How many of us find our minds wondering when we read the Bible, or listen to a sermon, or forget where we put our keys? All of these are symptomatic from being distracted. So what do we do?
First we have to find out what is causing us to be distracted. The enemy is a great distractor. He wants to pull you away to doing just about anything but having your mind on God. He doesn't even care that you read your Bible as long as you don't remember what you read! And He does it by getting you to think on other things. Now there are other distractions such as phone calls, babies crying, etc. but I'm not talking about those things right now. I'm talking about our thoughts. And friends, God has given us the ability to take those thoughts captive under the obedience of Christ. We know 2 Corinthians 10:5, we TRY to live it… but you will have problems if you don't deal with the real issue behind the distractions. And this is what I have found:
Philippians 4:6 says to "be careful for nothing…" this is found in the KVJ. Other versions say "anxious" but that is distorting the meaning. Because anxiety is the manifestation of being full of care! So we are NOT to be full of care. Luke 10:41 is the story of Mary and Martha. "And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things." Herein lies the key. Being careful and troubled go together! We cannot keep our mind focused on God with a pure undivided attention when we are "troubled" by many things. Not only that, if our attention is divided, we are being double minded which opens up a lot more things we don't want (James 1:8).
But the reason we are troubled is that we may have not taken all those things to the Lord and dealt with them at the foot of the cross. No matter what that thing is, if we don't trust God with it completely it WILL trouble us, we will be full of care about it, and will cause us to be distracted.
Personal Testimony: I was praying one night, but my mind kept going someplace else. Over and over, I couldn't focus. So then I stopped and asked myself, "What am I being distracted with?" And as I looked at it, it was a project I didn't complete. My mind kept going to it trying to complete the project in my mind. It was a harmless thing, but a distraction none the less. So I got up and went to my office and wrote down a few notes of what was rolling around in my head, and then went back to my prayer time, and was able to focus. I had to "dump" what was in my thinking! And trust God that I would not forget what I wanted to say and do, and believe Him. I had to let that thought and project go for the moment. I got my peace back, my mind wasn't "full of care" and enjoyed God even more. As with Mary, she chose that good part… so I left the other part behind, and chose the good part. As a matter of fact, Martha's mind was so full she couldn't enjoy Jesus! So what are we full of?? The distractions don't have to be a large thing, just something to pull us away. It's those little foxes that can spoil the vine. A little leaven leavens the whole lump… well, you get the picture.
So what I have done is each time I would get distracted, focus on what that distraction in my thinking is and repent where I need to repent, confess to God where I had doubt and unbelief toward Him and His ability to take care of the situations on my mind, get up and write a note to myself, or whatever it is God will show you, and I find after taking care of this, that I'm able to concentrate and focus on Him at that moment needed. I say at that moment, because you will have to go through each time you get distracted until eventually we won't have problems any longer losing concentration, we will stay in the moment, and we will be at peace.
This is what we all want anyway, is Peace. "Thou will keep him (us) in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him… because he trusts in Him (God) (Isaiah 26:3)." Again, it's all about trusting God with all your care, situations, worries and fears. For He delivers you out of them all (Psalm 34:17 and 19), ONLY when we take them to Him and trust Him with them, then we are able to enjoy Him without distraction, and undivided attention.
My husband and I exercise this with each other. When I enter the room where he is watching TV he turns it off, no matter what it is, so that I have his undivided attention! Wow… isn't that amazing? But the funny thing is in our situation, is that it's not him that gets distracted with the TV, it's me. Because when I enter the room, my eyes go straight toward the TV… so he turns it off to get MY full undivided attention! LOL