There are a lot of distractions in life. As I study deception techniques that abusers use, I learn how complex their techniques are to keep people distracted and fooled. Satan is very good at distracting us, especially when we think that we are good at paying attention. Paul warned the Philippian church about people who deceive and steal away: “Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate flesh” (Philippians 3:2 ESV).
We need to look out for them because they are incredibly sneaky. They worm their way in and pretend to be righteous. That’s why we’re so easily fooled by them. At the same time, we are easily distracted. Our minds are not as attentive as we think they are. So Satan will use different methods for tripping us up, and we don’t even know it’s happening.
Paul’s focus is forward, looking to heaven: “. . . forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13, 14). Straining is accurate. It is not as easy as setting the cruise control. Forgetting what is behind us and focusing on heaven requires an incredible amount of focus and energy. It requires help from the Spirit of God. It’s not easy. But we absolutely have to press on. Otherwise we will fall into the trappings of the devil.