Summary: Distractions are causing us to lose focus of our mission. God wants to have our full attention.
May I Have Your Attention Please
Brothers and sisters I am sure a lot of you have been in places where you have heard a voice come over the intercom; or in perhaps in a crowd that said, “May I have your attention please”. Usually, no matter what you are doing, you stop and listen. There are some companies that use flamboyant advertising stunts or things that capture the senses of seeing, hearing and even smelling and all they are saying is, “may I have your attention please”. All these situations are normally used to show or tell you something of vital importance.
Brothers and sisters, looking at these different ways to get attention, it seems that at different moments in our lives God is trying to get our attention. When we go through our trials and tribulations it not only strengthens us but it is sometimes God’s way of saying, “may I have your attention please”. There are times in our lives that we have downfalls and setbacks, which some people will call bad luck, or unfortunate consequences.
Yet if we were to stand still and think about it, we see God saying, “May I have your attention please”. Many sites we see and sounds we hear are God’s way of getting our attention. In our text this morning we see God getting the attention of Jonah. When God first called Jonah, Jonah tried to run away. The people of Nineveh were enemies to the people of Israel. Jonah, knowing that the mercy of God may follow his preaching, doesn’t want to because it would be like helping the enemy.
Jonah found that his failure to pay attention to God only caused a mighty tempest to come upon him and the ship on which he sailed. Brothers and sisters some of us have developed a Jonah complex today. We hear God speaking to us yet we fail to give Him our undivided attention. Instead we try to run and hide when He speaks to us. Jesus told us in the 28th chapter and 19th verse of Matthew, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations”.
Instead what we do is stay in our own fold and forget about those outside. Our job as Christians is to share our faith with others. We must go out into the highways and byways to tell others of the goodness of God no matter what the consequences.
When God speaks to us we should drop everything and listen. We need to be like those old E.F. Hutton commercials; “when E.F. Hutton speaks….” When we neglect paying attention to God, Satan steps in and begins to sway us in the wrong direction. There are many times when we have troubles and God tells us what to do. But we decide to do it our way. Brothers and sisters, this is a blatant disobedience to God’s word. We see that due to Jonah’s disobedience, he was cast into the sea and swallowed up by a great fish.
Because of Jonah’s disobedience he began a downward spiral. When he fled from the Lord he went down to Joppa; he went down into the ship; he went down into the sides of the ship. Just like Jonah, when we disobey God we too go down. It may be that we go down in health; down in wealth; down in happiness and even down in the joy of the Lord. Brothers and sisters just as Jonah had to face the consequences of his disobedience so must we.