Aiming For Jesus
It very easy nowadays to get distracted. We have social media, TV shows, movies, Tik-Tok and many other things that can distract us throughout our day. The average Tik-Tok user spends up to 95 minutes per day on the app. That is 1.5 hours a day. The average consumption of social media in America is 2 hours and 14 minutes per day. This is a huge amount of time to be spending on a phone. I personally have fallen into this habit before. A habit of just endless scrolling on an app or watching YouTube videos for hours. There is certainly so many things that can distract us.
Now during this time of intentional 21, the goal is to be INTENTIONAL with spending time with our Father in heaven. Now the things I listed above are not necessarily bad. But if they consume your day and you find yourself spending hours of your day doing them, then this becomes a problem.
There are even some good things in our lives that can still be a distraction. Sometimes having too much fun can be distracting, when you know you should be doing something productive. On the opposite end of that. Maybe you're spending too much time working when you should be spending time with your family or friends. Another good thing that can distracting is... FASTING!
Fasting is designed to get us closer to our Father. It's meant for spending time with Him. Listening to what He is saying. Seeing the vision He is giving us for our lives and our calling. Its a time for us to put aways things we desire (usually a dietary desire) so that we can say, "I desire You more than what my flesh desires."
This can be distracting. Instead of spending time with our Father, we're more concerned with our hunger, day dreaming about our next meal or we're worried about about if we’ll make it through to the end of our fast. This incites worry and becomes a distraction at the worst of times. We end up wasting the fast instead of being intentional with our time.
So, you can be unintentional with your time and end up wasting it, like spending too much time on social media. Or you can be intentional with your time but still be focused on the wrong things. For example, focusing on the food part of it and forgetting the actual focus of a fast which is Jesus.
I encourage you all to aim to be like Jesus. Let Him be your focus. He is our example. When Jesus fasted He was in isolation spending time with His Father. When the devil came to tempt Him, Jesus used the Word of God to fight against the enemy's tactics. (Matthew 4:1-11)
He would go to be alone and pray to God the Father. Luke 5:16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
After Jesus feeds the 5000, He sends everyone away so He could be alone and pray.
Matthew 14:23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.
When He was choosing the twelve Apostles, the night before He was on the mountain praying
Luke 6:12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
Jesus spent so much time praying and seeking God. He was spending so much time in the presence of God. And if Jesus is our example, then we should be aiming to be like Him. Jesus is our goal.
When the Apostle Peter was walking on the sea, he was doing fine. Until he took his eyes off of Jesus, and started to look at the waves and became afraid, then he started to sink.
Matthew 14:30,31 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
Jesus also taught us not to worry about the things we are going to eat or what to wear. He said not to worry about life. Jesus said life is more than just eating and the clothes that we wear. He said look at the birds, don't they eat? Doesn't God take care of them. The lilies in the field, God dresses and if our Father in heaven takes care of the grass and the birds. How much more will He take care of you? So don't worry about your life.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Now the story of Peter walking on water is about him getting scared for his life and he begins to sink when he starts to doubt. Once again, this happened when he takes his eyes off of Jesus. In the Scripture I just referenced, Matthew 6:33 which records a crucial part of the sermon of the mount, Jesus is referencing worrying about provision and daily needs. Jesus' solution is "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” though these are two different types of worrying, the solution is the same. Keep your aim on God.
Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and saw the situation and became afraid. But if he kept his eyes aiming at the goal — Jesus, Peter would have made it to Him. In this time of fasting, lets not get distracted about the things we're giving up. Rather, lets keep our focus entirely on Jesus. Do not worry about life and the troubles of tomorrow. Trust in Jehovah Jireh, The God Who provides.
Pray and think about the things that distract you from spending time with God. It may be social media, spending too much time at work, too much time relaxing, etc. Whatever it may be, please know that God already knows and I believe He desires to help you remove those distractions because He wants what’s best for you. Limit the time you spend on what distracts you, or get rid of it completely. Keep your mind off of the things that you're giving up and steady your mind on Jesus. Make Him the One that you aim for. Follow His example in Scripture.
Go be alone, go into your prayer closet (Matthew 6:6) and pray! Listen to what our Father speaks to you. Believe and expect God to speak to you, don't doubt that He will speak. (Hebrews 11:6) Consider writing down what God says, so you won't forget. Let's be intentional with our time and intentional with our focus. May God give us strength to start well and end well.
- Pastor Michel Espinoza