When God Gets Your Attention
Have you ever noticed that God has a way of getting your attention? Whether you believe that God causes it to happen or He allows it to happen, there is no doubt that God knows how to cause us to pause, to take stock of our lives, to shift our focus.
There are lots of ways that God can do that; whether it’s through a health scare, a financial crisis, a major loss, a career catastrophe, a family emergency… you name it, there are plenty of dire situations life can throw at us. And sometimes, the dark seasons we find ourselves in are the result of our own poor choices. There are consequences for those choices. That is where Jonah found himself.
When God called Jonah to go and make Him known to the wicked people of Nineveh, Jonah chose not to obey, but to flee. As a result, he found himself first struggling to keep his head above water in a raging sea, then languishing in the smelly belly of a big fish… God had his attention! What can we learn from Jonah about what to do when God has our attention?
When God has your attention, it’s time to start praying! Actually, it’s past time, but that’s exactly what Jonah did when he found himself trapped inside the big fish. 1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. Jonah 2:1a. When we’re sitting in a dark, “stinky” place in life, caused by our own sin and poor choices, our best and only option in that moment is to pray!
When we’re going through a dark season, especially one of our own making, God is looking for a few things from us. No doubt God wants us to recognize where we have failed, to turn from that failure and to acknowledge that He is our salvation! When you find yourself in that dark place in life, be honest with God about where you blew it, commit to head in the direction He wants for you and tell Him that you know He is the only way out!
Now there may be some waiting in the mix; God works on His time, ultimately making sure that He brings about His plan and His will for us. God was going to keep Jonah on the path He had for him too, one way or the other! But Jonah needed to get his heart and his mind right. God definitely had his attention… so Jonah prayed!
Jonah’s prayer captures the depths of the pain, heartache and despair we experience when we disobey God. And He uses that experience to draw us back to Him and His will for our lives. In Jonah’s prayer, captured in Jonah 2, Jonah makes five acknowledgements that God is looking for from us when we pray from that dark, smelly place in life.
To find out how to pray when God has your attention, click here to listen to: Jonah - Part 2 - When God Has Your Attention.