by Tammy Phillips
May 6, 2020
“And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. –1 Corinthians 7:35,
The Holy Spirit dropped the words pay attention in my spirit. I went to the Word to see what God had to say. I found this nugget from Paul. In 1 Corinthians 7, he talks about marriage and singleness. He says, he does not have a command from the Lord, but an opinion that it is better to stay single. However, if you are married, stay married. He further states that marriage brings cares for the spouse and cares of the world. Singleness allows focus on the Lord. In 1 Corinthians 7:35, he adds: “And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. The New King James version clarifies what Paul is telling us: “And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.
Paul encourages us to attend upon to the Lord without distraction. The Greek for attend upon is used only one time in all the Bible. It is the word, euprosedros. It means sitting constantly by, constantly devoted to the Lord; to attend assiduously, showing great care and concern; not to quit one’s side. The word distraction is a translation of the Greek word perispao meaning to drag all around, to draw away, to be driven about mentally, to be over-occupied, too busy, to be troubled, distressed.
I love my family like you do, but we cannot deny the truth of Paul’s words. Our responsibility as a spouse is to take care of our spouse and children. Our responsibilities definitely bring other cares. Singleness definitley would lend more time for Jesus. As Paul would say, we would have more time to attend to the Lord without distraction. The Greek translation of those words paints a better picture of what Paul was telling us:
Show great concern and care for the Lord. Do not leave his side; sit constantly by him without being dragged all around by your cares. Do not be drawn away from him. Do not be too busy, trouble nor distressed that it takes you away from the Lord. Do not let the cares of this world drive you crazy and take you away from your seat at the feet of Jesus. It is a great honor to serve my family. Not planning on abandoning them, so, I have to make time for my Lord.
Why is it so important that we spend time at the feet of Jesus in God’s word? Why do we need to pay attention? Solomon delivers they key in Proverbs 4:20-22:
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
He repeats himself. When he says pay attention to my words, Listen to what I am saying. He wants us to get it. It is like he is saying LISTEN! LISTEN!
Then he tells us to focus, look, don’t be distracted in verse 21:
Let them (words) not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
Here is the key! Why do we attend to Jesus? Why do we sit at his feet? Why are the words of God so very important?
“For they [are] LIFE unto those that find them, and HEALTH to all their flesh.
HIS WORDS ARE LIFE AND HEALTH! However, it is life and health to those who find them. If we do not sit with Jesus and pay undivided attention to the word of God, he complete life and health we are meant for will not just jump in our lap.
I encourage you to pay attention to the Lord and attend to God’s word. Do not let the cares of this world drive you crazy. Sit beside him and take his words of life, health and hope.
Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us watch (be awake, pay strict attention), and be sober (watch, be calm and collected in spirit). (1Thessalonians 5:6 KJV)