Focus

When God hits you with a wake-up call, pay attention.

Genesis 18:1-8 (ESV)

And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

This isn’t just any three guys. One of them is the LORD himself. Abraham recognizes this instantly. The Hebrew word he uses when he says, “O Lord …” is reserved for God Himself. But how does he know?

The key is in the words, “He lifted up his eyes.” The three men aren’t walking up from afar; they’re standing in front of him. Their arrival is supernatural; they just popped up out of nowhere. That’s why the text says, “behold.”

At this point, the purpose of the three men isn’t known, but Abraham’s response is noteworthy. He jumps into hyper-hospitality mode.

He’s almost frantic to be a good host.


This is a good lesson for us all. We’ve all experienced those rare moments when we can’t tell what God is up to but we know He’s up to something. It is then that we, like Abraham, need to focus on Him.

Wake-up-calls are a big part of how God uses us. We tend to think of a wake-up-call from God as the moment when a non-believer first encounters God. But God calls believers in much the same way. It’s not easy to be truly ready to answer any call, no matter what it is, but that is our challenge.

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” – Isaiah 6:8 (ESV)

Frankly, my most frequent unspoken prayer is, “God please don’t give me a wake-up call right now.” God doesn’t call people to win the lottery; He calls them to dramatic change and sacrifice. Few of us are ready for that kind of action.

When you are ready, you won’t have to ask God to call you. All you have to do is pray, “OK, I’m ready.” He’ll do the rest.

In the meantime, our prayer should be, “Please grow me past this half-baked stage to where I can do great things.”


The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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