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Available To God

We’ve entered 2023 and every day I’m becoming a little more aware of just how short time is. How valuable it is. And how we are commanded to redeem the time and make it count. My cry is that I want my life to count; I want to be useful! I want to be available to God and I want to be fruitful! Is that your cry too?

The Bible says that “David served God in his generation.” Many others have done likewise, such as William and Catherine Booth, Charles Finney, the Wesley brothers, Billy Graham, and Reinhard Bonnke. The key factor that these heroes of the faith had in common was their availability to God. They were just ordinary people like you and me. But that’s just it – God isn’t looking for superstars. He delights in using the foolish, the uneducated, the seeming nobodies. Father loves to use ordinary people whose hearts are sold out for Him. Jesus’ disciples are the perfect example of this. Whether we are those with one talent or five talents is not what matters to God. He is looking to do extraordinary things through submitted, committed, believers who are available.

To be available means to present yourself to be ready for immediate use. To be available is to be accessible, obtainable, to be willing to do something, or to resume responsibility for something.

In Luke 1:26-38 we read of Mary learning that she will give birth to a son. I can’t comprehend just what Mary must have been thinking and feeling, knowing the potential judgment that would come with explaining what had taken place. And yet her words were: “Be it unto me according to thy word.”

In Acts 9:1-22 we read the story of Saul’s conversion. Saul was actively doing everything in his power to bring about persecution to God’s people, so you can imagine Ananias’ thoughts when the Lord told him to go and lay hands on Saul in order that he might be healed. Yet, regardless of his own understanding, Ananias did as the Lord had told him – because he was dedicated to seeing the will of God fulfilled.

In Matthew 4:18-22 we read of Jesus calling some of His disciples. These men were not fishing for a hobby, it was their livelihood. And yet when they heard Jesus say “Come, follow me,” they left their nets behind and followed Him.

Many heroes of the faith are mentioned in scripture – these are just few of the many examples found throughout the Bible, of those who showed total commitment to pursuing the will of God regardless of the cost. So, what does it require of us today to be committed servants of God? It requires attentiveness to His voice, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, and a responsiveness to His leading.

Following Jesus is not always going to be easy and convenient. There is a cost involved.

Jesus tells a parable about the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) – a story about someone who was available to God. A kingdom opportunity to show kindness and mercy cost the Good Samaritan not only in terms of money, but the time and inconvenience of an interruption in his day – taking him away from whatever it was he was doing.

Availability to God will often cost more than just time and effort – it will cost us our comfort.

Luke 9:23 (NIV) Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

We are called to complete abandonment to the will of God. To follow the Lord means we owe Him everything. We are called to die to self and to passionately pursue our Saviour. But in the world we live in today, there is so much that is constantly fighting for our attention. Today we have a great opportunity to stop and honestly assess our personal priorities. Ask yourself these questions: How do my priorities align with the Word of God? Am I available to God? What are the things that I allow to consume my time, attention, and money? And do these things have eternal value?

As believers, our hearts need to be ready to fulfil the will of God. We need to be presenting ourselves daily before God and asking Him what He’d have us do. A good servant finds out what his master wants and does that. However, this is not to be done in a religious way; it’s not works-based or performance-related. It is simply about a response of love for all the Lord has done for us – having an attitude of being available and willing to walk through doors of opportunity as they open before us.

Whether it is sharing the gospel, praying for the sick, showing kindness to a stranger, stepping into a leadership role, activating our faith, or giving to extend God’s kingdom, the only ability that God is looking for is availability.

How available are you today?

 

Read a Prophetic Word for 2023 here.

2023 Prophetic Word

As we launch into another year, it’s important to hear what Father is saying. I believe that He speaks to us individually for the journey that we are on with Him. In addition to this, I believe He also speaks things that He wants the body of Christ to hear, and He does this through His prophets. Following is my contribution to Father’s global narrative through a prophetic word for 2023.

I heard the Father say, “2023 will be a year of firsts and abundance in God.” In fact, I saw it like this: “firsts” and “abundance” IN GOD. The details are important.

Everything of spiritual significance is conceived, birthed, matured, and finished IN GOD.

IN GOD is the most important thing about us. Our identity and our value are found IN GOD. Our acceptance before the Father is found IN GOD. Our sense of calling, commission and purpose is found IN GOD. Our hope and our future are found IN GOD. So too are “firsts” and “abundance” found IN GOD.

Every “first” finds its legitimacy through its origin being IN GOD.

Our God is the Creator; the One who brings things into existence. He was the Creator; He is the Creator and He will continue to be the Creator. Creation itself speaks to “firsts”; things that weren’t previously there.

From the very beginning, mankind was created in the image and the likeness of God! We carry His DNA, and we have His heart. And from the very beginning, we were created with the responsibility to create and release “firsts” on earth! In other words, “firsts” are not for an elite few – they are for every person because we are created in the image of the Creator!

As God’s people, I declare that there are some “firsts” for you and I in 2023. There are some new steps of faith and obedience, and there are some new initiatives that are on Father’s heart. There are some new kingdom realities to discover for the first time, and there are some miracles that Father wants us to release on earth that will be a first through us.

This coming year of “abundance” IN GOD is all about what Father wants to do through His people and for His glory!

I heard Father say, “Abundance is not about you.”

The worldly view of abundance, and the mis-informed and incorrect church view of abundance is all connected to us having more. In other words, we have made abundance about us. But this is not what God is saying!

The abundance that Father is highlighting to us at the start of 2023 is the abundance that is found IN GOD, and from this, the abundant goodness that Father wants to do in people. God is not a barely enough God. To think this is to not see God accurately. Everything about God is more than enough!

2 Corinthians 9:6-15 is an incredible scripture that wonderfully articulates the depth of Father’s desire in and through us this year. It is rich with truth and it is a clear representation of His heart. There are many words in it that highlight so clearly the abundance that Father is calling us to walk in. May it speak deeply to you today.

2 Corinthians 9:6-15 (NIV) Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlargethe harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Amen!

Watch David McCracken’s sermon ‘2022 Explained, 2023 Anticipated’ here!