Summary: Many times we wonder if God ever speaks in today’s world, but the real question might be, are we really paying attention?
In a book called "Directions", James Hamilton writes: Before refrigerators, people used ice houses to preserve their food. Ice houses had thick walls, no windows, and a tightly fitting door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to the ice houses, and covered with sawdust. Often the ice would last well into the summer.
One man lost a valuable watch while working in an ice house. He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn’t find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile. A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the ice house during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch.
Amazed, the men asked him how he found it. "I closed the door," the boy replied, "lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking."
Have you ever heard God speak to you? If not, is it because you are not paying attention?
Have you ever noticed how different people can experience the same events in their lives and yet have opposite reactions. Sometimes these things can cause certain people to grit their teeth and keep on slugging away, whereas others will just give up and quit.
An accident can cause one to ask, "why me Lord". While others see it as God wanting to show them something in their life. Some have a run-in with the law and talk about how they will get off, while others see it as a sign from God that their life is spinning out of control.
There are people that have narrow brushes with death and laugh it off as having been lucky, while others take a long hard look at where their lives are heading.
What are some of the things that have happened in your life? How did you react to them? I believe our reactions to certain events depends on whether we are paying attention to the how’s and whys.
Tonight I want to ask you, are you paying attention to the events that are occurring in your life each day? If so what do you see taking place? Are these events a coincidence?
Or are these things happening for a reason, and if so why?
I think many times we shrug off these events as just a part of life ,when instead we should be falling on our faces before Almighty God and seeking His heart for our life and our future.
You know, amazing things can happen when a man pays attention to the events in his life. Let’s take Saul for example. Please turn to Acts 9:1-9
where I think you’ll find that he was paying attention.
“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.”
A little background:
Although Paul claimed Roman citizenship, He was also Jewish. Because of that he was thoroughly steeped in Jewish law and traditions. In fact he studied under one of the most famous Jewish Rabbis of his time; Gamaliel. Paul was a Pharisee and he was very zealous.
Even Paul said of himself in Galatians 1:13-14:
“For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.”
· He was advancing in Judaism. In knowledge and moving up in position
· He was extremely zealous- means having Eagerness and Passion
· He had devoted his life to the study of the books of the law. He now saw the followers of Jesus as the number one threat to his faith, and he didn’t care if it was man or woman, If they professed faith in Jesus then he would deal with them and deal with them harshly.