Attention Getters

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By Steven Davis, Intentional Living Producer

You know, sometimes when God wants to get our attention, and we’re being unavailable, He may tap someone nearby, and use them to get our attention. Consider Jonah. He had heard directly from God, “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” (Jonah 1:2 NLT)

But what did Jonah do? He ran in the opposite direction. Instead of going to Nineveh, he decided to take a cruise to Spain. Maybe he thought he had foiled God, and didn’t have to worry about anything. In fact, he was down below in the hold, catching a few z’s. But God certainly got the attention of the crew: The Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart. Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. (1:4-5)

Yeah, God definitely got their attention. Now understand, these sailors were probably seasoned veterans, but this was the perfect storm. The ship is going to break apart and they’re going to lose their lives. So what you do when something bigger than you is threatening you? You call upon your god.

As I said, Jonah was below, sleeping. Now the captain probably had enough presence of mind to realize that there was one person missing that should’ve been out on the deck calling to his God. So he goes below, and wakes Jonah up: “How can you sleep at a time like this?” he shouted. “Get up and pray to your god! Maybe he will pay attention to us and spare our lives.” (1:6)

So, storm— sailors— captain — Jonah. Now I’d like to think that if God called you to a particular task or work or ministry, you would hear him and be obedient to that call. But what if you’re not listening? What if you choose not to listen? How far is God willing to go to get you to do what you’ve been called to do? If you’re not listening, if you’re not paying attention, perhaps others around you are. Remember, after the storm, after the sailors, after the captain… came the fish.

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So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do (2 Thessalonians 1:11)

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