Greetings, and welcome to Part III of How to Get God's Attention. Today, I will give you the last two ways I observed via scripture that can grab God's attention. The other three ways are faith, prayer/giving, and praise. I highly encourage you to read Part I and II to put everything into context if you haven't done so already. But without further ado, let's dive into this week's article.
Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.
(Daniel 10:12 NIV)
I have read so many examples of how God's attention was grabbed by way of someone fasting. I honestly didn't know which example to chose. Fasting saved Esther and the Jewish people from being killed by the king. Fasting provided protection for the Israelites and their possessions as they journeyed in Ezra 8. Fasting opened the door for Jeremiah to do a mighty work for God by rebuilding the city of Jerusalem.
I could go on and on but the point is this: Fasting makes God take notice. Daniel purposed in his heart that he would refrain from meat, wine, sugar, bread… basically anything that wasn’t a vegetable. He denied himself from pleasant food. As a result, God took notice.
The text says from the first day Daniel set out to fast, his words were heard. Not only did God hear Daniel, but He dispatched an angel for Daniel. If you recall in the book of Jonah, the people of Nineveh were set to be destroyed. But because they decided to fast, God decided not to destroy them.
Are you hearing what's being said to you? Fasting can dispatch angels. Fasting can favorably change the heart of God towards you. Fasting coupled with prayer can shake some things up and move some things around that prayer alone cannot do (Mark 9:29).
When you are willing to deny yourself for God, He takes notice. Denying yourself of course also applies to denying yourself from sins and temptations. But specifically in this section, I am referring to denying yourself from food or certain types of foods.
Trust me. I know from a firsthand basis that fasting can make sickness disappear and set you on the path to your destiny. It’s a powerful underrated tool that makes God see how dedicated you are to Him. To deny yourself of physical nourishment, something that we need to survive, speaks volumes to God.
But… please know that there is a right way and a wrong way to fast. Isaiah 58 speaks of how God was not pleased with how the people fasted. They fasted with strife and bickering. Then they wondered why their fasting led to no results. God told them that their voices would not be heard from Him if they continued to fast the way they were fasting.
But… (yes another but) God also told them that if they were to correct the way they fasted, they could call to Him and He would say, “Here am I”. He said their light would break forth like the dawn and even their nights would be like noonday.
I advise anyone who is serious about grabbing God’s attention to fast. It is not a cakewalk, nor is it for the faint of heart. Satan will likely attack you as you fast (Jesus was tempted by Satan when He fasted for 40 days… of course he’ll tempt you too), and you may strongly desire everything you are denying yourself of.
I seriously dream of Debbie Cakes and all sorts of sweets while fasting. I NEVER dream of food until I'm fasting. And I declare I can literally smell small wafts of delicious food with no food joints anywhere in a 100 ft radius of me. I would just be sitting there minding my own business, with food nowhere on my mind, and then BOOM! Visions of sweets, treats, and savory meats began to dance in my head.
Seriously, the weakness of my flesh and the tricks of Satan get real, really fast while fasting! But it’s worth it. I always weigh out my options. I have to ask myself, "Do I want this burger or do I want what God has for me on the other side of this fast? Do I want pizza or promises? Flavor or favor?"
Remember, how Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of soup? God was not pleased with that. I refuse to be a modern day Esau. So before you make the commitment to fast, ensure that you're ready to see it through to the end. If you decide to fast. Pray, pray, and pray some more that God will be your strength when you are weak. Also pray that God leads you on the specific fast that He wants you to do.
Fasting works people! Not only will you grab God’s attention by fasting, but you will feel closer to Him. You’ll feel His presence surrounding you, and you’ll feel Him guiding you in all your ways. It’s truly a supernatural experience. Oh, but there is a caveat to fasting, which leads to my final way to get God’s attention.
5. Follow God’s Commands
But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22 NIV)
You can have faith, pray, pay tithes, and give to the poor. You can send up sacrifices of praise and you can fast your love handles and stomach away (yeah, that can happen. My stomach was so flat when I fasted recently! It went back to a pug after I indulged heavily on meat, carbs, and sweets after the fast… but hey, it went away temporarily!). But back to the point.
You can give God all the sacrifices your mind, body, and spirit, can offer, but if you don’t follow God in obedience, your sacrifice is in vain. What would it mean to God if you have faith in Him, yet you sin willingly against Him? What significance would your fasting hold if you are still living in your lust? Why praise Him and simultaneously disobey Him?
I imagine sacrifice polluted with sin creates a bad odor in the nostrils of God. We’d get His attention with our sacrifices and bad living, but it wouldn’t be the type of attention we want. It would be the type of attention that would cause God to spew you out His mouth.
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
(Revelations 3:15-16 NIV)
Whew, Jesus! God said He wished you were one or the other. In other words, pick a side. Don’t sin and sacrifice. Sin or sacrifice. Don’t choose to give to the poor and give your body to someone you’re not married to under the eyesight of God. Don’t pay tithes, but also pay back evil for good or even evil for evil.
Since the beginning of time, God has been calling us out of sin. But we keep falling into it… and sometimes with no remorse. Yet, God knows we are a sinful, stiff-necked people. That’s why He sent Christ as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.
So, before you offer your sacrifice to grab God's attention, remember the sacrifice of Christ that was completed to grab your attention. Turn away from sin. Turn away from doing anything contrary to God’s will. Allow Him to wash you clean and be made new. And then, those sacrifices to God will be acknowledged. King David cosigns.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
(Psalms 50:16-17 and 19 NIV)
David stated this after he realized his grave sin involving Bathsheba. He sums up the point of obedience trumping sacrifice pretty clearly. God will not delight in our sacrifice if it is muddied in sin. But once we repent and walk in obedience, the blessings flow thereafter. I’ve nothing else to say behind King David, so, that’s a wrap for this How to Get God's Attention mini series.
Do all that you can to grab God’s attention. Have faith, pray, give, praise, fast, and walk in obedience. God's eyes are always on His people. But while He is watching, let's give Him something to be proud of. Let's make Him see something particularly special about us and our commitment to Him. No, we can't earn blessings from God, but we can surely grab His attention with our sacrifices.
'Til next time, take it easy and be blessed.
Quin Arrington's debut book "And Then You Shall Have Good Success: Attaining Good Success God's Way" is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook format. Link to book listed below.