We all want God’s attention, right? The best way to get His attention is to give Him our full attention and pay close attention to what attracts Him. There are certain attitudes and actions which attract God and others that repel Him. We want to create an atmosphere that is inviting to God’s presence.
Hunters attract wild game with certain sights, sounds, and smells using bait and decoys. Sharks are attracted by blood and chum. What attracts romance with our spouse? We spruce up in nice outfits, spray on perfume or cologne, play soft music, and have a candle-light dinner. We create the right atmosphere and set the mood. Likewise, there are at least eight specific things which attract God’s attention:
- Praise: Sincere praise is irresistible to God for He “inhabits the praises of Israel” (Ps. 22:3). To inhabit means “to live in, dwell in, remain, abide, to sit down as a judge (in a seat of honor).” Paul and Silas were beaten and bound in the Philippian Jail. At midnight, they started singing praises to God who sent an earthquake to shake the prison and “all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed” (Ac. 16:26). Notice praise not only opened their prison door; it opened ALL the prison doors! If we learn the secret of getting free in praise, it will not only deliver us but those around us too. (Elvis wasn’t the first one to sing “Jailhouse Rock!”) Hebrews 13:15 reminds us to “offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” Praise grabs God’s attention.
- Worship: The difference between praise and worship is like the difference between chit chat and a serious conversation. Praise is more about God while worship is directly to God. Praise tends to be louder, more exuberant, and vocal. Worship tends to be deeper, quieter, and more heartfelt. Praise is like the boisterous waves on top of the ocean; worship is like the strong current deep below the surface. Jesus told the Woman at the Well, “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (Jn. 4:23). When we sincerely and earnestly worship God, heaven takes notice. It is like a sweet-smelling incense that ascends before His throne. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach (think food). Well, the way to God’s heart is through the portal of worship.
- Prayer: History proves that God moves when His people pray! Psalm 145:18 declares, “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” Psalm 34:17 adds, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.” Israel’s desperate cry in Egyptian slavery got God’s attention and He raised up Moses to deliver them (Ex. 2:23-25). When Blind Bartimaeus desperately cried out to Jesus, He stopped dead in His tracks and healed him (Mk. 10:46-52). I’m not talking about a wimpy, mealy-mouthed, half-hearted prayer. Don’t expect a $100 answer to a 10-cent prayer! When our kids call us, we might come at our convenience; when they cry, we come running to them. You see, it takes more than a need to get God’s attention. There are plenty of people in need who don’t get a response from heaven. There is a spiritual principle that works—“Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” Prayer is the key that unlocks the door to all the resources of heaven.
- Humility: Pride is first on the list of things God hates (Pr. 6:16). “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble . . . Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (Jam. 4:6, 10). Ahab was the most wicked king in Israel’s history (1 Kgs. 21:25). Elijah prophesied that the dogs would lick his blood, eat his wife, Jezebel, and every male in his family would be killed. How did Ahab respond? He tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, fasted, walked meekly, and it captured God’s attention. “See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days” (1 Kgs. 21:29). If God showed mercy and postponed judgment on Ahab because he humbled himself, He will certainly do the same for us.
- Repentance: Genuine repentance—a godly sorrow for sin, hating and forsaking sin—gains God’s attention. “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Ps. 34:18). Why did God forgive and restore King David when he failed so miserably? Because he was a true worshipper who humbled himself in real repentance (Ps. 51:9-17). What’s true for an individual is also true of a nation—“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chr. 7:14). True repentance is like shooting up a spiritual flare. God notices and rushes to our rescue.
- Faith: God gravitates toward faith while doubt repels Him. The Israelites “limited the Holy One of Israel” with their chronic unbelief (Ps. 78:41). Paul warned, “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23, KJV). Unbelief handcuffs God. Notice how in Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown, “He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief” (Mk. 6:5-6). Faith pleases God (Heb. 11:6) and is a catalyst that releases miracles. God gravitates toward people who walk in faith and believe His Word.
- Obedience: “IF you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land” (Is. 1:19). Notice this promise is conditional. God’s love is unconditional, but His blessings are condition upon our obedience. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep My commandments” (Jn. 14:15). Cornelius, a Gentile, Roman Centurion, got God’s attention by his kindness and generosity. God even sent Peter, who was prejudiced against Gentiles, to his house where Cornelius’ entire family was filled with the Holy Spirit. God told Cornelius, “Your prayers and charities have not gone unnoticed by God” (Ac. 10:4, TLB). His obedience attracted God’s attention and He poured out spiritual blessings on his whole household.
- Unity: God doesn’t bless strife; He blesses unity. What produced Pentecost? 120 disciples tarried together for 7-10 days in prayer “with one accord” (Ac. 2:1). Their unity attracted God’s attention and He poured out His Spirit in a phenomenal way. There’s power in unity. One can put 1,000 to flight, but two can put 10,000 to flight (Dt. 32:30). David compared unity to the holy anointing oil that was poured on Aaron when he was consecrated as the High Priest and to the refreshing dew that descends on the mountains of Zion where God commanded His blessing (Ps. 133:1-3). Unity attracts God’s presence like a heat seeking missile which explodes with His power and glory.
Imagine you’re stranded on a deserted island and a plane flies over. What would you do to get the pilot’s attention? Would you be casual, calm, and quiet? Or would you run, jump up and down, wave, and yell “HELP?” Perhaps we need a greater sense of urgency to get God’s attention (Ps. 42:1-2). Attracting God’s attention is vital because He can do what no other power can do!