“Are you hearing me?” When my 3-year-old grandson has something important to share, he makes sure that I am listening. It often means stopping whatever I’m doing to get down on his level, look into his eyes, and listen. The funny thing is, I do the same thing with my husband. I want his undivided attention!
Distractions seem to be a way of life these days. How many times a day do you pick up your phone to check Instagram or respond to a text? Non-stop schedules compound the issue, and now we’re finding that multi-tasking may do more harm than good.
God has important things to say to you and me. He wants our attention, too! He will not compete with our multi-tasking brains and often goes to great lengths to gain our undivided attention.
He captured Moses’ attention in the wilderness with the burning bush.
Moses was tending a flock of sheep when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire within a bush.
“Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. ‘This is amazing,’ Moses said to himself. ‘Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must see it.’
When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’” Exodus 3:2-4 NLT
Another Bible version reads, “When the Lord saw that he had caught Moses’ attention, God called to him from the bush…”
It wasn’t until God was sure He had captured Moses’ attention that He spoke! This was the moment God gave Moses the mission to go and lead His people out of bondage in Egypt and into the promised land.
What does God have to do to capture your attention?
“But Balaam was stopped from his mad course when his donkey rebuked him with a human voice.” 2 Peter 2:16
It took a talking donkey to get the prophet Balaam’s attention. Bribed by enemy forces, he had strayed from the Lord and aligned himself with their wickedness. While on his way to join with the enemy, God sent an angel with a sword to stop Balaam from harming God’s people.
Balaam was oblivious to the angel’s presence, but his donkey saw the danger and did his best to avoid it. Balaam beat the donkey again and again until the donkey finally spoke.
“‘What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?’” Numbers 2:28
After a conversation with the donkey (can you imagine it?), the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes to see the angel of the Lord standing there with a raised sword, ready to strike. God finally had Balaam’s attention. Balaam repented and recommitted himself to God’s purposes.
What would it take to capture your attention?
God sent Peter a vision to get his attention, and it changed the course of history! The early church was growing with Jewish believers, but the first disciples did not yet grasp that salvation was for everyone, Jew and Gentile alike.
Peter was on a rooftop in the city of Joppa, praying and waiting for dinner to be served.
“But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.”
“No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.”
But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven.” Acts 10:10-16
God was setting Peter up to take the gospel to the Gentiles. As Peter wondered what the vision meant, three Gentile men from Caesarea knocked at the door, sent by an angel to invite Peter to come share the good news with them.
God had captured Peter’s attention and opened his heart to understand God’s divine plan for all mankind. He readily went with the men, and the church spread to both Jews and Gentiles throughout the known world!
What is God speaking to you?
What is He calling you to do or to imagine? Are you listening and attentive? Or are you distracted by the cares of this life or a waywardness in your soul that has led you away from God’s purpose for your life?
Tune your ears and listen. Perhaps He’s encouraging you to start that new business you’ve been pondering, or maybe He’s asking you to go and watch your best friend’s kids for an afternoon. Big or small, God has beautiful things for you to do.
Sometimes, we need to quiet the noise around us. Clear our calendars, shut out the noise of the world and listen. Do you hear Him? He is calling you to great things.
“The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8