Core tenets: Availability means having an eternal perspective rather than a temporal perspective. It causes us to think less about ourselves and more about God and His purpose for our lives. We can get so caught up in scheduling our lives, creating our priorities, and living for our plans that we are often unaware of what God is doing. We may live Monday through Saturday according to our priorities then give God a slice of our time on Sunday. Being Available means adjusting our priorities, agenda, and plans to fit God’s priorities, agenda and plans. It means making personal priorities secondary to God’s and others.
But how do we actually carry out being Available to God? What does it look like? Does it simply mean volunteering more, giving more to the church or reading the Bible more? No. Availability can include those things but it is much, much bigger than that. Availability means submitting our time, talents and resources to God. It means taking steps in obedience even when it costs us. It means putting God’s ways of living as a priority over our own desires. It means living with a knowledge that as a Christ follower—your life is not your own. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” When we live solely for ourselves, we are not submitting to God’s Lordship in our life. We may be recognizing Him as Savior but not as Lord.
We are innately selfish because we are in a fallen state so we need daily to align ourselves with God and His purposes which will often be in conflict with what we want and what we feel. For instance, we may know of a ministry or a person in need but we may want to save for a new car or a new house. Giving that money away would mean sacrifice and we don’t want to do that. Or it may mean passing on a career opportunity that you really want and that would mean a much higher salary because your role as a wife and mother is what is of primary importance to God. There are countless examples of ways this world and our fleshly desires conflict with God’s way.
In order to know what God is calling us to do, we must know Him and grow daily in understanding His character and His ways. So if we know He desires for us to grow in our likeness to Him, how can do we do that? First, we must know His Word—the Bible. Many people will stop right here and say with shrugged shoulders, “I’ve tried that and I can’t understand it” or they will quickly exclaim, “I’m not much of a reader, that won’t work for me.” Really? Doesn’t that literally point out our focus on self? Do we not believe that the God of the universe can help us understand His Scripture? Maybe it will take some time and energy but isn’t that what it takes for anything worthwhile in life? So many parents today pay for high-priced tutors to help their adolescents improve scores for college entrance exams but they won’t pay for a Christian Counselor. Where are our priorities? This is Availability. Availability is when we prioritize that which is a priority to God. If we only spend one or two hours a week with God, how can we know Him? How can we have a close personal relationship with our Creator when we don’t put time, energy and resources into doing so? Many people believe in God but so does satan. If we only know there is a God, we are missing out on the power and intimacy that God wants to have with us as we journey this earth.
Every Christ follower has three directives from God: 1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, 2) Love your neighbor as yourself, and 3) go and make disciples. God’s plan is to build the church. He loves every one of His children and desires for each one to be with Him in eternity but He will not force anyone. In His love, He gave us all free-will. So as Christ followers, we need to be good ambassadors for God, telling and showing others of God’s love in our lives and His transforming power. When we live by the power of the Spirit and exhibit the Fruits of the Spirit, we attract non-believers. What have you done to make God’s priorities your priorities? Sharing the Gospel and discipling new believers are important duties for Christ followers.
Questions to reflect on:
- How do you exhibit Availability to God and others in your daily life?
- How does your life reflect either being a pursuer of your own needs and time versus being Available to God for His purposes?
- What can you do to develop a desire and an obedience to God and His purposes above your own?
- What can you do to develop an attitude of willingness to be Available to Him and His church?
Books about availability to God:
- Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman
- The End of Me by Kyle Idleman
- All In by Mark Batterson
- The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn’t Exist by Craig Groeschel
- Follow Me by David Platt
- Reflect and journal about the following passage… “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9 NIV). What would God see in your heart? How committed are you to Him and His ways? What prevents you from being committed or more committed? Have there been situations when you failed to be available? When and why?
- Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8 Reflect on your life and write about your past availability, your present availability and whether you will be available in the future.
- Read one or more of the recommended books.
- Commit to knowing His Word and understanding its application by creating a reading plan and finding accountability to help you stay on course.
- Read 2 Timothy 2: 14-25 which describes a workman approved by God. Identify how ready you are and what you might want to consider changing.