21 Days of Prayer - Day Five. Red Herring or Divine Focus? Have you ever heard the expression "red herring"? It is a term that refers to a method of training hunting dogs to stay focused on the scent of their prey. Once the dogs were following the proper scent, their trainers would drag red herrings (a stinky fish) across their paths. Initially, the dogs would be distracted by the scent of the herring, leading them away from their goal. They had to be trained to ignore that scent and instead stay focused on the scent of their prey.
So a "red herring" is something that is introduced which diverts our attention from what we should be pursuing. I Corinthians 10:13 warns us about red herrings. It says, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
In short, you must train senses to ignore the red herrings that life throws your way and practice divine focus.
First, you have to get the scent! You must come to grips with what you're hunting for. Many people are in search of something, longing for that illusive sense of completion but uncertain about what it is. Here's a hint: Colossians 2:10 reveals this, "...and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." Well, that would be God! Get right with God and make up your mind to never go astray.
Next, you must train yourself to ignore the red herrings of the world by focusing on the divine presence of God. Here are three areas from Proverbs 10:27-29, that will keep your focus divine.
1. The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.
2. The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.
3. The way of the Lord is a refuge for the blameless, but it is the ruin of those who do evil.
As you pray today, open your heart to be reverent and respectful of God, ask Him to fill your heart with His joy and pray for the strength to walk in the certainty of His way. When you do that, you will naturally ignore the distractions of red herrings and automatically focus on the divine plans and purposes of God.
Inspiring Hope and Seasoning Faith, Pastor Sean