Two Ways God Gets our Attention


Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking.

The king summoned the enchanters, astrologers[o] and diviners. Then he said to these wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”

Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or tell the king what it meant. So King Belshazzar became even more terrified and his face grew more pale. His nobles were baffled.”  Daniel 5:5-9 NIV

In the last devotion, we’ve seen King Belshazzar fall into the trap of complacency. Judgment was waiting at the door, but Belshazzar could not see it because he chose to focus on feasting and comfort over contenting for legacy and significance.

During his great feast, something very mysterious happens.  There isn’t anywhere else that the finger of God appears as mysteriously as this occasion (though we will look at in the next devotion, the next time the finger of God writes something).  The guests did not notice it immediately, but Belshazzar did.  He literally saw the handwriting on wall and it freaked him out.  He didn’t know what it meant.  He was scared and confused.  His legs became weak, his face became pale, and his knees were knocking.   God was getting the attention of Belshazzar.   

Is God trying to get your attention?  When was the last time in your life that you were scared and confused?  When was the last time you were freaked out?  When was the last time something happened that you didn’t know the meaning of?  When was the last time your legs became weak, your face became pale, and your knees were knocking?  Could it be that God may have been trying to get your attention?    

I can’t explain why God moved here the way He did, but I think we can gain an understanding of two ways that God gets our attention in life.  Below are two ways that God gets our attention.

Two Ways God Gets our Attention

1 – Sometimes God gently nudges our hearts.

There are times that God will nudge our hearts from time in His Word.  There are other times when the Holy Spirit will whisper or give us a nudge.

Has the Holy Spirit been nudging your heart?  Has he been prompting you?  Have you been hearing Him in His Word?  Are you hearing His voice?  What is He saying?  Where is He leading?  How is He moving?    

Let God get your attention in the gentle nudges.  Let Him grip your heart in His Word.  Hear His voice.  Hear the Holy Spirit speak… obey Him.  Follow the soft promptings of the Holy Spirit on your heart.  Let Him move your heart. Let His kindness lead you to repentance.  Let His voice move you to action.  Let the Spirit of God soften your heart and fine tune your conscience.

2 – Sometimes God gives us writing on the wall.

Some of us are less sensitive.  Some of us don’t respond to the soft nudges from the Holy Spirit.  Some of us don’t give God the time or attention to speak, and even if we gave Him the time and He did speak, we are content to do what we want anyways.

If God cannot get your attention with the leading of the Holy Spirit, in His mercy, He sometimes gives us writing on the wall to get our attention.  Sometimes, He allows us to sort of, get a slap in the head to help us move to where we need to be.  He does what He needs to, in order to get our attention.

What has God used to get your attention lately?  Have you responded?  The writing on the wall was scary for Belshazzar.  What is the writing on the wall that scares you?  A health problem?  Aging?  The loss of a family member or friend?  A strained marriage?  Kids going astray?  What is the writing on the wall in your life?  How is God trying to get your attention?     

Don’t harden your heart as Belshazzar did.  Don’t ignore the warnings of God.  In His great grace, He allows us time to repent and turn to Him.  If God is speaking to you with the writing on the wall, respond to Him today.     

Lord I give you my attention today.  Soften my heart to yield to the movement and leading of Your Spirit.  I surrender and pray that I would soften my will to follow Your gentle nudges rather than being forced to get the writing on the wall.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry  He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.    


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