We all want God’s attention! There isn’t a one of us that does not have the desire for God to take notice of us. This is especially true when we want or need something from Him.
God, please take notice of me, I need a miracle. It might be the miracle of salvation in my life or in the life of a loved one. I need a miracle. It might be the miracle of a relationship with God. It might be the miracle of a financial blessing or an emotional healing. I might need a miracle of healing for my body or for a friend or loved one. How do I get God’s attention?
How do people get your attention? I met a man one time, several years ago. We were at a Fellowship Meeting and afterwards several of us were standing talking in the front. This gentleman decided it was time to leave, so he lifted his hand above his head and snapped his fingers. It was the loudest snap I have ever heard. There were forty or fifty people visiting yet from everywhere children suddenly appeared. There were six of them. They lined up and he marched them out to their vehicle. He got their attention, and everyone else’s I might add.
When my mother really wanted to get the attention of my younger brother all she had to do was say, “David L!” There was a certain tone that told him it was time to pay attention or else.
We were in a restaurant on night after church. My youngest brother suddenly stood up on the table and loudly said, “Can I have everyone’s attention, please? Can I have your attention?”
It was a large restaurant filled with Pentecostals but a hush came over the place. People stopped eating. Staff stopped serving. Cooks came out from the kitchen. He had their attention. He then said, “Thank you, I love attention!” He then sat down.
My wife was working as a Tax Preparer. She had a booth in the local Walmart and was working with a couple. It was so loud in there that she could hardly talk on the phone. While working with this couple, focused on helping them, she hears, “MEMA! MEMA!”
Instantly her attention is changed. She said that she jumped up and began looking around. Beyond the registers she saw the little fellow who was calling her name. It was our grandson Zac. He had her full attention! She left her customers sitting there because she had to get a “Zac” hug.
The Bible tells us of a man who lived in Caesarea, an Italian, who was devout and loved God. This man got God’s attention. In fact, he caught God’s attention to the point that God sent a special messenger to him to tell him that God was giving him his full attention.
It is important to notice that God crossed a boundary. A boundary that God himself had made, by sending the messenger to the house of a Gentile. Until this time God had reserved His relationship for those who were from Israel only. In fact, on one occasion Jesus himself had likened a gentile to a dog! Now, however, you will notice that He has sent a special emissary or representative to the house of a gentile.
In fact, while doing this He also sent a vision and a special messenger to a preacher. He had to change the preacher’s way of thinking. He had to change much of what the preacher believed. He then sent the preacher to the house of Cornelius to preach to him and his household. Because Cornelius had gotten God’s attention God sent salvation to his house.
What had caught God’s attention? What had aroused God’s awareness of Cornelius to the point that He would cross ethnic boundaries? What was it that caused God to revolutionize societal guidelines and reach out to a gentile? What had caught God’s attention?
There are three things that are mentioned in the character description of Cornelius that gives us a clue to what God saw that caught his attention. The Bible says in Acts 10: 1-2, “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius ...A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.”
Cornelius was a Godly man. He was a man who held God in awe. His entire house also respected God, holding Him in high admiration and wonderment.
When the angel speaks to Cornelius, he tells him, in verse 4: “Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.”
One of the things we will notice is the prayers of Cornelius caught God’s attention. He prayed consistently.
Jesus said, “…men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Fainting doesn’t mean to pass out. It does mean to lose heart or lack courage. In this same passage, Jesus tells the story of a woman who went to the unjust judge. Although he refused to help her, she continued to see him until he met her need. Jesus then said God would meet the needs of his people if they would continue in faith to ask of Him.
Cornelius kept on praying. He prayed continuously until he heard from God. How many times do we stop praying just before we have God’s attention? How many times do we lose heart and give up just before the angel knocks on our door?
The angel of the Lord also mentioned to Cornelius that his giving of alms had caught the attention of God. God offers to us the benefit of giving. The promise is if we give it will be given unto us. Read Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
In fact, in Malachi, God said if we don’t give as instructed, He will curse us. If we don give, He will open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings that will overflow our ability to contain them.
On both of these occasions God promises to bless us in an overwhelming manner. I don’t believe He is just speaking of financial blessings. I believe that our giving brings a responsive blessing from God to every aspect of our lives. Is there an angel knocking at your door? Is he saying your giving has caught the attention of God?
The third point that I noticed the angel mentioned was Cornelius had been faithful. He had prayed and given always or continuously. It wasn’t just a one time occasion. His prayers and giving weren’t just a passing fad or and emotional high. This was his way of life. He was faithful.
Paul tells us in Hebrews 10:35-36, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”
He is telling us to be faithful. We need to keep that bold assurance which we have in God. He encourages us to cheerfully, with hopeful endurance be consistent. By being faithful you will receive the promise.
Now the angel tells Cornelius his giving and prayers had come up as a memorial before God. The purpose of a memorial is to keep alive a memory. It is to keep one mindful of it.
A few years back my wife and I joined a friend on a short hike. We were walking down a trail and came upon a memorial. Lying there in a pile was pieces of an airplane.
The mountain was called Roundtop Mountain. It is located just a few miles south of Jasper, Arkansas. On a cold foggy evening in 1948 a B-52 flew into the side of the mountain. Residents of Jasper, Arkansas were at a ball game at the high school gym and heard the crash and went to investigate. The crash killed two crewmen and a soldier who had caught a ride with them.
Almost 60 years later, we were walking down a trail and there we found a little memorial. They had preserved parts of the plane which are still there, and the story of those lives is still remembered by all who walk by.
On May 1, 1857, a wagon train of pioneers left Arkansas headed for California. On September 11th there was a massacre and 120 men, women and children of the train were killed.
There is a historical marker on Highway 7, just south of Harrison, Arkansas, that reminds passerby’s that this is the spot where that journey began.
In the little town of Carrolton, Arkansas at the cemetery next to the Community building, there is a large memorial that will catch the attention of all who pass by. It list the names of all those who lost their lives in that massacre.
I lived in that county for a number of years. People in the area still have strong feelings about the incident because they are kept mindful of it because of the memorials.
The angel told Cornelius that his giving, his praying and his doing those faithfully had become a memorial before God. It kept alive the memory of his needs. He kept God mindful of Him and God responded by responding sending salvation to his house.
The beauty is that when Cornelius caught the attention of God, not only his household but every gentile from that point on has the opportunity for salvation. He got God’s attention.
If I continue on faithfully, if I refuse to lose heart, I will get His attention. If I maintain my confidence and trust in God, I will get His attention. I know He loves me. I know He cares. I know He is just. I know my faithfulness will be a reminder to Him.
I am a 4th generation Pentecostal preacher. I have been in the ministry for 38 years. I have pastored for 25 years. Currently I am evangelizing. I am the founder of TEAM Ministries which means Together Experiencing Apostolic Ministry. I am married, 34 years, have three children and three grandsons. I live in Conway, AR. I believe it is the desire of God to heal the broken hearted, deliver the captive, open the eyes blinded by lifes issues & liberate those that have been bruised & do it todayView all articles by Don Doran