He may have an important message or a warning that needs heeding. Whatever the situation we find ourselves in, whenever God needs to communicate with us, He can certainly gain our attention and deliver the message that we need to hear.
God implores a raft of techniques to gain our attention and bring us back into a place of listening to Him. This last Sunday we looked at some of the ways Our heavenly Father lovingly regains our attention back to Him. God’s goal in gaining our attention is to bring us back into a real intimate relationship where we are changed by knowing Him and His love for us. God calls us back into truth and light and that only exists when our face is toward Him.
Here are some ways God regains our attention.
1. A Restless Spirit
In the book of Esther chapter 6 we find the King could not sleep and so had a book of chronicles read to him. Perhaps this was a particular boring book written by his bureaucrats that usually he struggled to stay awake to but the restless spirit he had led hi to discover that his life had been saved by a Jewish man who hadn’t been repaid and one of his own counsel members was trying to have this Jewish man done away with. Sometimes God gains our attention through a restless spirit. When something just doesn’t seem to be sitting right and you can’t put your finger on it, that’s a good time to ask your heavenly father, ‘Lord, what are you wanting to say to me?’
2. A word from others
Sometimes God needs to gain our attention through someone else through a confrontation or by calling us out on bad behavior. When we aren’t listening to God, He may use someone else to gain our attention and correct us when we aren’t listening or wandering away from His will for us.
3. Unanswered prayer
When we have a need or want that goes unanswered, God can use this to gain our attention and refine our desires to align more with His. Do we desire what we are asking God for more than we desire Him? Sometime unanswered prayer is a good way of sifting our motives.
We all face disappointments in life. Sometimes God can use disappointments when we have got off track with Him or following our own path. A disappointment can bring us back to the reality that God has a better path or plan for our lives. Even though a disappointment hurts our loving father can use this to bring us to something that will be much more fulfilling for us.
5. Unusual circumstances
Let’s be honest, sometimes God can gain our attention through some pretty weird stuff. Take Moses for example, wandering through the desert one day and sees a bush on fire but not burning up. That’s worth a look right! Likewise, God can use circumstances or opportunities to gain our attention. It might be that person we’ve been praying for suddenly turns up in an unexpected place, or we find ourselves the recipients of a blessing whatever way God uses It’s to gain our attention.
Sometimes God uses failure in our lives to gain our attention and bring our hearts back into a place where He has our undivided attention. Nothing gains our attention quite like failure, but it’s because God desires that we succeed in another area not perhaps the area we were heading.
7. Financial collapse
When we look at the history of the Israelites when they had come into the promised land, the book of Judges tells the sad story where God uses economic ruin to gain the attention of His people and bring them back to a place of acknowledging His provision and deliverance come only through Him.
While God isn’t the cause of tragedies, He can use them to gain the attention of His people. When I lost a school friend in a tragic platform collapse, God used this to gain my attention away from the way I was living back to a faith in Him and a deeper walk.
9. Sickness and affliction
When our health becomes an issue there is no faster way that turns our attention to Him than a health problem. It returns our attention to the One who made us, it reminds us and humbles us. During these times we may experience times of waiting. While waiting can be difficult, it’s in these times God does his refining work within us. Maybe there is nothing that can gain our attention faster than a health Issue, but for Paul he came to realize that God had indeed given him the handbrake he needed to stop him from being a big head and loosing his mission field. He found that God was all Paul needed in meeting his weakness’.
Identifying the Voice of God
Consistent with God’s word.
God’s not going to speak to us with anything that would contradict His word. That’s why it’s important for us to be spending time with Him daily asking Him to help us understand more about Him.
Conflict with Human wisdom.
God has given us common sense for a reason. There are times however when He speaks to us and it seems to contradict what we would assume would be self-evident, we must remember that obedience to what He is asking is necessary because He sees more than we do in our limited perspective.
Clash of fleshly nature.
God will never tell you to do something that is contrary to His word or call you into sin. Or away from the plan He has for your life. It’s worth running what you think God is saying past a older mature Christian.
Challenge to faith.
The things we hear from God may sometimes challenge our faith or require us to ‘step out of the boat onto the waves’. Our faith in God or believing that God is who He says He is, and that He will do what He says He will do is like a muscle. It only gets bigger and stronger with exercise.
Whatever God calls us to or speaks into our lives will require courage. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s just doing something despite fear. When God speaks to us in some cases it can be uncomfortable or a call to step out of our comfort zone. Growth in God and moving into a deeper relationship only comes when we trust Him more and believe that He will do what He says He will.