On Sunday, Rev. Lois Blakey-Paige, pastor of New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia told congregation to "Overcome the Power of Distractions By Going Into the Presence of God." She based her sermon on Psalm 100:3 that read, "Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture."
Pastor Paige said we become frantic when we are distracted, and we can become distracted very easily. Then she emphasized that the cure for our distraction is the presence of God.
The prefix "dis" in front of any root word means "not." For examples: "dis" in front of obey is disobey, "dis" in front of respect is disrespect. "Dis" in front of ability becomes "disability," and "dis" in front of grace is "disgrace." When people "dis" you, they wipe you off. When you think you are getting certain traction in your life, then someone or something can come along and "dis" you. When they happens, run to God who is the cure for distractions.
Psalm 23:5-6 are six words we should remember: "Thou anointed my head with oil." The pastor give three purpose for oil.
- Oil repels insects.
- Oil prevents conflict.
- Oil heals wounds.
Pastor Paige explained each one of the above. First all all, bugs bug people, but bugs can kill sheep. Shepherds attest to the fact that when bugs land on the sheep's head, the sheep would bang their head on a fence or tree or what hard surface they can find to get rid of the bugs. Bugs would lay eggs in the sheep's nose which caused an infestation. The bugs would irritate the sheep to the point the sheep often try to kill themselves to get relief from the bugs.
Secondly, shepherds use oil on the ram's head rams would butt heads so hard it causes pain. For this reason, shepherds used oil on the head of rams to prevent conflict.
Third, shepherds put oil on the sheep's head to heal the wounds of the sheep.
We, like sheep, have become distracted. However, running into the presence of God is where we find the oil that will cure what's bugging us, what's causing conflicts, and it will heal our wounds.
Pastor Paige contended that we are not spending enough time in the presence of God. She said we run to everyone else when we have a problem: friends, neighbors and others. She also said we are just too busy to hear from God. She gave a simple solution for going into the presence of God. She suggested we need to sit still and meditate on God. Read something from the Bible even if it is just one scripture. Listen to worship music. Make God's presence a priority. We need to become dumb like sheep and let the shepherd take care of us.
The pastor said when you don't know what to do, eliminate the bugs from your life by running into the presence of God. Trust God and practice humility.
One final question the pastor asked the congregation. As Dr. Phil would say, "How's that working for you when you are choosing everything else except God's presence?" Then she repeated what she said through the sermon: The cure for distraction is God's presence. The distractions will cease when you seek God's presence.