsiding. Jesus is also there. In that place we can talk, or just be together. You know, He likes to just be together. But that presence changes everything inside me.