#Article (Archive)

Saa-ran (off track)

Mar 21, 2012, 1:11 PM | Article By: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye

Most accidents are caused when the driver, exhausted and completely worn out with fatigue, falls asleep on the wheel and the vehicle veers off the road. Whenever a vehicle runs aground on the tarred-road’s soft shoulders, it means the driver had lost control. Going off the road in this manner is known in the wollof language as ‘saa-ran’ - which is the title of this article.

Whenever we swerve from the right path, it is a sign that something somewhere has captured our attention. We run the risk of being swayed by something which becomes a major force to contend with in our walk with God. If it gets the upper hand, it is bound to divert our attention.

Distractions in life are rife – they come in all forms and sizes. And Satan will stop at nothing to distract and divert us from our main purpose in life. He will not let us off the hook and would gladly keep us off track as long we trade in purpose for pleasure. 

If we are to consider our daily lives as activities down a road, we would observe that such roads are strewn with multiple distractions meant to divert our attention from the main track.

The devil strives continually to throw us off course when he succeeds in getting our attention. Because he disguises as an angel of light, (2 Corinthians 11:14) we easily fall prey and fail to see our way clear. Satan’s bait is so attractive that we can swallow it hook, line and sinker, without suspecting it is deadly.

Entertainment is one of Satan’s major weapons with which he lures believers. It is sugar-coated, but dangerous. Video films, secular music, night-clubs and house parties no longer look offensive; in fact, they have become the norm, the standard for enjoyment. We have become so wrapped up in it, that it blends with our weekly programme. In other words, we identify easily with these things.

We must begin to look closely at what takes a lot of our time, what we seem to bask in that looks so innocent at the start. Very soon we get hooked (addicted) and before we know it we become enslaved by it. It is not so much the obstacles that Satan puts on our path than stuff we ourselves take pleasure in that becomes the distraction.

Once, our Lord Jesus asked a man to follow Him. The man declined the offer in order to go and bury his father (Luke 9:59). Another said he wanted time to go and say goodbye to his family. (verse 61) Neither, it is clear, was ready for the task. Their responses to Jesus’ invitation were worldly; they would rather attend to things that were not of paramount importance, than follow the King of kings and the Lord of lords - putting the kingdom of God last. (Matthew 6:33)

Our commitment must be total. We ought to be purpose-driven to make some headway. Hannah, the wife of Elkanah and the mate to Peninnah, was grieved because she was childless; to make matters worst her mate often ridiculed her. She prayed asking God to redress such an unhappy situation.

On one occasion, she prayed with such fervour that the chief priest, Eli, thought she was drunk. But she pleaded with him in these terms: “Not so, my lord. I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer, I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:15) Once a year she and her husband make the trip to Jerusalem to seek God’s intervention. Gifts and the comforting words from her husband could not appease her at all. Her strength was that she remained focused.

Our Lord Jesus Himself as a lad during a visit to Jerusalem could not be traced by His parents. They finally found Him in the company of teachers after a three-day search “…listening to them and asking questions.” (Luke 2:46) His reaction: “Why are you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house.” (verse 49) Yes, He had to do His Father’s will and that was a priority for Him.

It is important that we stay focused, needless to say, all the time. Distractions are like interferences when you tuning your radio. You never hear the station clearly and the reception is awful. In your frustration, you give up. That is what the devil is seeking to accomplish in our lives. And as long as he is winning, we are losing what God has in store for us.

As long as King Uzziah lived, Isaiah was living life through a smoke screen, living a fantasy. Under these conditions, he could never have made it as a prophet. Why? His horizon was clouded. The potentials God had put in him could not just emerge. In the king’s entourage, the distractions were just too many; it was the good life, aloof of God, the Almighty. The palace entourage absorbed all his attention and sucked up all his energy. He had no time for matters of the soul.

Then king Uzziah died and he admitted: “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted and the train of His robe filled the temple.” (Isaiah 1:1) His eyes were opened and the curtain raised to the reality of God. What he beheld was amazing!

The sight revealed his inadequacies as he exclaimed: “Woe is me! For I am a man of unclean lips…” (verse 5) After a cleansing process took place, he became apt to undertake God’s mission.

Dear reader, what distraction is blocking your view to your potential in fulfilling God’s purpose for your life? What distraction has so gripped you that you cannot free yourself from its hold? God has a purpose for your life and you must be determined to fulfil it, shoving off any obstruction the devil would attempt to put in your way. Remember however that “It is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6) that it would come about.

First, the strongholds in you would have to die.