The Christmas Distraction
One morning last week, I read that God's name means more than a mark of identification; it stands for the character and reputation of Yahweh. That thought prompted me to set aside time thinking on His Name and worshiping using the names the prophet gave Jesus in Isaiah 9-"Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
I had only begun when several jobs suddenly seemed to call for my immediate attention, and I began doing the breakfast dishes. When I finished those and started to tackle another task, Jesus' words in John 10:10 stopped me: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy." The message was clear. Satan had come to steal my time of worship.
Satan knows that our worship and praise pleases God, and he spares no effort in getting us too busy to give Him time. Plus, true worship of God spells defeat for him. When the Israelites "began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men...and they were defeated" (2 Chron. 20:22).
Knowing that I could continue finding jobs to keep me busy all morning, I stopped and turned to Isaiah 9:6 in The Passion Translation, and thought deeply on these words:
A child has been born for us; a son has been given to us.
The responsibility of complete dominion
will rest on his shoulders, and his name will be:
The Wonderful One!
The Extraordinary Strategist!
The Mighty God!
The Father of Eternity!
The Prince of Peace!
Much later I returned to the jobs I had set aside. The rest of my day was transformed by that hour of focusing on the Child we are preparing to celebrate.
Dear Jesus, help me to always welcome Your invitation to worship knowing that if I fail to follow through on that initial desire, I may find that it dissipates, and I miss the blessing You had for me.
"Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy" (Luke 24:52).