Sandy Warner ~ ~ swauthor777@usa.net ~ ~ www.thequickenedword.com


OUR FOCUS

Recognizing the Stumbling Block of Distraction

7/24/02

Hi Loved Ones,

The Lord has revealed to me a climaxing enemy plan called "distraction." These last few months have been almost like watching a drama as one attempt after another has been coming against the body. As soon as one distraction is overcome, another fills its place. The Lord has given me a very clear warning that these distractions are now climaxing to being a stumbling block. Their purpose is to wear out the saints so they will quit doing the will of the Lord.

Consider the following scripture with my little paraphrases added in parenthesis:

Matt 6: 22-24a NKJV

The lamp of the body is the eye (or our focus). If therefore your eye (focus) is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye (focus) is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.

The following are the some of the schemes I have witnessed. I share them to help fine-tune our alignments. These distractions have existed for a long time and are now climaxing. We need to understand their source and keep our focus.

WORSHIP

The Lord inhabits our praise. That means that whenever we praise Him, He dwells in our midst. Our worship is simply expressing and pouring out our love for Him through whatever means He gives us.

At church people usually worship Him through music. The enemy attempts to derail our focus through the sound equipment, by way of hot mikes and screaming amplifiers, disharmony, and broken strings When our focus is on musicians and their equipment rather than pouring our love out to the Lord, then the enemy has succeeded in stealing our ability to enter into the Lordís Presence.

"But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel." (Psalm 22:3 KJV)

PEOPLE

Song 2:14 NKJV

O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.

Our eyes have the ability to focus on one thing at a time. I remember hearing a sermon years ago about the dove. Other birds have binary vision which means they can see out of the peripheral part of their eyes. But doves only see straight ahead and they (like us) must turn their heads to focus.

When we turn our heads and become focused upon the sins and compromises of people and/or leadership, it sends us on a downward spiral of becoming negative, critical, judgmental, unforgiving, angry, resentful and finally bitter.

When we keep our eyes straight ahead, towards the Lord, we see His loving ways.

SUPER STARS

Another stumbling block the enemy uses to derail our attention is to get us to focus on the anointing upon men rather than the Lord. That is one reason He is raising up team ministries instead of superstars. It is so easy to exalt the gifts He gives men and place them upon pedestals. This becomes idolatry as our focus subtly changes from the Lord to mere men.

I remember hearing about a prophet who was sent to a meeting but when it came his time to speak, he sat in his chair unable to say a word. The Lord sealed his lips because the people had come to see the prophet, instead of looking to the Lord as their Source. We need to forsake our focus upon men and their gifts, and look to the Lord as our provider.

Jer 9:24 NKJV

But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the LORD.

DISCERNING DEMONS

The gift of discernment becomes a stumbling block to those who have the gift, but do not recognize the gift or do not know what to do with what they recognize. Often people find themselves wrestling in their hearts with the behavior and personalities of people. They lack the understanding that they are actually wrestling with demons who are manifesting as personalities. We become weary after months and years of working with a person, giving them feedback, counsel, correction when we see no change, and the same continuous cycles.

As we begin to recognize that this is actually a battle with a demonic personality, and not the person, then we are able to respond appropriately. We can respond in prayer, taking authority and deliverance if the Lord says it is time. Teaching the person how to keep the demons from re-entry is important. I do believe there is coming a day when the cup of the body of Christ will become so full of wrestling with demonic personalities, that they will no longer tolerate them. Open rebukes with holy boldness will sometimes occur out of necessity.

Matt 16:23 NKJV

But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."

I often wondered why the Lord told satan to get behind him. Then it occurred to me He was telling the enemy he was a distraction to Him and the Lord was turning His back on him. Recently I became so distracted during worship that I finally found myself going to the back of the church and facing the wall to worship. When we turn our backs upon the distractions we are not able to see them. It is as simple as that!

WARFARE

I remember years ago reading Smith Wigglesworth testimony when he saw satan appear at the foot of his bed. Smith said, "Oh itís only you," and he turned over and went back to sleep. That astonished me. I had seen and been exposed to many terrifying principalities and the concept of being in such a deep rest in the Lord was absolutely astounding to me.

After years and years of warfare, the Lord finally brought me off the front lines and into a wonderful season of rest. I learned a lot on the front lines and I have learned even more in my rest. One of those lessons is that warfare is a strong distraction.

At first, my warfare came as a result of my passionate daily pursuit of the Lord. I was like a fish swimming upstream. Hindrances came to distract, delay and waylay me from my purpose of hearing the Lord. Later, I entered into war as a choice of my will and it became my position for a lengthy season in the body of Christ. During that time, the Lord supernaturally upheld me, while I learned a lot about focus.

If the enemy has his way, war becomes a career. We must learn when to fight and when not to. The enemy LOVES war. War is what the enemy does best which distracts us from our intimacy with the Lord. The Lord had given me a dream prior to this. I was walking in a clear protected bubble and had the choice of walking back and forth, on and off the battlefield inside my bubble. I was either on the front lines or attending the wounded off the field. For years, I could not understand the truth in the dream - that warfare is a choice - until I actually removed myself.

As I was coming off the front lines, I experienced a demonic backlash after ministering in a deliverance session. Instead of fighting back, I submitted myself to the Lord and gave it all to Him as my Defender. Later, I heard the enemy bemoan, "Why wonít she fight us?"

This does not mean that we put our heads in a foxhole and pretend the enemy does not exist. But there are times, places and seasons for everything. The attempt to steal my peace and authority was not something I needed to give my attention.

(Side bar: For those operating in deliverance, I do not mean to suggest that deliverance ministry is a distraction from the Lord. Actually when someone is called to deliverance ministry, they will be so filled with the Presence of the Lord, and love His anointing so much, that they will go ANYWHERE the Lord is leading, just to be in His Presence and do what they see the Lord doing. I have known the Presence of the Lord at such times, and it becomes a true delight when partnering with the Holy Spirit and seeking what He has to say on behalf of the needy person. Instead of focusing on the demons, we focus on the Lord and what He has to reveal and we enjoy His Presence while doing so.)

NAVEL GAZING

When we focus upon ourselves and our feelings or troubles, this also keeps us from the Lord.

2 Cor 4:7-10 NKJV

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed -- always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

Vision of His Chariot

{From Annies Visions, book 3, page 55}

"Today I was terribly nervous because I was scheduled to take the whole evening chapel service and I was greatly afraid. In prayer I was given to intercede for the people in strong cryings. After a while He took me away unto Himself and showed me how He sent forth a special force - as it were a chariot - to bring man unto Himself. This force He used to bring all of His own ever near and closer to Himself. This chariot was not made of fire but of special forces which were tribulations, trials, pains and sufferings.

The Lord, Himself, was occupied with the placing or withdrawing of these forces and His purpose was to bring His own unto Himself in order that He might reveal Himself and allow His Word concerning Himself and His being to shine forth to them. These forces came into operation by His Word alone. He did not allow any others, not even the people themselves, this responsibility. He alone ordained and sent forth these forces which like homing chariots would ever draw and bring His own ones ever nearer unto Himself.

Nor would He permit anyone else to withdraw these forces until they had done their good work. Before His set time, no one was allowed to touch them, for they must accomplish that for which they were sent forth and must not cease until the chariot returned to His very door. Whether it be pain or sufferings, problems or dark clouds, trials, or persecutions or any other force of tribulation, all were sent forth from Him. And He was quite ready and willing to send forth even more, and one after another, in order to be certain that His people should reach Him.

As they reached Him, they must then be separated from that force and trial. They must no longer abide in His chariot but alight from it and come into His house, as it were. Although He had no pleasure in sending forth these forces, He took great pleasure in bringing His own ones unto Himself.

Nevertheless, He did not desire them to stop in the way and begin to behold the chariot. THEY MUST NOT LOOK AT THE PRESSURES HE WAS USING, FOR TO DO SO RESULTED IN A DELAYING OF THE JOURNEY. These forces would do their work effectively and certainly, but His people must keep on traveling forward, ever keeping their eyes upon Him and upon their destination and not on the forces He was using.

The Lord concerned Himself with the withdrawing of these forces at the right moment when the chariot of the forces of tribulation would be dismissed having fulfilled its task and having brought His own to the place He desired."

{end of Annieís Vision}

SUMMARY

So, after having read the examples above, consider once again the following scripture. Realize that we either focus upon distractions and thus serve the enemy or turn our backs from such to focus upon the Lord and thus serve Him.

Matt 6:22-24a NKJV

The lamp of the body is the eye (or our focus). If therefore your eye (focus) is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye (focus) is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.

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For those who would like to know more about discernment and deliverance, there are files at my website, or my books called, "Discernment, Separating the Holy & the Profane" and "Ministering Deliverance." Annieís Visions books 1-4 are also available at the website: www.thequickenedword.com

 

 

 

 


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Words from the The Quickened Word are excerpts from the journals of Sandy Warner.  To better understand how God speaks, read Sandyís book, ď101+ Ways God Speaks, And How to Hear Him.Ē  Website:
www.thequickenedword.com    Email:  swauthor777@usa.net  
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