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How Much Does It Take to Get God's Attention?

Last week, I talked about a person I know well who is going through a difficult time.  She is feeling bad because she finds that she only turns to Jesus as a last resort.  In last week’s blog I responded to her question about why we do this.  But, given that we are so prone to wander, so prone to forget about God until we hit some kind of rough patch in life, she also wanted to know how much it takes to get His attention.  After turning away from Him so much, what do we need to do to get His attention?

In Luke 15, sinners are gathering around Jesus to listen to him.  The religious leaders are upset by this—what right do “these” people who are so prone to wander from God have to receive His attention?  In response, Jesus tells several parables that reveal His—i.e., God’s—feelings about these sinners, and, by extension, about all of us who are prone to wander.

Here’s the first parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?  When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices.  And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me for I have found my sheep that was lost.’” (Luke 15:3-6)

The key to the parable is the question at the beginning, “Which one of you…”  Jesus seems to be asking a rhetorical question everyone listening would just naturally affirm.  Not so.  Exactly the opposite.  Which one of them would leave ninety-nine sheep to seek out one who was lost?  Not one single one of them!  No one with any sense would!  Sheep are stupid.  If you leave ninety-nine of them in the wilderness on their own to go search for one lost one, they’d all quickly wander away—in different directions.  They’d be long gone before you returned.

Not only that, but sheep are one of the most vulnerable creatures on God’s green earth.  Whether they wandered away or not, they’d be easy prey without a shepherd to protect them. 

And what’s more, sheep were actually a hot commodity in Jesus’ day.  They had street value.  On the off chance they all didn’t wander away or succumb to a predator, they’d certainly be taken by someone else, stolen. 

Leaving the ninety-nine to try and find the one is like going to the food court at the Mall with one hundred dollar bills, and, upon discovering you dropped one dollar somewhere on the way in from the parking lot, you put the other ninety-nine on one a table and head back toward your car to search for your lost dollar.  What are the chances your money would be there when you got back to the food court?  It would be crazy to leave the ninety-nine to search for the one.  Just cut your losses and insure you keep the ninety-nine—that’s the only sensible thing to do.

See, Jesus isn’t asking a rhetorical question here.  He’s asking a ridiculous question to make a point—God is so crazy about us that, before it ever crosses our mind to turn to back to Him, He’s already made it His main mission in the Universe to seek us out and save us.    

Having been prone to wander, how much does it take to get God’s attention?  Nothing.  You’ve already got it.  All of it.  However much you’ve been prone to wander, He’s been running after you with arms wide open, relentlessly seeking to get you back, to bring you into the fold of His love.  That’s how crazy He is about you!

Do you ever feel like you can’t get God’s attention?  I’d love to hear from you!  You can leave your comments on the “Contact E.J.” page of the Raising Jesus website.  Wherever you go in life, whatever you do, may you know, always and everywhere, just how crazy God is about you. 

About Me

E.J. Sweeney is a true skeptic. He needs to see to believe. Hard Evidence. Compelling Proof. Solid Logic. This is what he believes in. In college, he encountered questions that the superficial faith he was raised on couldn’t handle. So he began a quest for Truth, a quest for the answers to life’s ultimate questions.

EJ Sweeney

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