Eight Deadly Distractions

Eight Deadly Distractions

Moses was denied entry into the Promised Land 

 God’s decision to deny Moses an entry into the Promised Land was a significant decision (Numbers 20:12-13) because God reminds Moses of this decision multiple times (Numbers 20:24; Numbers 27:14; Deuteronomy 32:51, 52). Further it is noted in Psalm 106:32, where it says, “By the waters of Meribah they [the Nation of Israel] angered the Lord, and trouble came to Moses because of them...” 

After God’s decision (or God’s will) was made known to Moses that he was being denied entry into the Promised Land because of what happened at Meribah, Moses asked God to grant him the privilege of going into the Promised Land on the other side of the River Jordan. This is how Moses described to his people his personal request to God: 

 At that time I pleaded with the Lord: “Sovereign Lord, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do? “Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan—that fine hill country and Lebanon.” 

But because of you [the Nation of Israel] the Lord was angry with me and would not listen to me. “That is enough,” the Lord said. “Do not speak to me anymore about this matter.  Go up to the top of Pisgah and look west and north and south and east. Look at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross this Jordan.  But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see” (Deuteronomy 3:23-28). 

This is the record of Moses’ appeal to God for a chance to go into the Promised Land. Moses, upon knowing God’s decision to keep him out of the Promised Land, could have reacted or responded negatively, just as many of us do.  

However, it is evident from the recorded history in Exodus through Deuteronomy, Moses accepted God’s will as a matter of fact, and, with an unwavering positive intent, he devoted himself totally to the difficult task of leading the Nation of Israel to the edge of the Promised Land. He did not allow God’s decision to distract him from his main calling.

Moses accepted God’s will as a matter of fact. What about you?

Moses avoids Eight Deadly Distractions 

The evidence in the Bible points to Moses gracefully accepting God’s decision (or call it God’s will). Therefore, we do not see the following eight distractions in Moses’ life: 

  1. There is no record of Moses being disheartened or discouraged by God’s decision. 
  2. There is no record of Moses being saddened by it. 
  3. There is no record of Moses worrying about it. 
  4. There is no record of Moses claiming he was denied what he deserved
  5. There is no record of Moses claiming he earned the right to enter the Promised Land. 
  6. There is no record of Moses considering God’s decision as unfair
  7. There is no record of Moses complaining about God to others.  
  8. There is no record of Moses paying attention to people’s opinion on this matter. 

A leader focused on his/her main cause/calling must learn to recognize similar distractions in his/her life and bury them as soon as possible. If not, the above list of uncontrolled distractions can disable and diminish a leader. Consequently, a leader may fail to accomplish his/her ultimate calling. 

Even if you are not a leader, these eight distractions can also diminish and disable your ability to live a God-intended fulfilled life. 

As a Christian leader focused on your calling, do you promptly attempt to bury these Eight Deadly Distractions when they pop up in your life? 

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Paul Swamidass

Paul Swamidass, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus, Harbert College of Business, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA. INTEREST: Leadership training for leaders of Christian organizations. He has published some articles on Christian leadership and contributed to some Christian-leadership training in India in partnership with The Kerusso Institute for Global Leaders

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