This was a very difficult Sunday worship service for me this morning. Why? I don't know. It was just so hard to keep my mind where it belonged, on the Pastor's words. The sermon text was John 14:15-21, and it begins with the familiar words " If you love me, keep my commandments." Now, we have a very good Pastor, a good speaker, a wonderful kind man, and usually I sit eagerly awaiting his learned words. But this morning, Satan was working overtime, at least on me. It seemed that every word that Pastor said was echoed by Satan, and turned around, and twisted, and contorted. And that nasty old devil took my mind down paths that had nothing to do with the sermon. I found myself thinking of all the things I needed to remember to pack for our month long campground hosting adventure. I thought about a child of mine who was being mysterious and the unknowns were worrying me. I thought about daughter and son-in-law's return trip from Alabama, and prayed for their safe return. Each time Satan introduced one of these thoughts to my mind, I would physically shake my head and attempt to return to the Pastor's words. I would succeed for a moment or two, and then there he was again, leading me astray.
And once I was off the track, it was easy to be distracted by the beautiful baby, my grand nephew, snuggling in his grandmother's (my sister's) arms at the other end of my pew; and by the cute young teen girl with the fashionable white and brown dress a few rows in front of me; or by the mischievous little boy right in front of me who was delighting in putting his toy car down his brother's shirt.
As I left the sanctuary and headed to the Bible study, I silently cursed Satan for robbing me of the Word. The Word that I wanted to hear. The Word that is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. The Words of eternal life.
And I am still bothered by Satan's total insistence this morning that I turn from the Word and follow him. And I am disgusted that he was able to make my mind wander so easily. I need to work extra hard this week to keep him at bay. Get thee behind me Satan!