Maybe if we take a look at some Biblical examples we can learn how to be attentive, how to catch on, and not lose the opportunity of His speaking to us. How about Philip in Acts 8:26? This is a pretty encouraging story because this guy wasn’t one of the twelve.
This Philip was one of the Deacons. This is an ordinary person like you or me. This guy didn’t hang around with Jesus during the days of His earthly walk. This guy came to the Lord after the fact. When the church in Jerusalem was scattered and sent off, he ended up going to the city of Samaria and preaching the gospel, and the entire city came out and became believers.
Here it says that the Spirit of the Lord spoke to him and told him to go out to a desert road in Gaza. Acts 8:26 says:
“Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, go south to the road - the desert road - that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”
Now this guy is getting a message from the Lord, let’s see what happens in Acts 8:27-38:
“So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candice, the queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, ‘Go to that chariot and stay near it.’ Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked. How can I,’ he said, ‘unless someone explains it to me?’ So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading, ‘He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.’ The eunuch asked Philip, ‘Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?’ Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, ‘look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?’ And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.”
This guy just happens to be (happens to be) reading out of the book of Isaiah. Coincidence. Pay attention to coincidence! Coincidence is many times God setting us up for a mission. Our reaction may be no more than, “wow, far out!” and then we go on about our business. If we would just learn to do a double-take and pay attention to those things that God is doing - those set ups, those divine appointments of the Lord.
The point here is, Philip heard the voice of the Lord, obeys it, leaves this great revival, goes out to a desert place, is waiting there and here comes a chariot. He hears the guy reading from the book of Isaiah and what does he say? “What a coincidence” -- I don’t think so! He shares with him about Jesus, leads him to faith in the Lord, he’s baptized and Philip is gone.
Pay attention to those things God is doing out of the ordinary, for it is many times in them that we hear His voice. It is many times in them that we are made aware of what He wants us to do next.