When an inspiration becomes a distraction…
Here’s the thing, we can all be on fire during services and come out of the church with burning desire to win souls and make disciples but at the same time, not know that half of the young people in the church is guilty of a certain heart matter: shadowing someone as an “inspiration” when in fact, denials aside, this person is no longer an inspiration but a distraction – a limitation waiting to arise.
You may argue, “Ate, hindi naman talaga siya distraction eh, naiisip ko lang siya minsan.” (Sige nga, gaano kadalas ang minsan? Every time may nakikita kang mag-jowa? Every time you see a “taggable” meme or post na siya ang naiisip mong i-tag or i-mention? Hmmm.) You see, that’s where the conflict begins, in our initial response when confronted about this person’s bearing in our life. This statement masks the real state of your heart, disallowing you to deal with the real deal. When you continue to justify yourself with this argument, you surrender to your own emotions. Clearly, that’s not the way God purposed you to be – a slave of your emotions. He declared your destiny to be as someone holy, pleasing to him, and chosen to do greater things. He already determined that for you!
I’m not saying that emotions are demonic, no. Everything comes from God and not a single thing belongs to Satan. But Satan distorts these emotions because he knows that it only takes a man or a woman to knock you off in the ministry. If your emotions are not surrendered to God, it becomes Satan’s training ground for battle. As a Christian, you know that you were not born in a playground, but in a battleground; that’s why you can’t allow yourself to be conquered by impure thoughts. The battle is not against flesh and blood. The battle is against the dark rulers of this world. If Satan can’t get you to do nasty and worldly things, he’ll definitely use your emotions to cause you to fall and lose your anointing. Happened to me once. And I’m telling you, there’s nothing more hurtful than feeling that the anointing within you is decreasing. Mind you, the devil’s plan is not just to decrease your anointing but to lose it completely. Where there is no anointing, there is no protection, no favor and complete lukewarmness.
You’ve been serving in His Kingdom. You’ve experienced revival, witnessed breakthroughs and heard God’s call to you. I am sure that you don’t want to go back to your past anymore. As we sing, “Don’t wanna go back Lord to the way I used to be. I won’t go back Lord, to the way I used to be before You rescued me.” You know how hard it’s like to live outside God’s protection, where you are susceptible to sin. You also know what it’s like to live without His favors, where you become burnt out begging for crumbs of blessings when in fact, you can have the abundance of everything in His presence. Lastly, you also know the feeling of living in lukewarmness, where you’d see God spitting you out of His mouth; you’re alive but not free, breathing but not living, aging but not growing, no joy of your salvation, stagnant, static.
Even in our emotions, we should glorify God. Our emotions are His. We are His. Everything we are is His. Everything we have is His. Our whole-being, should be a living sacrifice to Him, holy and pleasing. Are your emotions surrendered to Him? Is your heart surrendered to Him?
We are easily deceived by the devil when we deny the problem in our heart. You may have already heard a lot of preachings about guarding your heart, feel saturated of sermons about lovelife, you may think you’ve already known much and enough. But the thing is, no matter how much you know, it’s the act which honors God. If that person is really just an inspiration and not a distraction, why do you hear your heart sing “How can something so wrong be so right all along?”
So, how do you know when an inspiration already becomes a distraction?
- When you’ve taken more time thinking about him/her than praying
Yup. I came to a point in my life where I’m still awake until 3 AM, just daydreaming, literally. Doing nothing but thinking about the concept of “us,” what the future would be like if it were “us,” to the point of thinking, “Paano ko siya sasagutin ‘pag nanligaw na siya sakin?” Wow, di ba. I still remember, I was really up for an all-nighter during that time because I was reviewing for a major exam. And then, his name just came flashing in my mind and then…boom! Na-lost track na sa acads ang lola niyo. And then it hit me, “Charity, mali na ‘to. Iba na ‘to. Nadi-distract ka na. Feelings abort na!” I was very conscious of myself that time because I am a youth leader discipling young people about lovelife, and a preacher preaching to the youth about honoring God through emotions; and I felt convicted. (Side note: that’s how you know if you’re being convicted and not condemned of your mistake, when you are able to thank God for showing you what you’ve done wrong rather than just feeling guilty about it.) I thought, “Inabot na ko ng 2 oras na pagtunganga thinking about him, ni hindi man lang nga ako naka 15 minutes sa devo ko kanina.” What I did after that episode? I prayed. I asked God for forgiveness and asked Him also to bring back my concentration in studying (Yes, you can ask God for anything! Even for concentration in acads! Haha!)
- When you’re being conscious of what you post on social media, and what he/she may think about it
Again, yup. I came to a point in my life again where I became unusually conscious of my social media appearance. “Il-like niya kaya ‘to? Pupusuan nya kaya? Dagdag cute points kaya ito?” (Side note: Reminiscing this, kinikilabutan ako! Yikes, kadiri! Haha!) Hey you, don’t act as if you’re the holiest and purest youth out there, and not having thought of these things as well! Haha! Just kidding! But seriously though, one indicator that you’re being so much in to a person is when you become oddly mindful and when you exert extra effort in posting something on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms. You have to admit to yourself, you have somehow shifted to the room of pleasing that person, putting on efforts to be attractive and hopefully, be considered by that person. When that shift already occurs, my dear, it is a red light! You are no longer just simply crushing on a person, you are already mechanizing your means, making your own ways, and eventually, compromising. The thing about waiting is, it should be legit waiting, no flirting. When you are already in the waiting season, you just wait on God actively, not passively. You need to let go of doing the simplest of things that would make someone consider you. Why? Simply because it’s never your call, it’s always God’s call – when, where, how. Hindi kailangan ng Lord ng tulong mo sa pagbuo ng best lovestory for you, kaya ‘wag kang sumawsaw sa pagsusulat Niya. Wait ka lang dyan. It’s always about His perfect timing, His perfect orchestration of everything, never yours.
- When you always have to justify it
Heard this once from Ps. Jez Manugue: “You know it’s wrong when you always have to justify it. When you always have to defend it.” No other explanations needed. You know someone’s already a distraction when you always have to justify him/her before yourself (kino-convince mo pa talaga ang sarili mo na hindi siya distraction, kahit nagkakandaluko-luko na ang acads/work at ministry performance mo, kahit nakakain na niya nang sobra ang oras mo), before your leader (hiyang hiya ka or di mo magawang mag-confess sa leader mo kasi alam mong mali at alam mong papagalitan ka. Kaya hanggang ngayon, di mo pa sinasabi sa kanya, kaya sobra kang nags-struggle ngayon at relate na relate ka sa binabasa mo ngayon), and before God (ayan sige. God has already been giving you a word to detach and surrender your emotions through preachings, people around you, and circumstances pero bumibira ka pa rin ng “Lord, at least nga hindi ako nagba-backslide eh. At least nga, inspired ako.”) Hayyy. Balakajan. Joke! But seriously though, if you will keep on ignoring God’s word to you, if you will keep on convincing God that you are just inspired and not distracted, you are preparing yourself for a hard fall and destruction.
How do you remove a sweet distraction in your life? LET GO. Sorry dear, there are no other words or ways to say it but just…that, let go. If you’re this person who’s been struggling with this kind of situation, this article is not just a sign from God, this is a word from Him. He wants you to be free from unnecessary pain, from unnecessary destruction. If you’re not yet in the season of entering in a relationship, let go. (Side note: Be wise and consultative to God about your season. Not because you’ve already finished college and is already working, doesn’t mean that you are already in the season of committing in a relationship. You may be heading there, but not necessarily “in there” already. Seasons are not based on your age, but on your maturity and spiritual walk with God. Well, that’s another topic! Haha.)
Free yourself. Minimize contact with that person. But if you’re already in the season of courtship, focus first on working in the vineyard. God does not want you to be distracted form the great work that you’ve been doing. Do not come down. Let go. Free yourself. Keep focused on the harvest until God says “Oh, andami nang harvest! Kailangan na niya ng katulong!” The right person will never contradict the right time. Commit to God legit singleness until He has prepared you for that season. Don’t fool yourself. Commit to legit waiting, legit purity, and legit service to God. And when the time comes that He reveals to you your long-time-answered-prayer, more than hearing yourself say “Lord, I’m so glad I waited, so glad I obeyed,” you’ll hear God say “Anak, I’m SO glad you waited, SO glad you obeyed” – and I think that’s beautiful.
You are God’s beautiful masterpiece. And you are a work in progress – so don’t be so hard on yourself if you’re guilty on this matter. If you’ve been struggling in this emotional aspect, know that God is at work in your character. He is preparing you for the best version of you, for the best person for you. Trust the process and the season where God has put you today.