2 Corinthians 2:11 (ESV)
So that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev used to tell of a time when there was a wave of petty theft in the Soviet Union. To curtail this, the authorities put guards up around the factories.
At a timber-works in Leningrad, one guard knew the workers in the factory very well. The first evening, out came Pyotr Petrovich with a wheelbarrow containing a great bulky sack with a suspicious-looking object inside. "All right, Petrovich," said the guard, "What have you got there?" "Oh, just sawdust and shavings," Petrovich replied. "Come on," the guard said, "I wasn’t born yesterday. Tip it out."
The worker tipped and nothing came out but sawdust and shavings. So he was allowed to put it all back again and go home. When the same thing happened every night of the week the guard became frustrated. Finally, his curiosity overcame his frustration. "Petrovich," he said, "I know you. Tell me what you’re smuggling out of here, and I’ll let you go."
"Wheelbarrows, my friend, " said Petrovich, "wheelbarrows."
Is your attention being diverted? Think about it. Are you allowing yourself to be preoccupied with something that seems innocent, while the real, significant, substantial matter is slipping by every day, unnoticed? The strategies of Satan to divert our eyes onto “sawdust” and miss "wheelbarrows" are many. What is the "sawdust" in your life, in mine? For some of us, it might even be a fascinated preoccupation with Last Days events, which diverts us from the mandate to make disciples...for others it might be neglecting our children for the sake of "ministry". If we take the time to look, each of us really knows how we miss the "wheelbarrows" for the "sawdust". But just like that savvy guard, we ought to wise up quickly and identify the problem. Right?
Dear Lord, help us be wise to the things that are happening around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.