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?