Why Can't I Focus on God Today? Am I Spiritually A.D.D?

By Aaron Welch, LMHC, NCC, CSOTS

This article may be less like an article than any I’ve written before. Normally, I really have a grasp of what I’m going to write before I ever write it but, today, the title of my article is an honest question. Truly, why CAN’T I focus on God today? I mean, I’ve done everything I normally would do to spend time with my Creator. I’ve read my Bible, with a focus on how the words relate to my own life right now. I prayed that God would convict me of how I can apply the messages to my own life. I barely got through 3 chapters and, normally, I can read much more, not because I feel obligated, but because I enjoy them. But today, I had to stop because I couldn’t focus. I thought that, perhaps, I needed to spend some time in the awesome workbook, “Experiencing God” and so I read and meditated on the next daily devotional time. It was great! It had some really great ideas about being a godly parent, a topic that TOTALLY is a passion for me…but I couldn’t focus on that either, nor did it help me to tune in to the Lord. So, even though I didn’t feel like it…I wrote in my prayer journal. Normally, that slows me down and REALLY gets me in touch with God. In fact, I hear Him speak to me the most while I’m writing my prayers to Him. But, today I wrote an entire page but it was forced and I found my mind wandering way more than usual.

My conclusion? I must have spiritual ADD. At least for today anyway. Now, even as I write this, I am tempted to feel ashamed of myself. I’m sensing the shame that lies dormant in my heart straining to rise to the surface to convict me of my godlessness. What kind of Christian am I if I cannot stop thinking about everything in life rather than God??? What’s wrong with me? Is God not with me? Have I sinned and created a distance between HIM and me? My temptation is to panic and to wonder if I’ve put a barrier in my walk with Him.

And then I stop…
The truth is that I’ve felt a stubborn, but subtle, spiritual opposition against me for over a week now. Today simply feels like an extension of the same. I believe the Enemy is working against me for some reason and seems to be more adamant about it than usual. Why would that be? Aren’t I the same guy I was three weeks ago?

The “shame” in me wants to answer, “no, you’re not the same. Once again, you are simply showing how inconsistent you are in your relationship to God. Don’t you think He’s tired of this roller-coaster ride? You need to back off and give God a break. He must be furious with you!” But (to borrow from Casting Crowns) the “voice of truth tells me a different story”. That voice whispers to me that He is still right here, next to me even as I struggle with my concentration and focus on Him. He whispers to me that there is NO condemnation coming from Him and that it’s only the Enemy trying to find a foothold. He reminds me that He is doing many things in my life and has plans to do more for HIS kingdom and that the Enemy really doesn’t want that to happen. He reminds me that I am HIS and that His grace is MORE than enough even in these moments where I feel spiritually weak or distracted. He also tells me not to distance from Him but to hang on and that He and I will get through this together. He wants me to fight the feelings of shame and lean on the truth of His grace. He wants me to be FREE of Satan’s onslaught.

So, I write this article. Partially because it is helping me to focus on the messages He is giving to me. But, partially because these themes are not just for me…they are for YOU as well. You, the reader. I imagine that most of you have felt spiritually ADD at times and have beat yourself up over it. I’ll bet that many of you have felt so drawn away by the worries of life that you just weren’t able to settle down and focus completely on the Lord.

Yeah….this message is for you. Here it comes:

There it is…..even when you don’t FEEL Him, He’s there. Even when Satan works hard to distract you and lead you down a path of escape or negative self-talk, God is right there. Even when you do screw up and sin against God….he is there…….and He wants you to come running immediately. Don’t take the bait of shame and stay clear of God, believing He is upset at you. Don’t hide from Him when things get tough spiritually…run TOWARDS Him. That’s what Satan tries to prevent and it’s what God desperately wants from us.

So….when you have days like this and start to beat yourself up: STOP IT!!! Realize that these messages are not from the Lord and are merely designed to draw you further away from Him. In these moments just keep on going, keep on looking to Him, and know that maybe, just maybe, something AWESOME is just around the corner.
Keep the faith, my friends.

Aaron Welch is a licensed mental health counselor, nationally certified counselor and certified sex offender treatment specialist. He strives to fight for the hearts of his clients and empower them to build a legacy that impacts the world. He is part of a team of experts at “The Llifeworks Group, Inc”. For more information about Aaron or Lifeworks, please visit www.lifeworksgroup.org or www.legacycounselingservices.org

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