Who are you among billions of human beings? Why should anyone pay attention to you or notice you? Why should God? Thousands of prayers are said every minute. Why should yours be answered?
Attention. Getting noticed. Being attended to. We all want it, but it doesn’t come easy.
The good news is that we have a great example right in our bodies of exactly how that works.
The human body is made of thousands of different parts, big and small — eyes, feet, nails, teeth, skin, hair, etc. With so much going on in your body at the same time, in all its thousand different parts, how can one of them get your attention? If one part of your body needs your head’s attention, what can it do to get noticed and attended to?
The quickest, surest way is through pain.
Pain is the signal that your body sends to your head to get its attention. “There’s something going on here, you’d better look at this.”
No matter how small and apparently insignificant the body part — if it feels pain, the message is sent straight to the head. Want proof? Pluck out a strand of hair from your head or arm. How important is that single hair strand on your body, compared to everything else? Not very. But all the same, when you pluck it out, the sting you feel sends the message to your head and demands attention.
Likewise, you may be just one among billions of human beings. But when you act your faith in who Jesus is, you become a part of His body, where He is the head. That in itself is already great, but that’s only the first step to get attention. You are still one among many.
Now that you are a part of the Body, you have a direct connection to the Head. If you need help, immediate attention from the Head, you know what you have to do. You have to send the signal. That signal is pain, but we call it sacrifice — something you do because of your faith in God that causes you pain.
Faith without sacrifice, faith that doesn’t inconvenience you, faith that doesn’t feel pain is dead. If a part of your body is dead or numb, it doesn’t feel pain, and it’s useless. You can even hurt it, but it sends no signal to the brain. So is faith without sacrifice — it says nothing, does nothing, means nothing, and gets nothing.
Fasting, prayer, tithes, offerings, forgiveness, helping others, obedience, self-denial, self-control, unexpected and bold acts of giving plus a whole range of other Christian duties are nothing more than different expressions of sacrifice. Unpleasant as they are to our egos and complacent human will, if we want attention from God, and quick, no matter who we are — we’d better start sending the right signals.
It’s what you do that determines who you are and if you deserve attention.
P.S. By the way, the same principle applies not only to getting attention from God but also from anyone who matters to you.