Blessings Can Become Distractions

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When we look at Joseph's story, we discover that there are a couple ways blessings can become distractions. One way is when the blessing feels spiritual. In Genesis 39:2, it says, “The Lord was with Joseph.” Joseph had God with him, which is obviously a good thing. In fact, there are only six people throughout all of Scripture whom the Bible states that the Lord was with that person, and Joseph is the only person in the entire Bible about whom it says that phrase more than one time. It might have been tempting for Joseph to think that this situation in Potiphar's home must be the blessing that he had dreamed about. In fact, it is tempting for all of us for something that feels spiritual to distract you from the will of God. 

For example in 1 Samuel 4, the Israelites go fight their enemies, the Philistines, and they lose. When they come back from defeat, they think it must be because God's presence wasn't with them. So they go get the Ark of the Covenant where God's presence dwells. They believe that if they go into battle, with God's presence with them, then they'll defeat their enemy. So, they go back into battle with the Ark, and you know what happens? Philistines defeat them again, and this time the Philistines capture the Ark too. This move felt spiritual, but the Israelites weren't actually humbling themselves to God; they weren't doing the will of God even though it felt spiritual. It would be similar to if you said that you need to attend church to fix your marriage problems. That isn’t going to work, because what's going to fix your marriage problems is humbling yourself and doing hard work where you dig into some shame, pain, arrogance, and humbly serve your spouse no matter what they do on the other end. Just attending church is not going to fix your marriage, even though it feels spiritual. A blessing can distract you because it feels spiritual. 

Reflection/Discussion Question: When has a blessing felt spiritual in your life but it ended up distracting you from God's will?

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