Share This Episode
In Touch Charles Stanley Logo

How God Gets Our Attention - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
July 27, 2023 12:00 am

How God Gets Our Attention - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 766 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

July 27, 2023 12:00 am

It's our responsibility to ask God what He's trying to say when He allows certain things to happen.

Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer

Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, July 27th. Before God can communicate His message, He has to get our attention. And that's what we'll learn about today as the series on listening to God continues. There are times when we choose to do things our own way, make it go our own way, do our own thing. We've got our own plans and sometimes we are headed so fast in a given direction that if God spoke, He couldn't be heard because now we're not listening to Him. Sometimes we are so prone to listen to what other people think, other people's opinions, their attitudes, getting their approval and their praise, we can't even hear God speak.

What I want to talk about today is this. How does God get our attention when He wants to speak to us? Verse 1, chapter 3 of Exodus. Now Moses was pastoring the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

Now watch this. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush, and he looked and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. Now listen, so Moses said, I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight while the bush is not burned up. When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, here I am. Out of a situation unlike anything he'd ever experienced before, God got his attention.

He had never seen anything like that. Something so unusual, he had to stop and ask, then God spoke to him. What you and I must do is to learn to live and listen, look for the presence of God in every circumstance of life. Now listen to me. You hear people who are looking for demons behind every bush.

Forget it. A child of God walking in the Spirit is to look for the handiwork, the footprint and the handprint of Almighty God in every single situation of life. If God is sovereign and you and I are his kept children, there's no such thing as an accident in the life of the child of God.

If you and I listen, if we have and we do have the life of Jesus Christ within us, he said, Christ, who is your life? If Christ is my life, there are no accidents. There are things that God may allow. There are some things that God sends.

There are attention getters that God brings into our life. No such thing as an accident. God in his sovereign will, he says, God who is able to keep us, God is the keeper of his children. That's why he said Jesus is the shepherd and we're the sheep to protect us, to provide for us and to guide us. There's no such thing as an accident.

God is sovereign and powerful enough to protect us in any and every given situation. When God wants to get our attention and he allows something unusual to happen, we are to look to say, Lord, what are you saying? For example, suppose you went in tomorrow morning and your boss said to you 30 minutes after you got there. I want to tell you hate to tell you this, but as of right now, I'm having to let you go. I'll give you two weeks pay and that's it. I don't have any real explanation.

That's just the way it is. You may do one of three things. You may begin to wring your hands and think, how am I going to do this? What in the world is going to happen? What is my wife going to say? What are my friends going to think? What are my fellow employees going to say? And then you may say, God, why are you doing this to me?

Why have you allowed this to happen to me? I go to church. I give my tithe.

I try to be obedient. Listen, the response is none of that. The response is, Lord, what are you saying? Because listen, if God is in everything and if he's not, he's not God.

He's in everything in some fashion, form or the other. If he's in everything, the natural, normal, proper response for the believer, whatever the situation is, Lord, what are you saying? I just want to hear from you, because the same God who gave the man the job, the same God who allowed the job to be taken away or who took it away himself is the same God who's got something else in mind. The goodness of God, the blessing of God, the unusual things that happen in life.

All right. Then number seven, if you look in the book of Joshua for a moment and all of these are ways that God gets our attention. You recall the seventh chapter of Joshua, what's happening?

Let me give you a little background. The nation of Israel now, 40 years later, all the adults have died. They've come to the promised land. Their first responsibility is to take the city of Jericho, walled city. They do exactly what God says once a day. They march around the city the seventh day, seven times, blow the trumpet, shout, and the walls come tumbling down. You're talking about a victory.

I mean, they had a tremendous celebration, praising the Lord. The next challenge is A.I. A.I.

is just a little old town up the road not too far. Listen, if you can wipe out Jericho, A.I. is a pushover. So they send up a small band of soldiers to take care of A.I.

You know, just just get rid of that and let's get on with the next city. What happens? God gets their attention. They come back humiliated. They lost a number of men.

They came back. And it's interesting what the Bible says in verse five. Because when Jericho's walls came tumbling down, the fear of God, the fear of God penetrated every single nation within the realm of the promised land. Listen, they were on the home ground of their enemies, men who were trained in battle. They were on the home ground of their enemies who knew the land better than they did. The defeat of Jericho put the fear of God in the hearts of their enemies. But listen to what these people felt when they came back after A.I., a little small city having been humiliated into defeat. The scripture says in the last phrase of verse five, they struck them down on the descent. So the hearts of the people melted and became as water. These who before were like steel and like iron.

We are walking in the will of God and God is going to conquer this nation for us. And now that same steel heart moves. What? He says it come becomes water. Their hearts melt and become like water. They were scared to death.

Friend, isn't that a description of us sometimes? Listen to me carefully. When God has blessed you spiritually, when God has blessed you financially, when God has done something super in your life, whatever its nature may be, friend, that is the time to remember A.I. I don't mean to be afraid now. I'm not talking about thinking, oh, God, what are you going to do? He's just going to bless you. But you see, his blessings should bring about the response of thanksgiving and praise and our very precise, exact attention, because following a great blessing from God, the next step must be in the right direction. We must be sensitive to the voice of God. What is God saying?

Lest we become proud, egotistical, take for granted, self-dependent, self-secure and take God's blessing and ruin the whole thing. So what does he do? He lets failure come. How many men in business have experienced failure? And they've said, I don't understand this. I can't figure out what's happened.

They just turn around, go right back into it. Not to stop to think, Lord, what are you trying to say to me? Now, listen, there is a difference in failing and being a failure. My failure in this given incident may prove to be the greatest stepping stone to success in my life. If I am wise enough in the midst of that failure to say, Lord, what are you saying?

You must be trying to get my attention about something in my life. If failure today can make you a success tomorrow. Aren't you willing to fail in a small thing to succeed in a larger thing? Having failed does not make you a failure, but having failed and responding properly can be the stepping stone to the greatest success in your life.

They failed only to be successful thereafter. All right. Then here's one that nobody likes. On over to Judges chapter six. How does God get our attention?

If we had our way, probably this would be one of the last ones you would choose. Sometimes to get our attention, God dries up our finances. Now, how many of you like that approach? Isn't it amazing God knows exactly what it takes, doesn't he? Listen to what's happening here. In the book of Judges, the whole theme of the book of Judges is this. Every man did what was right in his own eyes, had his own thing going, doing his own thing. The whole nation of Israel did. Time after time after time, they were falling into idolatry, intermarrying with the heathens of their day. And the scripture says the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and the Lord gave them in the hands of Midian seven years.

Now, here's what they did. Remembering that these were agricultural people and herdsmen and so forth. It says that the Midianites prevailed against them, drove the people of Israel in verse two into the dens, the mountains, the caves, the strongholds.

For it was when Israel had sown that the Midianites would come up with the Amalekites and the sons of the east and go against them. They would come against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, leave no sustenance in Israel as well as no sheep, ox or donkeys. They would come up with their livestock and their tents.

They would come in like locusts for number. But they and their camels were innumerable and they came into the land to devastate it. So Israel was brought very low because of Midian and the sons of Israel then cried to the Lord. When did they cry to the Lord? When God took away every material possession they had and drove them into the dens, the caves, the mountains to hide for their lives. God knew exactly what it would take to get their attention.

That is, take away all their material possessions. Has God ever dried up your finances? Listen, it may have been that one time in your life it was like an ocean. God started drying it up. Then it became like a sea. Then it dried it up to a river. Then it dried up to a creek. Then it dried up to a stream.

Then it dried up to a little fountain and finally cut the whole thing off. You ask the average man, what is the toughest way for God to get your attention? And he'll tell you if God dries up my finances. That's a tough way to have to hear from God. There are people seated right here today that I know personally whom God dried up everything they had. I mean, he dried it up.

It's like gunpowder. There wasn't anything left. He got their attention. But it took God getting their attention to force them to face an issue in their life. And you see, if God wants the blessing, I'm not saying that he's going to bless everybody the same financially. That's not God's plan. He, listen, he knows exactly what you and I need and he knows how much we need. He can drop a poor man's small salary to get his attention just as quickly as he'll drop a rich man's wealth to get his attention. The issue is not how much. There's nothing to do with it. The issue is what is the way and the means God can use to get our attention to say, Lord, what are you saying to me?

And drying up the finances is one way. He just dried up everything. He took everything Israel had and drove them to the mountains and the caves, the dens to get their attention.

What was their response? The Bible says the sons of Israel cried to the Lord. What did God do? He delivered them from the Midianites and blessed them.

All right. Look in Numbers chapter 21 for a moment. Another way that God gets their attention, and that is through tragedy.

In the twenty first chapter of Numbers, here's a scripture that is referred to in John, chapter three, when Jesus was talking to Nicodemus, the people of Israel had been blessed of God. And verse four says they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient because of the journey. They didn't want to bypass the Edomites, but God didn't want them fighting the Edomites. So they had to bypass the Edomites. There was a rather long and difficult journey. The people spoke against God and Moses.

Here's what they said. Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? Isn't it strange how short our memory is under the whips of the taskmasters of the Egyptians? And here they are free. God's provided for them.

Listen to what they're complaining about. Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There's no food, no water, and we loathe this miserable food that you keep raining out of heaven.

We're sick and tired of that. Oh, is that right? So what does God do? The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and bit the people and many of them died.

And what happens? The people came to Moses and said, We've sinned because we've spoken against the Lord and you. We intercede with the Lord that he may remove the serpents from us and Moses interceded for the people.

And God answered their prayer. You said, Well, does God send tragedy to get our attention? You and I have no right to look at anybody else's circumstances and say that the reason that happened in their life is God's trying to.

We don't have the right to do that. But we should look at every tragic situation to ask God. What are you trying to say? When tragedy takes place, you and I need to ask ourselves the question, Lord, what are you trying to say? Then let me mention one last one. Second Chronicles.

Look there for a moment, if you will. Hezekiah was a pretty good king. Same thing happened to him.

Happens to lots of folks. The Lord had blessed them. They had just come through a tremendous victory. One hundred eighty five thousand Assyrians. One hundred eighty five thousand Assyrians had been wiped out in the wink of God's eye. One angel took care of the whole crowd, the scripture says.

So the Lord saved verse twenty two of Chapter thirty two. The Lord saved Hezekiah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib, the king of Assyria and from the hand of all others and guided them on every side. Blessed, blessed, blessed was Hezekiah.

But listen to what happened. Many were bringing gifts to the Lord at Jerusalem and choice presents the Hezekiah king of Judah so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations thereafter. In those days, Hezekiah became mortally ill and he prayed to the Lord and the Lord spoke to him and gave him a sign.

But Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received because his heart was proud. Therefore, God came on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. Somebody says God does never make anybody sick.

Go back to David's son. He struck him with sickness. Hezekiah became mortally ill. Why do you think he became mortally ill? God didn't just put that in between two verses that talk about his pride. One of the ways that God gets our attention is through sickness and through affliction. For example, how did God get the attention of Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus road on his way to destroy the Church of God? He blinded his eyes and for three days he couldn't see anything. You don't think that got his attention?

You better believe it did. And let me say this. I don't think we can say God uses any one of these on anybody. He may use a combination of them. I know in my own heart the two that he uses most on me is number one, a restlessness in my spirit. And number two, if I don't listen to that, he just lays me out physically. Things I bring on myself.

I can't blame anybody. You say, well, did God make you that way? I'll tell you what. Listen to me. When you and I are not listening to God and the conflict is within us and God's trying to get our attention, the restlessness, we make foolish decisions physically.

Too much work, not enough rest, no recreation, whatever it might be to find it. God just lays us out and gets our attention. Listen to me carefully. I believe in healing. I don't believe that God's for healing lines.

I believe that God will do it any time he says he will. He says, if there's anybody sick, call for the elders of the church. Let them go with their hands on them. Anoint them with oil and pray, getting their hearts cleaned out first before you can ask for any healing to go on, because more than likely what brought it on was something spiritually internal. Anyway, you ask any medical doctor, he'll tell you 75 percent of the people in the hospitals are there because of something going on on the inside of them that has resulted in something physical. Thank God nobody came and prayed for me until God was finished dealing with me. We have to be very, very careful when we go to pray for somebody to be healed that we don't get in the way of God of doing what God is in the process of doing. God laid me aside to turn my life around radically and I needed it. The worst thing that could have happened was to have been healed and have missed what God did. Listen, God wasn't about to heal me till he straightened Charles Stanley out on the inside. And when he dealt with me, I began to get well. On the last Friday, when God settled it all between myself and him, I began to get well.

God brought me to a decision that was absolutely necessary to be made, had to be made, and I'm sure I would never have made if he hadn't laid me down and forced me to face the issue. You say, you sound mighty rebellious and stubborn. Maybe I am. I don't want to be. I don't choose to be. But I'm sure that sometimes as we move along, God knows what it takes.

That's why sometimes we complain about these things when they happen. But I hope I'm in the process of learning if God lays you down, look up and ask, Lord, what are you trying to say? So I've given you 10 ways that God may use to get your attention.

He doesn't use them all the same the same way on the same people. Here's his omniscience. He knows exactly. Listen to me. He knows exactly what it'll take at this point in your life to get your attention.

And I simply want to ask you one question. Have you seen any of these things occurring and reoccurring in your life over a period of time that you can say, my goodness me, that's what God's been trying to do in my life? Then, my friend, look up and listen and tell him that you're all ears, not just to hear, but to hear in order to obey, in order that God's loving care for you may protect you for the present and for the future. Thank you for listening to part two of How God Gets Our Attention. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-27 02:42:36 / 2023-07-27 02:50:52 / 8

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime