Soul Blinders

Gwen Smith Blog, Devotions, Prayer, Scripture, Worship 90 Comments

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When I was a young girl, I rode horses with my cousin, Beth. When she was prepping her horse for shows, Beth would often add blinders to the bridle of her horse. Horse trainers believe these blinders, also called blinkers or winkers, keep the horse focused on what is in front of him, and encourage him to pay attention to the race rather than other distractions, such as crowds. Now, I’m not a horse, but at times my heart sure does wander and get distracted from what really matters. It makes me think that I could really benefit from some “soul-blinders.”

You see, I have this distraction problem. At times I look around at what others are doing, being, and accomplishing and feel ineffective, unproductive, and unnecessary. When I’m distracted it becomes harder for me to trust God. There. I said it. It’s not pretty, but it’s true.

When do I have this problem? When I look around instead of looking to God. (How bizarre! I even know the answer to my problem … and I still struggle with it!) Do you ever do that? Do you compare yourself to others and, as a result, determine that there are great deficiencies in your life? Do you ever feel like you don’t measure up to those around you? Join the club. I bet we all struggle with this at times.

The good news is that God doesn’t leave us without direction or help. He gave us His Word, the Bible, to direct our thoughts, behaviors, hearts, minds and souls – to be our soul-blinders! Scripture reminds us of this in Deuteronomy 5:32-33: So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

God inspired King Solomon to say it this way in Proverbs: Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and to insight, “You are my relative” (Proverbs 7:2-4, NIV).

Ahhh … and the light bulbs turn on!

When we look to the LORD – to His plan for us – to the one that is unique to each of us, we will prosper. And when we look to the right and to the left, we lose our focus, we worry about comparison, we become distracted and we fail to trust God and His Word. So, like Paul, let’s press on. Forward. With a gaze committed to the path ahead – not to the path that is behind us or on either side. Sister, like the apostle Paul says, … I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14, NIV).

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Today, I pray that you will join me in asking God to give us soul-blinders. Because when we turn our eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face, the things of earth — the distractions, the comparisons, and stuff that causes us to lose our focus – will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Our faith and trust in God will blind us from all these earthly concerns.

Dear God, thanks for giving us the Bible to direct us in life. I ask that You would put blinders on my heart so that I will be solely focused on living for You. I pray as the psalmist does: “I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws” (Psalm 119:104-106). Please help me to fully trust in You and follow Your ways.
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.


REFLECTION TIME: Evaluate what people or things might be distracting you from God’s best and keeping you from fully trusting in Him. Spend some time in prayer about it.

How much time have you been spending in God’s Word each day? Each week? Each month? Consider adding ten minutes to your current commitment for one week. Ask God to give you a greater clarity of His plans and direction for your life and the faith to trust in His plans.

RESPONSE TIME: Ready to commit? Make a public declaration by posting this comment below, “I’m in for the ten minute challenge!” Then add ten minutes of Bible reading to the time that you already spend with the LORD. I know it will bless you big!

 

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Comments 90

  1. I am definitely in the 10 minute challenge as I continue to seek God’s face.
    Bless you as your writing is inspiring and a blessing to many.

  2. I am 63 and have experienced many Bible Classes, yet never have I been as eager to start this next one on the Names of God as I am. Following your blog and devotions drew me to SPA,which I did this summer with my sister in another state! Now I am having quite a group coming to my house on Wednesdays, beginning post-Labor Day, from 1:00-3:00 to do this next one together. I have all my Class Peeps in love with you, Gwen, already with little forwards and your song that I have forwarded them, and I bought the CD for myself. I also purchased “Trusting God,” just in case we need to refer to it with our journey to love Jesus deeper by knowing the names of God. Some of my Peeps may even do a night study and we will combine in the evening for Christmas and Spring for the gals who work. We all live in the north metro area of Atlanta. I have MS, can’t do mornings or nights much anymore, so everyone coming to me at my best time and my home to study from YOU

    is a gift God has blessed me so graciously with. I love all that you do. I love you. God, please just keep blessing Gwen,and we will pray that each Wednesday post Labor Day. God be with you, Charlotte

  3. I so can relate to this “distraction problem” and I definitely will add at least 10 min. to my Bible reading!

  4. I’m in for the ten as well! As a recent college graduate and soon to be graduate student, my future seems a little unclear at the moment. I realize that I need God’s guidance and sometimes it is hard to focus on anything but my own plans for myself. I truly want to let go of control over my life and make a commitment to listen more to God and spend more time with him.

  5. what is 10 minutes more each morning with God? is so easy to spend this time with Him being in his presence , some times I don’t want to came back to the world.

  6. I’m in for the ten minute challenge ! This was exactly what I needed to hear tonight. Thanks for letting god use you.

  7. I woke up this morning comparing myself to others and prayed to God about it and he answered me through this devotion. Thank you so much!

    I am in to the 10 min challenge

    I am commiti g 10 m

  8. I just wanted to say that this devotion really spoke to me. I was lying in bed in the morning listening to my next door neighbours and feeling pretty sorry for myself!
    My husband and I have been trying for a baby for nearly 2 years with no success and every day I can see and hear my neighbours with their babies and it hurts so much. On one side the baby is a year old and you can hear them laughing and encouraging him, even singing to him! And on the other side they have a new baby and you can hear them cooing over him. The worst thing is that he was unplanned.
    Your devotion about blinkers was just what I needed to hear, I need to put blinkers on my ears as well as my eyes and look upwards to God instead of sideways to the houses next door and what they have. I need to focus on what God wants for me now and just trust that what he wants for me is best. Thank you so much!

  9. I’m in for 10! Gwen you are so right. I do believe MOSTt women deal with this issue in some way, shape or form. Thank you for helping to give us godly wisdom to keep our feet on the straight and narrow path. I love the “SOUL-BLINDERS”… I’m going to use them. 😉 God bless you!

  10. I’m in it…and thank you for the word today…this is just what God ordered, I have been down this past week and it seemed that everything was going downhill and I was looking at everyone else around me and not looking to Jesus…thank you, thank you, thank you and Thank God for delivering this message through you.

  11. I do pray that God would chip away my imperfection and put blinders on my heart and mind. I am wrestling with a relationship I am trying to let go of

  12. I’m in for the ten minute challenge!!! Thanks Gwen! You have been a blessing to me. May God bless you!

  13. I am in for the 10 minutes challenge.

    Today’s devotional describes my current struggle. I find myself looking everywhere else rather then at God and sitting at Jesus’ s feet. I then end up comparing myself with those around me and find myself discontent with myself, with who I am in Christ.

    Thank you for this. It is comforting to know that you are not the the only one going through certain spiritual challenges.

  14. I’m in for the ten minute extra a day challenge. Your words today are exactly what I needed to get me refocused on what God wants and not what I want

  15. Thank you for your devotion today, it really spoke to me as I have been praying to God about direction for my life!! I’m in for the 10 minute challenge

  16. I’m in for the 10 minute challenge! Thank you for this message, I have slacked on my time lately and I guess I thought that if I couldn’t do at least an hour it wouldn’t be enough. Thank you for letting me know that even 10 minutes is worth it!

  17. I’m in for the 10 minute challenge!
    Thank you Gwen for your confirmation today that some changes I am making to be a God pleaser instead of a people pleaser are right on. I pray that my blinders stay on and that with God’s grace I can keep my eyes on the prize; not on all the junk going on around me. May God richly bless you!

  18. I’m in for the 10 minute challenge! Sister’s please also pray for me as I continue to walk in God’s Word, and live out my faith by trusting Him!

  19. I am for the 10 minute challenge…I am in the middle of a divorce after a 32 year marriage. Never read the Bible but realize now how bad I need the Good Lord ! If only we had him in the middle of our lives I know we can not live in the past but my prayer is that we all put and keep him in our lives today.

  20. This couldn’t have come at a better time. Been looking around for the past 2 weeks, I allowed the devil get me discouraged. Looking up to Him and I’m in for the 10 minute challenge. Thanks Gwen

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