Summary: It can be hard to stay focused on our spiritual disciplines. When we have purpose behind what we are doing, it will help us to focus on what is important. (This was built on the Next Steps series available on Sermon Central for purchase)
• SLIDE #1
• A.D.D. Attention Deficit Disorder. It is defined as, “a condition, usually in children, marked by inattentiveness, dreaminess, and passivity.”
• The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as, “a condition in which someone (such as a child) has problems with learning and behavior because of being unable to think about or pay attention to things for very long.”
• I think we can all relate to struggling with maintaining focus.
• Sometimes our prayer time does not go quit like we envisioned it.
• Dear God, Thank you for this day. (This gets you thinking…) Oh man I have a lot going on today. I’ve got that appointment and I need to do a load of wash and … Oh man, I’m supposed to be praying.
• Focus. Focus. Focus. Okay, God, sorry about that. I’d just want to say how grateful I am for all the blessings you sent my way yesterday. (This gets you thinking…)
• Although I’m still pretty ticked John got the promotion over me since I am waaaay more qualified and everybody knows John takes two-hour lunches and…ahhh.
• Come on, man, get it together, you’re talking to God.
• Okay, I just want to pray for my missionary friends in Papua New Guinea (which gets you thinking…) ahhh man, I could really go for a Papa John’s pizza right now. Ummm, pizza.
• Oh man, look what time it is. Okay, God … good talk.
• Ahhh, I should have prayed longer.
• Don’t get me started when it comes to reading the Bible sometimes. Wait, what did I just read? What the heck does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
• Last week, we said that God desires us to grow in spiritual maturity. He loves you, but He doesn’t want you to stay where you are. God wants you to grow, much like the way we desire our children and grandchildren to grow.
• When you start looking at the lives of some Godly people in the Bible, you will notice that two spiritual disciplines seem to be predominate in their lives. Prayer and, spending time in the Word.
• Abraham, Daniel, Jacob, Joseph, Peter, and of course Jesus. Spending time with God was a joy for these people, it was not an exhausting burden, but rather an exhilarating joy.
• There comes a time when we have to discipline our time so that we can spend time with God. When Jesus was facing His darkest hour, that is what He did in Luke 22:42-44 when He prayer in the garden.
• As we seek to overcome Spiritual A.D.D., let us begin by looking at Joshua 1:8
• SLIDE #2
• Joshua 1:8 (HCSB) — This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.
• SLIDE #3
Overcoming spiritual A.D.D. will….
I. Allow God to speak to you through His Word.
• Joshua lays out the case for the importance of spending time in the Word.
• We are told that if we focus on the Word of God as well seeking to apply it in our lives, we will prosper and succeed in what we do.
• There are so many passages that affirm this thought.
• SLIDE #4
• Psalm 119:105 (HCSB) Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.
• Proverbs 3:5-6, and there are many more.
• In Joshua 1, God is communicating with Joshua, letting him know that the key to his success will be following God’s Word.
• The phrase FROM YOUR MOUTH refers to the custom of muttering while studying or reflecting.
• The Hebrew word translated “meditate” literally means “mutter.” When one continually mutters God’s Word to himself, he is constantly thinking about it
• The phrase implies eager, focused study that is free from distraction.
• It gives the picture of the reading being so into the text they are hunched over the word with their eyes riveted on each syllable in order not to miss any detail!
• This is so different that just reading the words, it is allowing the words to penetrate your heart!
• Notice that God does not stop with study, but He moves to the difficult area of application.
• He tells Joshua to CAREFULLY OBSERVE EVERYTHING WRITTEN IN IT. This means to live it, not just know it!
• Now, that is all well and good, I try to read the Bible, but I have a hard time keeping my focus. What can I do you may ask?
• This is where the SOAP comes into play. If you want to overcome spiritual A.D.D. when it comes to reading the Word, you will need three things. A writing instrument, and a notepad. Or if you are tech savvy, some sort of Apple Computer, an IPad, or and IPhone.